Better Than Sex is a 3-piece band from Los Angeles, California, composed of Isabell, Kim, and Jyra. The girls talked to Esthète about their aspirations, musical influences and much more.
Photo credits: Brandie Wedderburn (IG: @brandiewed)
Isabell: Hey, I’m Lovgirl from Better Than Sex.
Kim: Hey I’m Kim from Better Than Sex, but most people know me as @mamadiabla69 on Instagram.
Jyra: What’s good I’m BlueDragoon from Better Than $ex. Raised in the veins of Los Angeles.
Who do you make music for?
Isabell: I make music primarily for me even though I hope that it sheds light on topics I feel like haven’t been talked about enough or have been deemed taboo. I’d like to think there are more people out there exactly like me that needed someone to speak up.
Kim: I make music for myself, every song, everything I’ve ever written was for myself. It’s how I cope with whatever I might be going through at that moment, or whenever I’m feeling creative and wanna diss an ex-boyfriend to make myself feel better. It’s my safe place where I can express who I am as an individual, and if people fuck with my music then that’s all that matters to me. It’s raw and real.
Jyra: I make music to heal myself, let out pent up aggression, find out what’s really on my mind. When I was younger, I carried the fear of vulnerability, many Asian households like mine tend to mold their children into believing it’s a sign of weakness, less power. Music really helped me open up and cope with my past trauma. Vulnerability to me now is an open invitation to my inner peace.
Where do you draw inspiration from for the lyrics you write?
Isabell: I draw inspiration from my daily struggles as a mixed Taiwanese/Mexican girl growing up in South LA. I also think my lyrics speak to a deeper truth about my love life and development as a teenager navigating a world full of abuse, love, and political turmoil.
Kim: I draw inspiration from my life in all aspects, growing up in the hood, struggles, dreams, and aspirations. Craving love and happiness over everything, and being a young artist constantly trying to perfect my craft and be a better musician.
Jyra: Just about anything and everything on my mind. I shed light on topics and experiences that people tend to avoid. The struggles I carry with being POC, being in love, feelings that come after heartbreak, loss and future goals. The fine line between me and everything else, what makes me different.
Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
Isabell: Musically and lyrically, my biggest influences are Lorde, Doja Cat, Princess Nokia, Beach House, Lauryn Hill, Noname, Girlpool, Amy Winehouse, SZA, Lana Del Rey, literally any oldie ever, and my bandmates.
Kim: I have so many people I love and respect musically, and who are so talented beyond words. Sza is amazing, Lauryn Hill, Sade, Jhené Aiko, Frank Ocean, and there are so many more.
Jyra: I’d have to say the music my parents listened to when I was growing up definitely influenced my music taste today. Artists like Gwen Stefani, Erykah Badu, The Cranberries, old school R&B, and Hip Hop. I have so many gifted artists that inspire me every day. Frank Ocean, Tierra Whack, Jhene Aiko, and SZA are my all time favs.
How do you feel, as women of color, in the industry?
Isabell: I feel like there’s a growing platform to hear stories from women who look like me and I’m extremely grateful for it. However, I feel like much of the magic of being a WOC in the music industry, is not just being in front of the mic, but being able to produce your own beats and write your own lyrics. The music industry is dominated by men and I feel like it’s up to me and other femmes like me to change the game.
Kim: Being a woman of color in the industry is definitely a challenge, but at the same time is a beautiful thing. It just makes what you have to bring to the table that much more valuable. I’m proud of being Mexican, and very proud of who I am today.
Jyra: I love seeing more women of color being respected and acknowledged for their work as artists. It definitely makes me more confident knowing that there has been progress in seeing more women in the studios, in productions, on the mic, and the energy we fill in spaces that hold power in itself.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in a year?
Isabell: In a year, I hope to see myself dropping something like an LP. I’m loosely working on an EP right now, so hopefully I would have been well passed that. Ideally, I’m also looking forward to producing my own music, so we’ll see how that turns out as I delve deeper into my studies.
Kim: Hopefully, doing some big things, making money doing what I love. Making music with my friends, enjoying life.
Jyra: I’m looking forward into seeing myself making an album, exploring other art mediums I enjoy doing, being more in the moment enjoying the presence of the people I love. I really want to travel someplace out of states. I need a break from the city it’s getting way too overcrowded #stopmovingtoLA
What’s one thing we should remember about you?
Isabell: I’m that bitch walking around with a Hello Kitty pocket knife.
Jyra: I’m always open to learn, we won’t mix well if you refuse to do so lol.
Is there something else you want to mention?
Isabell: Music’s great, but also did you know that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish?
Jyra: Don’t forget to feed your dog. Pick up your trash….and take time out of your day to make the world a better place, you’re cuter when you care!!