Writing her fourth album, I can feel you creep into my private life, out Jan. 19, Tune-Yards leader Merrill Garbus sought spiritual growth. “I feel very humbled by how little I know,” says the acclaimed indie artist after months of wide-ranging research. Joined on the album by longtime collaborator Nate Brenner, the 38-year-old shares what influenced Tune-Yards’ most confrontational work to date.
1. She DJ'd weekly at a bar in Oakland, Calif.
“[DJ’ing at The Hatch] opened the dance music door for me. My favorite story in [Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s 1999 book] Last Night a DJ Saved My Life was of early house DJs who would play until people got it. That’s what we do, we introduce audiences to new sounds and rhythms -- push the envelope. Even though we’ve got Skrillex and deadmau5 and very glossy dance music now, where it came from was really organic and DIY.”