Asli describes the last eight-month tour with her band The Tontons (living on a bus, rarely doing laundry, writing songs on the fly) as “luxurious,” which is indicative of her free-spirited tendencies. There are a few constants, however, like washing her face or drinking lots of water, that give that unpredictable time just a bit of familiarity. We stopped by her house in Houston, Texas, to get a feel for how this artist with a penchant for spontaneity keeps herself grounded. Asli’s everyday, in her own words, right over here…
Between holing up at our bass player’s house for practice sessions and touring, my life can feel a little…bohemian. I’ve gotten used to not having a routine. Nothing’s set except for two things: Drinking tons of water and washing my face. I may fall asleep wearing jeans, but I always make time to wash my face. On our recent tour, I even washed my face at a gas station (our bus didn’t have running water).
I’ve always loved the process of getting dressed, and I have the luxury of shopping at really random thrift stores when The Tontons are touring. My mother taught me that clothing is a form of expression, so I go through phases, like wearing all white for six months. When I feel stuck, I throw on one of her old African kaftans. When I’m home, I’m usually in pajamas. But I don’t really subscribe to dress codes—I could wear a ball gown to the grocery store.
Jeans are the great equalizer—they look good always, on everyone. I’m loving the ’90s vibe of high-waisted “mom jeans,” and the ease of a one-piece like an overall. White jeans not only look great onstage but they also don’t attract light and get hot when I perform.
Music has become so programmed that there’s not much honesty in it anymore, so the band’s priority is to really take our time with writing. To cure writer’s block, I get outside my comfort zone. It may seem nonsensical, but sometimes I even wear a wig for a whole day to experience my routine as someone else.
9:30am Alarm goes off. I lay in bed until it feels right—could be five minutes, could be an hour and a half. Who knows?
11:00am or 4:30pm Hot shower, hot coffee with honey.
2:30pm or 5:00pm Practicing at our bass player’s house or getting a drink with a friend.
6:00pm Setting up for sound check at the venue.
7:30pm Costume changes and a pep talk before the show.
11:00pm or 1:00am There’s always something going on late at night, whether I’m hanging out by a taco truck or dancing in a basement.
2:00am Hoping I remember to take off my shoes before I fall asleep.
At top, Asli is wearing Skinny Overalls in Adrian Wash, a Raglan Crop Top, Indio Sunglasses, The Transport Tote, her own vintage jacket and assorted jewelry. Below, she is wearing a Courier Shirt in Stripe and High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans in Pure White.
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Photography by Angi Welsch.