at home withinterior designinterviewsmusic

at home with: hesta prynn

by Grace Bonney

Outside of design, my biggest passion is music. I’ve always been interested in finding ways to connect design with other communities, and I’m happy to find a musician who is as into home design as I am. I connected with musician, performer, DJ and songwriter Hesta Prynn (aka Julie Potash) on Twitter and was thrilled to find that she’s as obsessed with art and design as the rest of us. She told me about the makeover she’d done in her Tudor City apartment, and I was dying to see what the rest of it looked like. So Max and I packed up our photo gear and headed over to Tudor City, which we both agreed was Manhattan’s version of Hogwarts.

Julie’s fiance has lived in their apartment for years, and she recently moved in, slowly making changes to integrate her style with his. Max and I were obsessed with the heavy steel doors throughout their home. The doors were stripped of their original paint, and the clear steel patina is gorgeous. During our shoot, we were treated to a mini DJ set, a tour of the couple’s impressive record collection and all sorts of interesting history about the building and neighborhood’s history. I had so much fun learning about all of Julie’s favorite spots in the area, and I hope you’ll enjoy her interview (after the jump) as much as I did. Thanks so much to Julie and Randy for having us in their home. Also, Hesta Prynn has a new EP out! You can check it out and download it on iTunes right here. xo, grace

Hesta Prynn – We Could Fall in Love Official Video

Hesta Prynn – Turn It Gold Official Video

Photographs by Maxwell Tielman

The full interview continues after the jump . . .

1. What do you love most your home (or coming home)?

Julie: My home doubles as a music and art/video/photography studio, so at any given time a host of projects will be at different stages of development. The studio side of my apartment feels like a high school art project in progress — creative and exciting and fun! — so I strive to make the other side feel as clutter-free and relaxing as possible. I do my best to keep the bedroom, my favorite room, immaculate so that when I get home from a trip or a session/gig, I can head right in there. The bed is always made, and my favorite thing is to come home and collapse onto it.

2. Please tell us about the room in which you were photographed. What are some of the most meaningful pieces in here and why? (Can you tell us about the bed, the pieces on the dresser and your DJ table?)

Julie: The bedroom is my haven. It’s very masculine but with elements of art deco — Don Draper looking at the Chrysler building. The entire room was decorated to showcase the large-scale photography pieces which were all done by Randy Scott Slavin. My friend, musician/designer Jason Holmes, chose the contrasting grey paints. The bed is from Restoration Hardware; it’s a great focal piece, especially for that price point. I have a Josef Albers Homage to the Square print, which was the first piece of art that I ever purchased (in London when I was 19) and I absolutely love [it]. The vintage magnifying glass acts as a lens and throws images from outside on the wall, at the candles are from Catbird. (Incidentally, I learned that Grace is also obsessed with Catbird candles and grey walls.) My DJ gear accidentally ended up on some of the nicest things we own! The filing cabinet was a custom piece my fiancé had from before I moved in with all of my gear, and the green piece of stone was an extra piece that was laying around a showroom. This setup is way too nice for my station to have wound up on top of, but when you live in a New York City apartment, you make it work.

3. What are your favorite local spots to shop, eat or just be inspired?

Julie: The are a couple of secret places up here in midtown that not many people know about. There’s an underground Sake bar called Sakagura that is on the basement level of an office building on 43rd; you have to go into the office building and take the elevator all the way down, then walk down two more flights, and it opens up into this amazing traditional spot. Sometimes the corporate clients whom I DJ parties for come to town and call me, so I always meet them here. It blows their minds every time.

4. The best part about your neighborhood (Tudor City) is _________.

Julie: That it is out of a Medieval fairy tale.

5. Who are some of your favorite musical influences, past and present?

Julie: The Beastie Boys now and forever. Kanye West continues to do amazing, innovative work in a sea of mediocrity. Tori Amos and Jay-Z are both amazing lyricists that I love. The Rolling Stones are the best rock band ever, and the Pixies are the best band period. I listen to a lot of pop music — I think both Britney and Rihanna’s most recent records are both amazing. Diplo is amazing. I’ve been getting called to do a lot of writing sessions in the dance world lately, so I’m just starting to tap into that world, too.

6. What was your first musical memory?

Julie: Wow — I remember just being obsessed with Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I used to watch the music video on VHS over and over.

7. What was your most significant recent musical memory or experience?

Julie: I wrote a song for a big dance artist that comes out in October. He’s been playing it out on his tour and sent me a video of this huge crowd going absolutely insane over it one night. It gave me chills; I felt so grateful and excited!

8. What was the first song you ever learned to play or sing?

Julie: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” was like the first “real” song I could play on piano.

9. What are you reading/watching/listening to/loving right now?

Julie: I love all of the Bravo shows. I still watch every season of Housewives! My colorist and I dissect each episode, and it’s the best junky — I am seriously considering creating a webisode series dedicated to the discussion of these ridiculous and amazing shows. I just read a book called Many Lives Many Masters about reincarnation that was pretty amazing. I’m reaching the Psychopath Test now, which is great — I love to read about psychology and the brain.

10. What do you hope people feel when (or takeaway from) listening to your music?

Julie: When I’ve written something that I think is really great, it gives me like this burst of energy. I know it when I’ve hit it — and I’m like, “That’s NEW, that’s hot!” My stuff is a bit quirky, a bit out of the box, and I think that has finally started to really work for me. I want people to hear my music and have the same reaction — this sounds fresh, a bit weird, totally awesome! I want people to put my music on when they are getting psyched to go out. They’re messing up their eyeliner dancing along, singing it in the car as they pull in to the party.

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