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Nite Jewel is the alias of Los Angeles musician and multimedia artist Ramona Gonzalez, whose lo-fi, synth-based compositions draw inspiration from dance music -- primarily 1980s freestyle and electronic disco and early-'90s R&B -- filtered through the arty haziness of shoegaze and an experimental D.I.Y. approach to recording. Born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley by politically progressive and musically inclined parents, Gonzalez briefly attended school in New York City before jumping coasts back to Los Angeles, where she studied philosophy at Occidental College. She remained involved in music throughout, playing in a series of rock bands with her husband, Cole M. Grief-Neill (later a member of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti), creating ambient synth pieces for sound-based installation art, and eventually initiating her self-contained musical project under the Nite Jewel moniker. With ties to both New York's electronic neo-disco imprint Italians Do It Better (she released her first 12" through the label and has toured with flagship act Glass Candy) and L.A.'s visionary art and music organization Human Ear (a collective that includes many of her friends and collaborators), her music reflects and integrates the often disparate aesthetics of both of these camps. However, despite production help and occasional co-writing assistance from Grief-Neill and live reinforcement from Emily Jane, Gonzalez's working methods are essentially autonomous: like her icon and associate Ariel Pink, she records exclusively on a portable eight-track cassette recorder, building up her songs with layers of analog synths and drum machines before adding her melodically ethereal vocals. After a self-released six-song CD-R titled My CD, which caught the ear of New York's tastemaking Other Records, and the What Did He Say 12" in 2008, Nite Jewel issued the full-length Good Evening through Human Ear Music.
In 2009, Nite Jewel's profile grew among the indie rock community with the release of the Want You Back 12" on Italians Do It Better, a self-released CD of demos called You F O, and two 7" singles. In 2010, she collaborated with Dâm-Funk on a single for Stones Throw and released a late summer EP, Am I Real?, on Gloriette. 2011 saw Gonzalez busy with scant releases and more collaborations. Various 7"s and the It Goes Through Your Head EP on Mexican Summer added to the discography, along with collaborations with sound artists Julia Holter and Jason Grier. Following this slew of tracks on various labels, Nite Jewel inked a deal with Secretly Canadian and began work on her least murky set of recordings to date. The highly polished full length One Second of Love was slated for release in March of 2012.
Nite Jewel is the alias of Ramona Gonzalez, singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, California.
Ramona Gonzalez began as Nite Jewel in 2008 as the result of her juggling music with undergraduate studies. With assistance from her husband, Cole M. Greif-Neill, she created songs on a portable eight-track cassette recorder. She stated that "moments of ecstasy, emotion, and hardship" were her inspiration for those recordings.
Soon after starting her MySpace music page, her song, "Suburbia" was selected to be in Noah Baumbach's film Greenberg. Within a year she was touring European festivals. Her music draws comparison to Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Nite Jewel describes herself more as "liquid cool" citing English electronic music duo Autechre as a major musical influence.
Ramona Gonzalez has a bachelor degree in philosophy from Occidental College. She is also a multimedia artist and has exhibited a number of video and sound installation pieces in the L.A area, one of which was entitled The Question Concerning Technology.
December 6, 2011, Nite Jewel released her single, "She's Always Watching You". On March 6, 2012, Ramona released her second album (and debut release for SC), "One Second of Love". Secretly Canadian will reissue Nite Jewel's first album, Good Evening, in the fall of 2012!
Since releasing her debut album for Secretly Canadian, Nite Jewel has toured both North America and Europe. Performances included a date a Midi Festival and a forthcoming show at Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest! In addition to playing her original music, Ramona performed Kraftwerks's Computer World in Los Angeles' Krautrock Classics on June 1, 2012. Later that summer, she traveled to New York City to perform in the same event at Le Poisson Rouge.
On April 29, 2012, Nite Jewel performed at the Brandeis University Springfest.