Hope everyone’s surviving Taurus season! I’m no astrologist but feels like something’s in the air…
What REALLY should be at floating through the air is the music of Boston based singer/song-writer Trophy Wife. We sat down last week and chatted about the origins of Trophy Wife’s me memorable stage name and her journey to becoming the musician she is today!
Keep in mind Trophy Wife has some upcoming shows for instance May 4th at O’Briens Pub 🤘 so if you like what you hear and are able to safely enjoy live music your presence is encouraged! 💌
Great to meet you! Could you introduce yourself to the audience?
Hi I’m Trophy Wife. I use she her pronouns, and I’m from Newtown, Connecticut, but I live in Boston right now. I’m Boston based [and] I study at Berklee.
Let’s start with the name Trophy Wife. When did you come up with that? And what does your name mean to you?
I came up with it freshman year of college, actually, when I was trying to figure out who I was as an artist. And I want to use my real name McKenzie. Iazzeta because it’s quite a mouthful and it’s very difficult to spell, not for me, but for other people. Lots of ZS. I also wanted to be able to write, I don’t know, without feeling like I always had to be myself writing it.
I picked the name because I was looking for something that was sort of like, I don’t know, ironic. And I think I chose trophy Wife because I chose it originally because I thought it was kind of funny. And when I was solidifying it, I was like, yeah, I find myself being this weird caricature of femininity sometimes. But, I also find myself very not that. And I feel like, kind of pushing against kind of taking the word trophy wife, which is supposed to be derogatory and just singing about the things that I do. I think that it’s sort of like a funny I don’t know what the word is. Like comparison. Juxtaposition.
Do you feel like you become someone different? Do you like to separate who you are as an individual and trophy wife, or do you find their, they’re similar?
I think that it’s not like, a completely different persona, but I do find that I try and write as a person who’s more sure of their vulnerability, like more secure in being vulnerable. I think in my real life and obviously I’ve been getting better at it because I’m getting older, but I think it’s really difficult to be secure and be strong in that you’re vulnerable and that you have feelings and you care about things and also be honest about things you need to work on. And I think that I have put that into my music in ways that I can’t put into speaking words.
How does your writing process usually go?
So actually, I have this just awful, miles long notes page. My notes app that that I’ve had, Oh, God. Since I started writing songs, which wasn’t too long ago, 2018, and it is every thought I’ve ever had put into one scrolling notes page. And basically, whatever I have a phrase, or I think of lyrics or I need to just spill something out onto a page. I just put it in this horrendous notes page, and I’ll go back and I’ll look when I feel I feel like I want to write a song right now.
So sometimes I end up starting a song with just, like, grabbing different lines I’ve thought of or, like, thoughts I had throughout the week and just put them together and see how I can get that week’s feeling or something. I was reflecting onto the page.
You mentioned that you started writing songs in 2018. What inspired you to start and what was it like starting for the first time? Did you find it naturally or was there a learning curve?
It’s funny. Maybe once or twice in high school I tried to write a song because I like to sing, and I decided I was no good at it. And then I got to college and I [realized], wow, people seem to be writing their own music here!
I thought I should try that out, I guess, honestly, it made me really nervous at first. I didn’t share anything that I wrote really at all. I kept it all to myself, and it was like I would share with one person maybe once. I felt like I perfected every single detail. And I also had not much knowledge of how to play guitar. I was just trying to put things together and see how I could use music to be honest. But it wasn’t the writing part that I found difficult, though I definitely have figured it out more now that I’m not brand new at trying to write.
Your first EP release was The People’s Sweater. Can you talk about what that process was like, how you went about releasing it and what went really well and what you would do differently if you could do it again?
Those are my first songs, and I wasn’t really sure of how I wanted them to sound. I ended up recording them in the Berklee practice rooms in one of the dorm buildings with just acoustic guitar. And it wasn’t me playing. I didn’t have the vocabulary to, like, communicate what I wanted things to sound like guitar wise and what I wanted things to sound like production wise. I ended up with a sound that was a lot gentler and a lot. It’s very acoustic, and I think that it’s very true to that time of my life. But I think that I definitely envisioned them being a little more fleshed out and, heavier.
I remember it was very interesting for me. I learned a lot when I recorded that because I had never recorded anything before and I never had tried to communicate what I wanted to somebody before, especially with my artistry.
Do you feel like you have to keep up a social media presence and aesthetics as a musician? What are your thoughts on the pressure to “keep up”?
I actually was just talking to my friend Alli about that the other day that to be a musician, you kind of have to have an online presence but you don’t have to. If you want other people to listen to your music, you kind of have to make sure people know about it. And I think some of the time I feel comfortable with it just because obviously, I’ve been on the internet for a long time. But I also find that it’s funny because you do start to accidentally form a brand of yourself that you put online. And when there’s people that listen to your music that you don’t know, like when you get to a point where there’s, like, other people listening, that’s all they see of you. So it’s like you have this person that you created for online.
I don’t find that my online presence is that curated or different than how I am. But I do think it’s funny because I realize that’s what people know of me when they don’t know me, like fans of my music, it’s just funny to think about.
What’s it like collaborating with visual artists when it comes to your covers? I see a few of your EP covers are pictures of you as a kid. Where do you find inspiration for your visuals in terms of how it looks on Spotify, et cetera?
I honestly don’t know why I did that. I just thought they were funny pictures of me. And I felt odd about doing a photo shoot of myself. Yeah, I just felt strange about that. I have a bunch of ridiculous pictures of me as a kid and I thought they were funny pictures of me and that they would work. Well, yes, all of them are just pictures that my parents probably took. For the most recent album, my freshman year roommate took that and I just found it not the other day.
Is this Bruiser?
Yeah, we got this huge shipment on Amazon because we were like “we’re adults” So we bought this insanely huge box of condoms. I don’t know why they’re in strips. And we were like, this is insane. So we dressed ourselves up like Kings and we sat in our dorm room.
What does “your going to make something great” mean to you in terms of either your life or how you feel music being accessible to people in general who want to start, but maybe feel like they can’t don’t have the resources.
Luckily, right now I feel like you don’t need even that much. I feel like sometimes the thing that holds people back, if they feel like they want to learn an instrument or they want to make music, but they feel like they can’t, they feel like they have to be perfect at it to start, which is I do the same thing with a million things, but I feel like people have this idea that if you want to be an artist, you have to be incredible at it immediately. But I think that mindset also holds a lot of people back. It doesn’t make them want to practice or, like, start now so they can get good. They just, like, kind of push people away. So I feel like people being more open with the fact that we’re learning still and I don’t know, I literally just learned how to play guitar!
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