The Queen of Vinyl and the Ears of Rightnowish

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

Ashleyanne Krigbaum recording the class performance at Oakland's School for The Arts (Pendarvis Harshaw)

Ashleyanne Krigbaum spins vinyl at weddings and dive bars, sound designs museum audio tours, and was the founding producer of the arts and culture podcast, Rightnowish.

You might've heard of it.

Ashleyanne, who can trace her East Bay roots back for a few generations, grew up along the Delta in the town of Bethel Island. And after calling Berkeley home for the past couple of years,  she's decided to move to the Los Angeles area, where she'll embark on a great career opportunity-- and also enjoy a new romantic partnership.

Ashleyanne Krigbaum
Ashleyanne Krigbaum (Pendarvis Harshaw)

Before Ashleyanne left the KQED team, we put her in the hot seat and asked her the hard questions. You know, like: what does it take to produce a weekly arts and culture show? What's her philosophy on creative collaboration? And what's the story behind her technicolor hair?

Hear all of that, along with her favorite music and clips of sweet Rightnowish memories, in this week's episode.

Below are lightly edited excerpts of my conversation with Ashleyanne Krigbaum

Pen: I've been to see you spin in Jack London Square and also in the Mission and you're not just a DJ, but part of a collective. Tell me something about this DJ gig.

Ashleyanne: I've been obsessed with music since I was really little. And when I was in college, I went to dance nights here in the Bay Area. I found the music that was right for me... Motown, 60’s soul, Northern Soul... I found dance floors of 20 somethings like me, just losing their shit to, like, some rare Supremes track. I love collecting records and then that turning into actually having the guts to take those records and bring them to a bar and play them. And then finding more people who felt the same way about the same sort of music and had tips, had tricks, new places. It just is a snowball.

Pen: I've been working with you for 18 months. I know you very well, but I was like, let me click around, do my Googling and just see what comes up with Ashleyanne. And what stood out the most is how many different damn hairstyles you have on the Internet. You click through the images, it looks like you're on the lam. It looks like you have multiple IDs in different states with different names.

Ashleyanne: I've been dying my hair rainbow colors for almost three years. So right now it is a faded pink. Some of the colors you probably saw on Google were dark purple, dark turquoise, light turquoise, orange, one I called Redondo peach. It was like a neon peach. There is like a dark blue, lavender. So all the colors, I just decided, I don't know, mid career as a professional, like, let's dye this hair. It’s like, yes, this is me. My outsides match my insides. So, yeah.

Pen: What’s your takeaway, what's your moral to this experience that you've had at Rightnowish?

Ashleyanne: Really knowing what it's like to be in a good team. I've never had a creative partnership like I have had with you, Pen... Really what I want to say is that unless you have a good teammate, you can't really learn the skills of being a good teammate. And another big takeaway - there's no reason it shouldn't be as fun as possible. We get to make a show about culture, about projects people are proud of, about people trying to make a difference and connect with others. You know, life's too short. And if you're going to do work, that's about bringing people together, you've got to be having fun yourself. Every week has been just really fun, Pen.

Ashleyanne Krigbaum and Pendarvis Harshaw
Ashleyanne Krigbaum and Pendarvis Harshaw

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.