Short bio

JD Samson is best known as leader of the band MEN and for being one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band and performance project, Le Tigre. For more than a decade JD's career as a musician, producer and DJ has landed her at the intersection of the music, art, activism, and fashion. During that time she has toured the world, produced songs for Grammy award winning artists, written for publications such as Huffington Post, Talkhouse, and Creative Time Review, created multi media artwork, hosted documentary programs for VICE, acted, modeled, and engaged in direct support with a wide-range of progressive social and political causes. 

MUSIC PROJECTS

  • LE TIGRE- Member/ Composer/ Performer/ Producer 2000-2005 (Peformed at Coachella etc.)
  • PEACHES- Live Band Member and Music Director (Peformed at Coachella etc.)
  • NEW ENGLAND ROSES- Member/ Composer and Producer 
  • MEN- Member/ Composer and Producer (Peformed at Coachella etc.)
  • SHARER- Member/ Composer and Producer (With Nick of Young N' Sick) 
  • PUSSY RIOT- Composer/ Producer (House of Cards)
  • PEABODY AND SHERMAN- Composer/Producer/Performer (Season 3 Episode 11)
  • CHRISTINA AGUILERA- Composer/ Performer/ Producer on "My Girls" (Bionic)
  • REVERSE TO REVERANCE- Choreographer by Vanessa Anspaugh (Sound Installation)
  • BALLEZ- "Sleeping Beauty & the Beast,"- Choreographed by Katy Pyle (In Pre-Production)

multimedia performance events

  • Wack! MOCA Opening Performance- (2008)
  • New Museum- MEN performance-(2009)
  • Museo Tamayo- MEN Performance with Celeste Dupuy Spencer-(2010)
  • SF MOMA- MEN Performance with Celeste Dupuy Spencer, Jennie Batchelder- (2010)
  • Brooklyn Museum- MEN Performance- (2011, 2014)
  • E L E M E N T S- With Drew Denny - Outsider Festival (2015-16)

VISUAL ART PROJECTS

  • JD's Lesbian Calendar 2003- (Calendar) Opening at Kathleen Hanna's Spring St. Gallery, sold as an art book worldwide
  • JD'S Lesbian Utopia 2006 -(Calendar) Opening at Deitch Projects, sold as an art book worldwide
  • E L E M E N T S- With Drew Denny (Video/Sound/Sculpture Installation) Shown at MIXNYC, HOLD UP, and Outsider Festival (2015-Present)
  • Residency at Headlands Center for the Arts- (Focusing on Visual art and Sound) (2015) 
  • Residency at Northampton Peach House- (Focusing on Sculpture, Sound, and Performance) (2017)

ACTING/Hosting

  • SHORTBUS- John Cameron Mitchell (2006) Actor
  • MEDEA- Ursula Mayer (2013) Leading Actor
  • LAST LESBIAN BARS- Vice (2015) Host
  • MARGARET CHO INTERVIEW- Vice (2015) Host
  • KATE NASH INTERVIEW- Vice (2015) Host
  • WIFEY- Vice for Go90 (2016) Host
  • STRONGWOMEN- Broadly (2015) Host
  • CECILE ON THE PHONE- Short Directed by Annabelle Dexter-Jones (2016) Actor
  • DJ- Short Directed by Drew Denny in Post Production (2016) Leading Actor
  • ODD MOM OUT- (2017) Actor

MODELING

  • VOGUE HOMME
  • OAK
  • CANDY
  • I.D. 
  • DIESEL

PROMOTING

  • PAT- Monthly House/Disco party at Union Pool for anyone that loves music and wants to be happy (2013-Present)
  • SOS (at Salvation Taco Rooftop)- Rooftop Dance Party at April Bloomfield's Taco Spot in Midtown. Every Saturday in the Summer (June 2016-Present)
  • SCISSOR SUNDAYS- Every Sunday from 4-10 at the Rusty Knot in the West Village of Manhattan (2012-2016) Moved to Henrietta Hudson in May-August. Ended in September 2016.
  • EVERYONE- (Pan-Property party at the Ace Hotel for Pride 2014. London, Palm Springs, LA, NYC) (2014)
  • HIGHER GROUND NYE- (Ace Hotel NYE party at the Breslin in NYC for several years) (2013-Present)
  • HOUSEWORK- (Bell House event featuring women Dj's who play house music) (2015)
  • U.N.I.T.Y- (90's dance party at HUGS in Brooklyn with Lauren Flax) (2007-8)

writing

  • Huffington Post- "I Love My Job But it Made me Poorer"
  • Creative Time Reports- "We’re Here, We’re Qwerty, and I’m Not Sure I Want to Get Used To It"
  • Talkhouse- Music reviews for CocoRosie, The Go! Team, Enya, Bat For Lashes, and Tensnake. 
  • Currently working on a young adult book for Random House and an experimental memoir for Texas University Press- (2017)

Lectures, Academia, and talks

  • Creativity in Context- NYU Tisch Clive Davis School of Recorded Music (2016-Present)
  • TED X (CLE)- "The Cost of a Token" Lecture (2014)
  • Face The Music (Melbourne)- "The Cost of a Token" (Music Industry Version) (2015)
  • Women of Letters- "A Letter to the Night I Wish Had Never Happened" (2015)
  • Artists with a Conscience- Amherst College Lecture and Performance (2016)
  • Bard College- "Working Hard Isn't Hardly Working" (2013)
  • NYU- "JD Samson is Ugly and Has a Moustache" (2008)

RECORD LABEL "ATLAS CHAIR" RELEASES

  • The Aikiu (With Sony France)
  • Avan Lava
  • Baby Alpaca
  • Bianca Casady & C.i.A (With Fantasyrecords)
  • bottoms
  • Claude Violante (With Tsunami Addiction)
  • Kitten Forever
  • LEFTI

long BIO

For well over a decade now, JD Samson has proven herself to be one of NYC’s most enduring creative forces. Since first capturing the public’s attention in the early 2000’s as a member of the pioneering feminist electro-pop band Le Tigre (with whom she would record two albums), Samson has gone on to work in almost every conceivable medium. A formidable songwriter, producer, visual artist and internationally renowned DJ, Samson has amassed a body of work that not only spans a variety of fields—everything from pop music and fine art to curatorial work, political activism, and fashion—but has also helped galvanize NYC’s LGBT community. She has been photographed and featured everywhere from Interview to Vogue Homme and has written for the likes of the Huffington Post and CreativeTime Reports. A valiant supporter of LGBT issues, Samson has provided a glowing example for the lesbian and gender-queer communities—lending her voice, her talents, and her image whenever necessary. “I’ve been happy and surprised to be viewed as an activist simply for being myself,” Samson explains, “But I never wanted that to overshadow my creative work. I always felt that the two things could somehow inform each other. Mostly I feel super-lucky to be able to have my hand in so many things. I like working with people that really care about what they do and work really hard and have great hearts. That’s always been the thing that’s directed my career more than anything else.”After riding the wave of Le Tigre until the mid-2000s, Samson created a DJ/Remix/Production team called MEN, which eventually morphed into a full-scale band releasing two albums, 2011’s Talk About Body and Labor in 2013. In between global tours with MEN, stints on the road with Peaches, and her solo gigs as an increasingly in-demand DJ, Samson also began writing and producing behind the scenes for other artists, including Christina Aguilera, Cobra Starship, and, Pussy Riot—co-writing a song ("Don't Cry Genocide") for their appearance on season three of House of Cards. For Samson, who is equally at home writing music for major label artists and playing music at a queer house party in a Bushwick basement, the ability to follow her artistic impulses wherever they lead her has proven to be a recipe for both success and a happy life. This same expressive openness has also led to a series of art-based projects, including collaborations with the likes of photographer Cass Bird, filmmaker Ursula Mayer, and choreographer Vanessa Anspaughand showings at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, NYC’s New Museum, Headlands Center for theArts, and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. In addition to her own creative endeavors, Samson co-founded and co-runs Atlas Chair, a record label aimed at serving as an incubator for emerging artists. Having helped develop the burgeoning careers of artists such as Bottoms, Baby Alpaca, Claude Violante, and AvanLava, the label has proven itself to be a viable launching pad for new talent. “It’s less about trying to relentlessly sell something and more about trying to give these new artists a solid footing in the world,” explains Samson, “We wanted to have this family of artists that we support and would do anything to help out. And now we do.” Having recently wrapped up her work with MEN (“It felt like the right time to retire that material and move on,” she explains), earlier this year Samson completed an EP with Nick Van Hofwegen of Young &Sick and the duo released an appropriately funky first single (“Body Tonight”). “Our project is called SHARER,” explains Samson. “The two of us were originally paired up by Universal to write for other people, but it ended up being so much fun that we just wrote songs for each other.” The spirit of the project is very much in keeping with Samson’s general modus operandi, which is to move in the direction of what feels the most positive. It’s this same spirit that has made her recurring NYC parties—PAT and Scissor Sundays—such beloved institutions, and it’s the same kind of benevolent energy that makes her DJ sets such eclectic, celebratory affairs. “I'm definitely interested in positive vibes,” she says. “I think that comes out of this extension of we always tried to do in Le Tigre and what we wanted to create. We wanted people to feel safe and happy dancing together. Now I feel like that's still my role, to create a space where anyone can have fun and dance, no matter who they are. I feel like generally people want to have a happy, ecstatic time. The vibe that I want people to feel is ‘We all love each other in this room and we want to hold on to each other’.”