Girl Next-Door: Kisses’ Songwriter Zinzi Edmundson

Lately, we're way more interested in all the cool and interesting bands emerging from Los Angeles than any new Kardashian Krap you can throw at us. One such band Kisses has not only charmed us with their sunny disco-esque sounds but also with their quirky So-Cal style. Zinzi Edmundson, one half of this musical duo (alongside boyfriend Jesse Kivel), never disappoints when it comes to playing a mean keyboard or turning up in a comfortably cool outfit that recalls a '70s Jane Birkin with some spunk thrown in for good measure. We checked in with this blossoming songwriter and style star in her Silverlake home to chat about music, the meanest Thai food in town, and her favorite high-waisted Acne jeans.
Name: Zinzi Edmundson
Occupation: Writer, musician in the Los Angeles-based band Kisses
I live in: Silverlake in L.A.

Tell us about how you got into it music?
"My boyfriend (and band-mate) Jesse and I have been together for nearly five years, so the Kisses project grew out of that—it's a series of shared experiences, aesthetic inclinations, and, ultimately, just being around each other a lot. I had been freelance writing for fun, but when touring opportunities came knocking, I couldn't resist and traded my editorial job for writing and music. It's sort of reckless, I guess, but I wouldn't trade our trips to Japan, Sweden, and Australia for my old cubicle! Writing was always the more gratifying aspect of my job, so I'm really psyched to be able to focus on it now, although meeting deadlines on the road are sort of a drag."

What are your favorite parts of your work?
"In terms of music, I love when a gig goes to another level. We almost always have a really fun time playing shows, but there are a couple that come to mind where they're really off the charts. Sometimes it's just between the three of us (we play with a drummer), but sometimes the crowd is just really psyched, and you can't help it—it's contagious! In my writing, I love talking to new people and learning about them through the interview process. Recently, I've been finding a lot of cool upstart companies and talking to their founders is really inspiring. They're creative, passionate, driven and usually really, really busy."


How does Los Angeles inspire you?
"L.A. has a pretty unique vibe that feels like it pervades everything you do here. It's hard to explain, but it feels like even though you're in a big city and there are plenty of hard-working people here, there's a lightness and sense of perspective that I don't think you get elsewhere. People really care about enjoying themselves and their lives being good. Not in an indulgent way, but in a balanced way. I get the impression people feel pretty lucky to live here. My best-friend and I call it "Good Will Towards Man," a general optimistic feeling that you get walking around on a Saturday."

Describe your daily uniform or the pieces you wear to work in most?
"I have to admit, the whole work-from-home thing is not inspiring me to get out of my pajamas—especially when I've gotten into the really terrible habit of getting up and immediately hopping on the computer and answering emails! I've been forcing myself to pull it together though. More often than not, I've just got on a t-shirt, cardigan, and my favorite high-waisted Acne jeans that my former boss handed down to me...and slippers. I'm trying!"

What's your favorite local distraction from work?
"I tend to make a lot of lunch plans, which always eat up more hours than expected. The best so far was probably when a friend and I drove to the Ace in Palms Spring midday because she was craving a chicken salad they serve. So extravagant for a salad! We got date shakes on the way back!"

Last meal in L.A., where would it be and what?
"Wat Dong Moon Lek! I probably shouldn't even be talking about this place because it's already getting really crowded. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best Thai food in town and has the nicest staff. They don't hold back on the spice though, so even if you think you can take it, you still have to order your dishes mild/medium."

If someone recognizes you on the street, what would you like them to say?
"Hey, I saw you on Refinery29!"

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