frogi's dreamy voice and ethereal melodies are enough to hypnotize anyone in a trance. Her new album written in complete solitude, and it gave it such a gorgeous vibe. We talked to her about the endless battle to be taken seriously, her creative journey, and her new album.
Let's start at the beginning. How did you get started in music?
frogi: My parents put me in piano lessons as a kid. And then, I started writing when I was 15. I just wrote sad songs in my room. Originally, I was from outside Chicago, and I moved to LA when I was 19 to pursue music. I know. When I think about it now, I'm like, "Fuck, I was so young." At the time, I was like, "I'm ready."
So you moved to LA with a dream, did you have like a moment where everything shifted for you, and you were like, "I have to make music."
frogi: I feel like I went through a really rough time when I was 19 because I was dating this guy who passed away from a drug overdose. He loved music. And he always really, really supported me. I feel like that was definitely a moment for me where I was like, "Okay, I really think I need to do this." It was mostly like a hobby until then. I was just kind of like, "We only live once. You don't know how much time you have. So you might as well pursue what you really want to do."
What has been kind of a big challenge for you in music?
frogi: Not being taken seriously as a producer.
I feel like it's hard for artists to really complete their vision, and I feel like when you're producing your own music, everything is exactly what you want it to be.
frogi: I did the whole session thing. I worked with a bunch of other producers and I had great experiences. I had not-so-great experiences and everything in between. I got a little bit burnt out by it because I never felt like my voice was actually in there. I don't know if it was a communication issue or if it was just like a patriarchy issue. There were a lot of things going on at once. And I originally started producing because I just wanted to have that outlet where I was like, "What do I even hear? What do I even want to do? I'm going to find out." So that's kind of what inspired me to go on this journey on my own. It became a little bit of like a musical diary where I was just like, "I'm going to do what I want to do here. And I'll still do the sessions and do all that stuff. But this is my thing."
I feel like I talk about this all the time-- for women to be taken seriously in music. And it's like when you say, "Oh, I produce my music," they're going to think, "With a bunch of dudes also."
frogi: My husband's a producer. And people always ask me like, "Oh, he helps you, right?" And I'm like, "No. Actually, he has absolutely nothing to do with it." Yeah, he'll listen to it and be supportive, but that's me.
How do you feel like the music industry could support more female artists? Is there something that you think could be done or that would help?
frogi: There are all these incredible organizations that are really trying, and I think that's incredible. I think at this point it's more of "be the change you want to see." So it's like the men, in particular the white cis men that are in the industry. Just taking that extra step of awareness and understanding that maybe it's not your time right now and giving someone else a shot, you know? The labels and publishers that set up their artists with sessions to maybe just take that extra 10, 20 minutes to find a woman. It's probably easier to find a dude, it's going to take a little bit of extra effort at first, but once more women start producing and it becomes normal, it's going to be easier.
I get a lot of comments on my TikTok that I'm sexist because I only put women on the playlist. And it's like to me, it's like, you could go anywhere on the internet and listen to men on a playlist. Can we not have one thing?
frogi: That's the frustrating part of it. It's just like the egos involved where it's like there are so many incredible men that are super down to step aside or to support women and understand that it's been an issue, but there are just egos as well.
It's so easy to just put a girl's name into the running. It's like you don't even have to do that much work, just suggest one woman.
frogi: When it becomes hard work for them, that's when you know. It's like, oh, well, let's look at your life. You're surrounded by other people that look and act exactly like you, so what can you do to change? And then maybe just step out of your comfort zone just a little. Like maybe it's a trans man that you're hiring, you know? A gender non-conforming person. Whatever it is, just step out of that zone.
What has been inspiring you when you're writing? Have you had any hyper-fixations lately?
frogi: I just put out an album a little over a week ago. And that was a definite hyper-fixation because I isolated myself when I went to the East Coast in the middle of March, like a year ago, exactly. And so it's like a little touristy beach town, but it was the off-season, so it was empty and cold and gray, which is what I wanted.
It's like that quote that's been going around. It's like, "Is it loneliness, or are you being alone?"
frogi: It was intentional solitude. There were lonely moments. But yeah, I wanted to challenge myself. What if I took everything away, and it was just me? And I brought my dog. I just wanted to see. It was like a little social experiment with myself to just completely get to know myself and give myself a shot at writing that. It worked out great. I'm actually surprised that I wrote as much as I did because I think I wrote like 25 songs. There are 16 songs on the album, so it worked out.
Do you feel like you ever get burned out writing, and how do you push through that burnout?
frogi: I think I get burned out from the business and the grind of it. And then, I feel like I don't have the energy to be creative because I'm a very sensitive person, and if I don't have enough time alone or time to recover from things, I feel like my energy just drains. I feel like writing has always been a way to keep me sane and to keep me going, but the burnout comes from just the wear and tear of the competitiveness and the business and trying to make this a career, and then I don't feel like writing. I get scared sometimes when I can't write, like, "Is this going to be forever? What's happening?" I can't remember who told me, but someone told me once, "If you're a creative person, you will always be creative."