Swahili Blonde

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Swahili Blonde
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Alternative rock, experimental rock, art rock, afrobeat, worldbeat
Years active 2009–present
Labels Manimal Vinyl
Neurotic Yell
Associated acts Kimono Kult, John Frusciante, WEAVE!, VAGENDA, Duran Duran, Warpaint, The Like, Devo, Secret Circuit, Venetian Snares
Website [1] http://www.myspace.com/swahiliblonde
Members Nicole Turley
Laena Geronimo (Myers-Ionita)
Dante Adrian White-Aliano
Arianna Basco
Heather Cvar

Swahili Blonde is an experimental musical project formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. Founded by former 'WEAVE!' drummer and vocalist Nicole Turley, violinist and bassist Laena Myers-Ionita, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and multi-instrumentalists Stella Mozgawa and Michael Quinn. Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist and Turley's now ex-husband, John Frusciante, performs guitar on the band's recordings, and did perform alongside the group at their debut performance, while he was briefly a full-time band member.[1] The project is described as follows: "Swahili Blonde concocts a potion from the blood of Motown, Delta 5, James Chance, and The Slits only to pour it all over a dance floor with Frankie Goes To Hollywood synth goo."

Swahili Blonde is currently signed to Manimal Vinyl. They made their live debut at 'The Echo Club' in Los Angeles on July 10, 2010.[2] The band utilizes disorientating chord progressions and obscure rhythms, with songs featuring a variety of instruments. The live band line-up currently features Nicole Turley, Laena Geronimo (Myers-Ionita), Dante Adrian White-Aliano, Arianna Basco, and Heather Cvar. The band also included Laena's father, former Devo drummer Alan Myers, until his death in 2013.

Swahili Blonde's first digital single, entitled "Elixor Fixor" was released on iTunes on December 13, 2009, with a second, "Dr. Teeth", released in March 2010. The project's debut album, Man Meat, was released on August 3, 2010, mastered by Aaron Funk.[3] Frusciante had previously worked with Funk in the collaborative group Speed Dealer Moms along with Chris McDonald.

In 2014, members Nicole, Laena, John, and Dante released a 4 track digital EP in collaboration with Bosnian Rainbows members Teri Gender Bender & Omar Rodríguez-López under the name Kimono Kult. Nicole wrote and arranged all the music and Teri wrote and performed all vocals, with backing vocals provided by Turley.

Although originally planned for a January, then November 2013 release, the group's third album, Deities In Decline was pushed back until March 2014, 2 weeks after Hiding In The Light by Kimono Kult, but has been delayed again until later in 2014.[4][5]

Live Line-up[edit]

  • Nicole Turley – vocals, percussion, drums, keyboards, omnichord
    Man Meat recordings: cr-8000, handsonic, xylophone, bass, sitar, guitar, organ, mini-moog, string synth
    Psycho Tropical Ballet Pink recordings: cr-78, handsonic, bass, sitar, omnichord, dx-7, mini-moog
  • Heather Cvar – backing vocals (recorded "Watch That Grandad GO" & "Etoile De Mer")
  • Arianna Basco – backing vocals (recorded "Watch That Grandad GO" & "Etoile De Mer")
  • Laena Geronimo – violin, bass
  • Dante White-Aliano – bass, guitar

Other Studio Performers / Former Guests[edit]

  • John Frusciante – guitar, also backing vocals on "Red Money" David Bowie/Carlos Alomar cover, co-wrote "Tigress Ritual" (2009–2015 in studio, 2010 live)
  • Stella Mozgawa – drums, bass, mini-moog, string synth, also backing vocals on "Red Money" (2009–2010 in studio)
  • Michael Quinn – cello, trumpet, drums (2009–2010 in studio), guitar (2010 live)
  • John Taylor – bass and co-wrote "Tigress Ritual" (2009–2010 in studio)
  • Alan Myers – drums, percussion, recorded "Watch That Grandad GO" Bauhaus cover for Man Meat bonus tracks (2010–2013 live)
  • Brad Culkins – saxophone on "Zelda Has It", "Scoundrel Days" a-ha cover
  • Adam Payne – drums, percussion
  • Viv Albertine – guitar on "The Golden Corale [VAGENDA remix]"


Studio albums[edit]

  • Man Meat (2010)
  • Psycho Tropical Ballet Pink (2011)
  • Deities In Decline (2015)
  • And Only The Melody Was Real (2016)


  • "Elixor Fixor" (December 2009)
  • "Dr. Teeth" (March 2010)


  • Covers EP (March 2012)
  • VAGENDA Vol. 1 (May 2012) {Nicole Turley remixes}

Kimono Kult[edit]

  • Hiding In The Light (2014)


External links[edit]