by Carmen Johns
Ayana and Aly in the pink, Marisa on the right, another friend on the left
“First In Line” goes deep with people who are first in line. We talked to and surveyed four members of a group of eight who were first in line for Odd Future at Williamsburg Park on July 20, 2013.
The Awl: I want you to tell me about your relationship with Odd Future’s music, and then as artists, and what they mean to you.
Marisa: Uh that’s deep. (laughs) That’s deep. Uh, I haven’t really thought about it, I guess? Just…pumps me up. Ya know? Get hyped.
Aly: They’re fun, they speak their mind. And they’re hot, so….
The Awl: Do you remember the first time you heard Odd Future? Do you remember what song it was? What were you thinking?
Devon: It was probably, I think it was 10th grade, I believe. And I was like, it was when I was going through my Tumblr phase (laughs). So I would see like a lot of like gifs of like, Tyler, and heard his music. So I started listening to him more. Yeah. And I really liked it.
Marisa: I was a little scared, to be honest. They’re really intense. But I like them. And they were good. It was different.
Aly: I thought they were great, they were kind of scary but I listened to a kind of mellow song, it was “She.” So Frank Ocean was in that, it wasn’t too hard. It was a good transition.
Ayana: The first song I heard — well actually I found them on Tumblr. I found Tyler on Tumblr. My friends found other people, like, Earl. And my favorite song is actually “Yonkers.” My second favorite song is —
Ayana: Yeah, “She.” Definitely “She.” I need a third song?
The Awl: No actually, I’m just wondering what you were thinking the first time you ever heard them.
Ayana: The first time I ever heard it I was like “Wow.” I went into my mom’s room, super excited. I let her listen to it, she hated it, ’cause of all the cursing, profanity, and all saying “666,” upside-down crosses and all that, but it doesn’t mean anything to me.
The Awl: What does it mean to you, all of that, all of those symbols?
Ayana: It means nothing to me. I mean, it’s their way of expressing their art so they should do it. It doesn’t mean anything.
The Awl: And you don’t think that they mean anything by it?
Ay: No! No harm.
The Awl: It’s just for fun?
Ayana: Yeah. Just for fun.
The Awl: Okay, what’s your relationship with their music? Do you listen to them every single day? And as artists, do you follow all of their social media? Tell me about you relationship with them.
Ayana: I follow them on Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (the like pages), and, I follow them everywhere.
The Awl: How much time would you say you spend following Odd Future online?
Ayana: Two to 3 hours.
The Awl: Is this your first time seeing them?
Ay: No, this is like my sixth time.
The Awl: What has Odd Future taught you and what can they teach everyone?
Marisa: (laughs) To…not take things personally, I guess? Ya know, don’t like, hold a grudge on things, you know just live…life? I guess?
Ayana: What I’ve learned from them is just to basically be yourself. Who cares about what everybody says. To be yourself, you know? That’s the key to life.
Devon: Obviously to just be yourself and do whatever the hell you want. What makes you have fun. Just enjoy life.
Devon filling out the survey
The Awl: Do you think that Odd Future is for a specific type of person or can anyone enjoy Odd Future?
Ayana: It’s a specific type of person… like, carefree. Very social. Not really caring about anything.
The Awl: You think it’s specifically for young people, also?
Ayana: No, it’s not for young people because last year, this old guy, he came. He was behind me in the crowd, and I was like, “What the hell is he doing here!?” but then he was like, really jammin’ out to them so I’m like, even old people listen to it… he had grey, too.
Devon: It can be for everyone, if they obviously give them a chance, I feel like, because people need to be more open-minded about things, and if they were then they’d honestly love them. That’s what I did.
The Awl: Is this your first time at an Odd Future show? If not, tell me about the greatest moment you had at an OF show. Spare no detail.
Ayana: My first show was back in 2010, I was in the 10th grade. I had to queue in line for like, 10 hours. I was by myself, I had no friends. I came, I got kicked in the head. I went upstairs to the balcony, and I spent the rest of it there, at the balcony.
The Awl: YOU GOT KICKED IN THE HEAD? How early on in the show?
Ayana: It was like, you know how they, like, they stage dive into the audience? I think it was Taco who kicked me… yeah. And I had to leave, I couldn’t do it.
The Awl: Oh my God.
Ayana: But now I’m used to it.
The Awl: And how about the first time you saw Odd Future, what was it like?
Devon: (laugh) It was awesome, because I ended up in the hospital the next morning.
The Awl: PLEASE elaborate.
Devon: I was like, around the barricade and Lucas stage-dived, and he kicked me in the head. And I was like, dazed, I remember watching “Oldie” and then after that I just woke up in the hospital. That’s the last thing I remember.
The Awl: How many times have you seen Odd Future, again?
Devon: This is my 5th.
The Awl: This is your 5th. Okay, what is the greatest moment you’ve ever had at a show?
Devon: It was getting the concussion, honestly…. I ended up getting the concussion, and it was a mild seizure. And it was awesome. It was awesome. I don’t regret anything. ’Cause, I’ve never been to a hospital, and I woke up with a hospital band on. And it’s a great story to tell people.
The Awl: Who have you been listening to besides Odd Future?
Devon: I listen to a lot of Pro Era, like Progressive Era, Joey Badda$$ and them. Just went to their concert, actually, in June, and a lot of Black Hippy, mainly Ab-Soul.
Ayana: I’m listening to Ricky Hil, and The Weeknd. That’s who I listen to back to back, and Odd Future.
Aly: MellowHype, that’s Hodgy Beats and Left Brain, they’re really good, so is Jasper Dolphin.
The Awl: Is there any other artist like, outside of Odd Future that you are listening to lately?
Aly: Um, there’s, yeah A$AP Rocky I really like and there’s a band called the Killers. They’re really good.
The Awl: If you could say anything to Odd Future, who would it be and what would it be?
Ayana: I would say… I wanna say something to Hodgy Beats. He’s like, extremely nice, maybe that day he was just drunk and just wanted to be really nice but I really appreciate him, you know, just connecting to his fans. It’s just, that makes you a good artist, you know? I don’t like snobby artists. They like, you say “Hi,” they just look at us like we got five heads, you know? So yeah.
Aly: I would tell Tyler that we should fornicate.
The Awl: Oh my. Alright. That was very straightforward. Okay. It’s your last day on earth, who are you with, what are you doing.
Aly: Alright, if it was the last day on earth I think I’d go to Six Flags with my closest friends. The BBBB’s.
The Awl: Now I want you to tell me about yourself: who are you? What does your life consist of? Tell me about a day in the life of Ayana.
Ayana: I wake up. Walk my dog. Go skateboarding. I skateboard to the volleyball center by my house, play volleyball. Come home. Watch Revenge, and go to sleep.
The Awl: And you’re in high school? Or did you just graduate?
Ayana: I just graduated high school.
The Awl: And where are you headed?
Ayana: To Buffalo State.
The Awl: Awesome. And do you see yourself anywhere particular in ten years or are you just going with the flow?
Ayana: I see myself being a music manager.
The Awl: Have you always wanted to do music business or did you have another dream job in your life?
Ayana: Well when I first met Clancy he like totally changed my life around
The Awl: Clancy?
Ayana: Yeah, Christian Clancy, the um. You know, their manager. So that’s why I want to be a music manager.
The Awl: Tell me about meeting Clancy.
Ayana: It wasn’t really like, a long discussion. But I’m like, I said “Hey, give me some tips on this, that and the third,” he gave it to me, I researched it, put it on my application and now I wanna be it. It’s really interesting.
The Awl: I wanna know, okay this is an intense question: it’s the last day on earth. Where are you, who are you with, what are you doing.
Ayana: I’m at 410 Fairfax. With my brother. His name is Kenneth…and, we’re just hanging out with O.F. all day. When the world ends.
C: Tell me about yourself: how old are you, what are you up to, do you see yourself anywhere specific in 10 years?
Devon: I’m 18 and I see myself opening a Waffle House. I love waffles.
The Awl: Hell yes, we need those waffle houses. Everywhere. Okay, what is your dream job? If you could have any job in the whole world doing anything you want every day, what would you spend your days doing?
Devon: Honestly, I’d really love to be a performer, like, like Odd Future. Like, touring the world and doing whatever the hell I want. Getting paid to do what I love, honestly.
The Awl: So do you make music?
Devon: I do? More or less, like I play instruments, I play different instruments like the bass clarinet, tenor sax, piano. Like, other things. I dunno like, I don’t see myself performing like that, like I’m much… I dunno.
The Awl: Why not?
Devon: I dunno, I feel like I’m not good enough to do it but I have to keep playing, to practice more, honestly.
The Awl: How long have you been playing for?
Devon: Since I was 6. Piano. Then I started clarinet when I was 8.
The Awl: If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness and you had one month left to live: what would you do?
Devon: I’d see if I could meet as many celebrities as possible and go to as many shows as possible and travel as much as possible. And see a lot of things that I haven’t seen, cause I haven’t traveled much.
The Awl: Are there specific stops that you have in mind, that you’ve always wanted to go to?
Devon: I want to go to Japan really badly. Japan, and Belgium, then Venezuela, my home country.
Carmen Johns is an Awl summer reporter. Photos, recording equipment and morale by Noah Gentile.