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Kimi Recor feels that music can be empowering.

It was for her when she started the project that became known as Draemings in 2012 after dealing with a broken heart. And she uses it to lift up female musicians in the Los Angeles area with Play Like a Girl, the all-female collective that produces monthly showcases to feature young girls and aspiring musicians.

Before Draemings, Recor had been a part of several bands, having learned several instruments—including the guitar—around the age of 17. After stints in San Francisco and New York, Recor settled in L.A. and wrote and recorded Draemings’ original five-song demo entirely on her own, a set of songs that landed her a record deal and an acclaimed debut album entitled The Eternal Lonesome.

Now a full-on four-piece and label-free, Draemings released an acclaimed self-titled EP in the spring of 2017 and has more new tunes on the way.

Here, Recor recently caught up with Fender to discuss how she’s been using her Fender Paramount acoustic guitar with different effects as the band—which also consists of Christopher Vick on guitar, Thorson on bass and Nathaniel Meek on drums—continues to create in the studio, in addition to her work with Play Like a Girl.

”I love how you can add texture with an acoustic guitar."

“We’re doing new songs right now, and I got the new Fender Paramount acoustic right when we finished up our EP. We started playing it over some songs that are ethereal and textural, but sometimes the acoustic is the only thing that cuts through. I’m not a classically trained guitar player or someone who would say they’re a great guitar player, but I am pretty good at tones and creating textures. For me, that’s the secret of the acoustic guitar.”

”I’m always thinking about how to make my acoustic sound mean."

“First of all, it creates amazing feedback, so we can step that up a little bit. And we’ve been running it through my pedalboard, so there are choruses, delays and reverbs. I just got this amazing analog distortion that I’ve been running it through, too. It just sounds like a weapon of mass destruction, which you would never associate with an acoustic guitar. I’m not a singer/songwriter in a café. I want to flip that and make the acoustic guitar more mean and aggressive sounding.”

”I was always waiting around for the band to help write stuff, so I just learned how to play the guitar myself so I didn’t have to."

“I worked at a dinner-theater and circus in San Francisco called Teatro ZinZanni. The musical director was this guy Norman Durkee—he wrote the piano line in ‘Taking Care of Business’ … one of those people who was very influential while not completely being in the spotlight. We would make music, and one day, he just said, ‘You know, you’re meant to be a guitar player.’ I tried to play, but never really dove in. He bought me a rad distortion pedal and a black-and-white Telecaster. He said, ‘Go forth and prosper.’”

”When I moved to L.A., I didn’t just want to be a singer anymore."

“My first band was called Black Flamingo, and of the seven of us, only Chris (Vick)had played their instrument for more than a month. The whole band was based around learning, but it was great. It was special because it was all feeling. We had musical talent, but it was really basic. But some of the greatest songs are just four chords. I thought I could do that too.”

”I’m a perfectionist, so the big challenge in learning the guitar was just myself."

“When you are really good at one thing, like I thought I was at singing, it was tough to think you could be good at playing guitar. I didn’t think I would ever learn how to do barre chords well. The way I got around it was experimenting with things. I just wanted to learn everything about the guitar. That’s why I built my own guitar, to learn how it worked. How do the pickups work? That was a huge stepping stone for me. And as a pedal-hoarder, it helped me learn how to play guitar. Reverb is great, and practicing with that and making it sound pretty was something that motivated me.”

”I feel like you can learn technique, but you can’t learn style.”

“Eventually, muscle memory does kick in. I’m still not necessarily someone who can play scales, but I know my sound and my vibe. You just have to find it, and I was lucky I did.”

”When I left my label, I felt like I didn’t have much of a community, and I wanted to help build one for females.”

“I had seen what (Los Angeles-based female-led music festival)Girlschool was doing and thought there was an opportunity to build on that. Also, ‘Play like a girl’ is literally the No. 1 insult that people have said forever, whether it’s music or sports or whatever. I like when women can take those words back, take a negative thing and empower it. I can remember being younger and hearing that insult from people and it discouraged me from playing. I think this is a really good place for women to start and raise each other up.”

*For more from Draemings, visit their official website.

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