Why Dum Dum Girls’ Kristin Kontrol Turned to Pop
Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Kristin Welchez (@kristinkontrol) — best known as Dee Dee, the founder and frontwoman of garage rock band Dum Dum Girls — wasn’t allowed to watch MTV. “I was getting my pop culture in dance classes,” she says. And while artists like Madonna and Tiffany spoke to her, she didn’t feel comfortable writing and performing songs like theirs. “I was incredibly introverted and shy, so that was a pipe dream for a really long time.”
That is until her recent debut solo album, X-Communicate. Released under the name Kristin Kontrol, she has finally tapped into the sound of her childhood new wave and R&B heroes. It’s a long way from the lo-fi and ‘60s girl-group blends she became known for in Dum Dum Girls.
“Dum Dum Girls is a band that’s very precious to a select group of people. We had a template where there was really no place for me to go in other directions,” she says. “This has room for growth. It was scary but totally liberating.”
With her solo work, Kristin is also able to indulge in her lighter, funnier side –– as opposed to Dee Dee’s intimidating swagger, which was partially her way of combating stage fright. “I’ve gotten a bit older and more comfortable with myself,” she says. “I have my heavy moments for sure but I have a lot of light moments, too. I secretly harbor a desire to be a comedian, so this is working out perfectly.”
––Dan Reilly for Instagram @music