Hawaii born artist and DJ, she shot to fame as a vocalist and has since continued her rise to become one of New York’s finest DJs and a prolific producer in her own right. Unfazed by trends and deeply rooted in the music, Foxman builds on the nostalgic records of her youth to create her own dynamic sound. A rare specimen who is equally likely to be found playing to intimate audiences as to huge festival crowds, her record selection is distinctive from that of her peers.
Growing up in Hawaii and thrown into the world of beauty pageants in your teens, how did you discover underground music?
I grew up in an amazing island culture, with plenty of waterfalls and beaches. My mom and aunt forced me to enter one pageant, but it was very outside my world. Pageants were not my life at all as I was such a tomboy, which makes it even funnier to me now.
I discovered underground music when someone gave me a techno compilation in 1992. Pop club tracks were already hits on the radio by then, but I didn’t know there was a whole underground rave scene. Throughout high school I started to go out a lot, and there was a very tiny scene on the island which was influenced a lot by what was happening in California at the time. I started collecting DJ mix apes, and whilst I was in high school I got a job at an all ages club which was one of the few places we were able to listen to house and techno. They had DJs and acts like Deee-Lite came to play there and working there was my loophole to stay out late at night, since it was my job. Then I moved to San Francisco in 1995 where I really got into the underground scene properly and that’s when I started buying underground records. Those years in San Francisco really shaped who I am as an artist today.
Aside from being a DJ you also have your Firehouse label, collaborating with Vinyl Factory. I’m interested to know how this collaboration came about? How do each of you complement the ethos/philosophy of Firehouse?
We simply got put in touch because I was interested in starting a label and they have a lot of great collaborations with artists and they have great artwork and were also interested in working with me. They make quality vinyl and care about the artistic aesthetics which are both very important to me, and they let artists bring their visions in and help make it happen so thats great.
How would you say NYC inspires you as an artist?
The entire energy of the city is really inspiring. The people are inspiring. So many talented and amazing people. Everyone has to push really hard to be there and live. That energy alone is really motivating for me. I’m originally from Hawaii so me ending up in NY for so long has been a really exciting adventure.
Your latest EP ‘Energy’ is adorned with a photo of a teenage Kim in full blown pageant gear. At that point, did you ever envisage yourself as the DJ and producer you are today?
I never knew that I would be really having a full career as a DJ and producer. I was in a small, local, two man electronic band in the late 90’s in San Francisco, which was my gateway into drum machines and samplers and making electronic music. However, I would have never guessed that I would come so far and get to travel the world.
Do you think you will continue to focus on your own projects and productions or collaborate with more artists in the future? Any of the Hercules and Love Affair guys maybe?
I always do both. I like do do my own thing, and I also love collaborating too! I do have a collaboration with Shaun J. Wright out on Pets Recordings called ‘Destination‘], and I am also working on another kind of collaboration with two friends under a different name which will be out this year.
As well as your eclectic tune selection and colourful productions, you’re also known for your style. How did you discover and develop your own look?
I always just went with what is comfortable to me. I appreciate unique things and am inspired by things outside the box.
In your documentary with FACT, we’re taken shopping to the famous Brooklyn thrift store The Thing. Are you still playing a lot of vinyl?
I play a lot more on USB these days. It’s simply easier to travel with, but I never stopped collecting records and I do get to play them out sometimes.