Coming out of the Long Beach music scene is neo-psychedelic indie funk group Asi Fui, a band that isn’t afraid to explore the weird and unusual to define their style. Their use of hazy guitar harmonies, glistening vocals, and reverb-coated melodies fuse together to create their signature lush, sonic-driven sound. They have been nominated this year for ‘Best Band’ in the Absolute Best of Long Beach Awards and will be playing at the awards ceremony Friday, March 31.
Front woman and musician Tatiana Velazquez invited us to her studio to talk more about the band’s essence and give us insight into how their creative process works. The music studio itself was covered in artistic inspiration, from her own paintings hanging on the walls to curious geometric patterns she had painted over plant pots and music equipment.
Velazquez explained that their band name, “Asi Fui,” is a Spanish term that translates to “that is how I was/felt in that moment,”—a phrase that inspires the creation of their music. “It was something my grandmother used to write on the photographs of her youth,” Velazquez said. “She would write what she was doing in the moment the picture was taken and sign it off Asi Fui.”
The principle of being present is a concept that is important to the band, especially when they are in the beginning stages of making music. “It really just is all about being in the moment when we’re writing,” Velazquez said. “Things just happen, the chemistry between us allows us to make something we later can reflect on. We don’t always know what it means in that moment, but it always makes sense later and comes together in the end.”
Making music this way has allowed Asi Fui to express their eccentricity without calculating their sound in hopes that others will like it. They have produced two projects: an album and an EP that embody both the dark and pleasant sensations of feeling entrapped in a fever dream.
Tracks like “Laziness is a Disease” and “Couldn’t” off their debut album Parallelogram incorporate string melodies and vocal echos to create beautifully eerie undertones. These songs can remind listeners that there is still beauty to be found in sadness and the unknown. Meanwhile, a song like “Gold” has a sweeter, honey-coated melody with glittery vocals that give the band more of a pop edge.
But this is just one interpretation of Asi Fui’s songs. We asked Velazquez what she hoped listeners would take away or experience from her music.
“I hope that they cry… no just kidding. I hope that they feel something, whatever emotion that is when they listen to our music because that’s what we put into it, we put a lot of heart and soul and I hope that people resonate with that.”
Asi Fui’s music videos can give fans an in-depth insight into all the emotions the band pours into their craft. The visual and instrumental elements in the music video for the song “Dark,” for example, fuse together to create a hauntingly beautiful cinematic effect. The video follows Velazquez, who is being followed by a man at night. Once she has reached a point where she can no longer run from him, she decides to jump off a bridge. The shot makes it seem like she will fall into oncoming traffic, but instead, she falls into a deep, dark blue body of water just as the melody of the song slows and time seems become nonexistent.
The element of time is a recurring theme that carries an important influence in the band’s artistic approach. “We like to say Asi Fui is kind of like a timestamp on everything we do,” Velazquez concluded in the interview. “It does become like each song is a little piece of a larger puzzle that is made up of little moments that ebb and flow and it becomes something else outside of us.”