Hesta Prynn

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Hesta Prynn
Birth nameJulie Potash
Born (1978-03-20) March 20, 1978 (age 40)
OriginNew York City
GenresAlternative hip hop, Indie rock
Years active2010–present
Associated actsNorthern State
MembersHesta Prynn
Past membersChuck Brody

Julie Potash (born March 20, 1978), also known as Hesta Prynn, is an American musician, singer/rapper from Long Island, New York. She began her career in music as one-third of the all-female hip-hop group Northern State. After the band broke up she started focusing on solo material. In July 2010 she released an EP entitled Can We Go Wrong and followed it with a second EP, "We Could Fall in Love," in August 2012. She currently lives in New York City and travels the world as a DJ and pop music ghostwriter.[1]


Northern State[edit]

Hesta Prynn is a founding member of Northern State, along with Correne "Spero" Spero and Robyn "Sprout" Goodmark, who all met while attending high school in the 1990s.[2][3] In this group she took her moniker from Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter. The group was initially formed as a joke, but eventually became fairly successful, receiving critical acclaim from Rolling Stone magazine and touring with artists such as Tegan and Sara. They have released three albums. After the last Northern State album was completed, all three members started working on their own material. There are no definite plans yet for Northern State to record another album.[4]

Can We Go Wrong[edit]

Hesta Prynn's first solo EP, called Can We Go Wrong, was released in July 2010 and has received positive reviews from Time Out New York[5] and NME.[6] The six-track EP was produced and co-written by Chuck Brody, who, at the time, also served as her live guitarist. The sound of her solo material is more electronic-based than her work with Northern State, utilizing dance beats in combination with 90's-style electric guitars.[7] When describing Hesta Prynn's solo musical style, the New York Post referred to her as "MIA and Miike Snow's lovechild" and named her the #4 Artist to Watch in 2010.[8]

September 2010 marked the release of a stop-motion video for the song "Can We Go Wrong" composed of 13,000 still images.[9] The video was directed by NYC indie director Randy Scott Slavin (videethis.com) and received much attention including a feature on MTV's "The Seven".[10] Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars was intrigued by the video and took Hesta Prynn on tour in late 2010.

Following the release of the Can We Go Wrong EP, Prynn has played with Andrew WK,[11] Jay-Z[12] and Avi Buffalo and has collaborated with Neon Indian, Bear Hands, Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington and remixer RAC.[13] The title track "Can We Go Wrong" has been featured in ads for Ray-Ban[14] and Nylon Fashion TV.[15] Hesta Prynn toured Europe with Tegan and Sara in the summer of 2010[16] and played Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park on July 4, 2010.[17]

In August 2010, Hesta Prynn launched the first part in a series of webisodes entitled "Hesta Prynn & Friends", which features backstage footage with Tegan and Sara, Chuck Brody, photographer Lindsey Byrnes, and UK grime rapper Scorcher.[18] In a similar fashion, Hesta Prynn (along with Sara Quin) appeared in Kaki King's video for "Pull Me Out Alive".


In September 2010, relatively shortly after the release of the Can We Go Wrong EP, Hesta Prynn released a 7" vinyl single entitled "Pepper" with two previously unreleased tracks. The A-side is a cover of the Butthole Surfers' song "Pepper" and is a collaboration with Shawn Crahan, aka "Clown", from Slipknot.[19] The B-side is a song called "Seven Sisters", the song that started off her solo project with Chuck Brody. Following the release, Clown invited Prynn and Slavin to Iowa to film the video for "Seven Sisters," which AOL called "a dark, sexy precursor to the slasher thriller 'The Strangers.'"[20]

As of December 2010 Hesta Prynn shared some of her personal interests outside of music with the world. Hesta is an avid fan of horror movies which, as she has explained in interviews, often inspire her lyrics.[21][22] Because of this particular interest, she has been given her own column on Artist Direct entitled "Oh the Horror with Hesta Prynn" in which she writes film reviews in the horror genre.[23]

Turn It Gold[edit]

In February 2011 UK record label Too Pure which is part of Beggars Banquet released "Turn It Gold" on vinyl.[24] "Turn It Gold" is being played on BBC Radio 6 Music[25] including Steve Lamacq's show. A provocative video also directed by Slavin depicting Hesta Prynn in various states of undress was released in conjunction with the single.[26] She subsequently went on a European tour to promote this release.

A remix of "Turn It Gold" was featured in a Verizon Super Bowl commercial in Feb 2012.[27][28]

We Could Fall in Love[edit]

On August 28, 2012, Hesta Prynn both announced and released her second EP We Could Fall in Love which features a dance-based club sound and features production by Mad Decent's Derek "DJA" Allen, DJ Teenwolf formerly of Ninjasonik, and newcomer Ido vs the World.[29] Prynn teamed up with Slavin for the video which features neon colors, x-ray images and a VHS aesthetic.[30] Of the new sound, Prynn says, "I'm a child of the '90s. I'm a New York City hip-hop kid inspired by LA dance music. I like to put it all together."[31]

DJ career[edit]

In 2011 Hesta Prynn's DJ set from the Bonnaroo Festival was featured in The New York Times.[32] Since then she has developed a successful DJ career and performed at events for clients including Vogue magazine.[33] She can also be seen as a host on Michael Hirschorn's YouTube Channel[34] and for Logo TV interviewing artists like Robyn and The Strokes.[35]

She also appeared as a guest model for designer Daryl K's spring 2011 line and walked in her runway show during Fashion Week in Feb 2011.[36]


Solo releases[edit]


with Northern State[edit]

  • Hip Hop You Haven't Heard (2002)
  • At the Party (2005, Wichita)
  • Better Already (2007, Kanine)


  1. ^ Design Sponge: At Home with Hesta Prynn
  2. ^ Official Northern State website
  3. ^ Northern State allmusic bio
  4. ^ Hesta Prynn on Youtube about making music with Northern State again
  5. ^ Time Out New York review on Can we go wrong[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ NME Ten Tracks You Have to Hear This Week
  7. ^ "What's New: Hesta Prynn". Foam. July 1, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  8. ^ NY Post Archived December 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Hesta Prynn talks with spinner.com about the "Can We Go Wrong" video
  10. ^ "Can We Go Wrong" on "The Seven"
  11. ^ Rolling Stone SXSW Coverage
  12. ^ "Music OMH Wireless Festival One to Discover Article Wireless Festival at Music OMH". Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  13. ^ "RAC remix of Can We Go Wrong on rcrdlbl.com". Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  14. ^ Hesta Prynn and Ray-Ban Video Interview on Golden Bloggen
  15. ^ Nylon Magazine TV Fashion Week BCBG Show Video song "Can We Go Wrong" by Hesta Prynn
  16. ^ Paper Magazine Tegan & Sara Tour Diary
  17. ^ Hesta Prynn Artist Page on Wireless Festival Website
  18. ^ Hesta Prynn & Friends: Episode 1
  19. ^ Hesta Prynn releases vinyl of "Pepper" featuring Clown from Slipknot on Popyoularity
  20. ^ Hesta Prynn gets creepy with Slipknot's Clown for 'Seven Sisters" video premiere – AOL Spinner
  21. ^ "Hesta Prynn Shares Her Favorite Horror Movies". Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  22. ^ RWD Magazine Article
  23. ^ First installment of "Oh the horror"
  24. ^ "Turn It Gold release of entertainment-focus.com". Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  25. ^ BBC programming
  26. ^ Hesta talks with spinner.com about the "Turn It Gold" video
  27. ^ Newsday: TV Opens Golden Door for Hesta Prynn
  28. ^ Entertainment Weekly What's THAT Song?
  29. ^ "Hesta Prynn We Could Fall in Love on Mad Decent". Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  30. ^ Hesta Prynn "We Could Fall in Love" video on AOL Spinner
  31. ^ Hesta Prynn We Could Fall in Love video on New Now Next
  32. ^ NY Times Scenes from Bonnaroo
  33. ^ Vibe Magazine: Hesta Prynn Goes from Rhymes to Records
  34. ^ NY Times: New Layer on Contend Amid Chaos on YouTube
  35. ^ Hesta Prynn Hosting Bonnaroo for Logo
  36. ^ Hesta Prynn visits Daryl K

External links[edit]