Tori Helene Teams Up with Natown on Latest Single “Detached”

Cincinnati-based singer/ songwriter Tori Helene has joined forces with frequent collaborator and producer Natown for her first single of the year, “Detached.” Helene says it’s one of her “most empowering” songs yet. “At the time when I was writing this song, I was feeling emotional and dealing with this specific situation that felt pretty one-sided,” she tells Audiofemme. “So, [‘Detached’] was me speaking my truth and my feelings to that person and the situation.”

Helene, who’s made atmospheric vocals and relationship drama her melodic bread and butter, shines on Natown’s minimalistic production. “It’s clear that you just come around only when you get bored/I go along with it though I don’t know what I’m staying for,” she sings, about feeling overlooked by a lover and refusing to settle for less. “You won’t put no time in it/So I won’t put no hope in it.”

Helene finds the courage to walk away from the relationship on the track’s earworm chorus. “Don’t stop me when I leave, ‘cause I ain’t doin’ nothing wrong/And baby I just wanna do me, so I ain’t doin’ nothing wrong,” she croons. 

“Detached” is an accurate sampling of what Helene does best. She consistently serves up the self-assuredness and unapologetic confidence we all want to have, while never losing a relatable sense of vulnerability. “I was really feeling [this song] when I was recording it,” she says of the track.

Helene says that “Detached” was actually written and recorded during sessions for a project that was supposed to come out in 2020 called Chainless. “I decided to start a new project instead,” she explains simply. “[‘Detached’] was one of my favorite songs on there, so I had to release it as a single.” Although she ended up scrapping Chainless, Helene says she may release one other song made during the recording sessions as a future single, and is planning to release her next EP this summer. 

“[It] has a whole different sound and vibe that I’m pretty excited about,” she says of the project. “I’m releasing it in early summer and there are two features on it. That’s all I can say for right now.”

The currently untitled effort will mark Helene’s first project since her 2019 EP, Delusional, which featured Cincinnati rapper D-Eight. Helene followed up the effort with three singles last year, “Get It Right,” “If You’re Lucky” and “Sitting Pretty,” the latter two of which arrived with videos that did not disappoint. Helene says fans can be on the lookout for a “Detached” visual soon.

Turning the conversation over to Women’s History Month and female representation in Cincinnati’s music scene, Helene says the city could be doing better. While Cincy has enjoyed vibrant blooms in hip hop, pop and R&B music the past few years, it’s remained, unfortunately, a bit one-sided. 

“I feel like [women] should be represented more,” Helene says, recommending Elle and LXXS. “I feel like the female artists are overlooked a lot of the time, especially female singers.” With her commanding presence, Tori Helene is certain to be among the Cincinnati artists who will change that.

Follow Tori Helene on Instagram for ongoing updates.

Molly Sullivan Shares “Golden” Love Song Ahead Of Debut Album


Photo by Ryan Back

Ahead of her debut album, Cincinnati songstress Molly Sullivan shares her warmly earnest love track, “Golden.” The single marks the first of her album rollout, which will arrive later this year.

With tender keys and hauntingly soothing vocals, Sullivan offers a unique take on the quintessential love song. “Golden” also marks her first piano-driven single – making the switch from guitar – and one of the first songs she wrote after finding sobriety.

We chatted with the artist about her new single, upcoming album, and more. Take a listen to “Golden” and read our Q&A with Molly Sullivan below. Also, catch her performance at MOTR Pub with Soften‘s Brianna Kelly and Columbus band Nothin’ on Saturday (Feb. 22) at 9 p.m.

AF: Congrats on your new single! Tell me a little bit about the story behind “Golden.”

MS: Thank you very much! “Golden” is a love song – two people just runnin’ around bein’ taken with each other. That’s really it.

AF: As your first single this year, are you planning on releasing any more singles or a full-length project this year?

MS: Working on finishing up a full length. It will be my first cohesive album! I think I will be releasing another single or two before I have the whole work available. I’m not attached to any labels or pressures beside my own at this point – a blessing and a curse – so I have the flexibility to kind of do whatever I want. I’m not making music to make money or anything like that so I find myself doing things more for self-fulfillment than anything.

AF: Are there any Cincinnati artists you could see yourself collaborating with?

MS: Well sure! I have been super lucky to have such a crazy talented roster of folks who I have or am currently collaborating with. The current band line up is Alessandro Corona on drums, [WHY?’s] Matt Meldon on guitar, and [WHY’s] Doug McDiarmid on bass. Artists who have loaned their talents to these new recordings include [WHY?’s] Josiah Wolf, Kate Wakefield, [Soften’s] Brianna Kelly, Johnny Rusza, Jess Lamb, Sara Hutchinson, and Victoria Lekson.

AF: Was the songwriting or recording process for “Golden” any different than your previous singles?

MS: It was one of the first songs I wrote in my new home, one of the first songs I wrote on piano, and one of the first songs I’ve written since I quit drinking. My roommate and collaborator extraordinaire Alessandro would walk in the house and get excited hearing me actually work at trying to write this song and to learn the piano better. Eventually, once I had gotten it down pretty well, he set up a few mics in the dining room and started recording. It’s been incubating for about a year now and I still have doe eyes for whom it is written.

AF: Do you have any local shows coming up?

MS: Yes! I am playing with two very special acts at MOTR Pub on Saturday (Feb. 22).  [Soften’s] Brianna Kelly is a gorgeous singer/songwriter from Cincinnati. She will be playing a set with a full band – also, check out her project [Soften Forever]! Nothin’ will [also] be coming down from Columbus to shake things up a little bit with their rock ‘n’ roll “anxiety pop.”

PLAYING CINCY: Bershy Releases Queer Love Single, “Sixty Seconds”


Ahead of her forthcoming EP, Bershy dropped off her latest single, “Sixty Seconds.” The Cincinnati-based pop singer wrote the song in a heated moment of relationship doubt.

“I wrote that song in like 15 minutes after what I can only describe as an existential love crisis,” she told AudioFemme. “I have now been with my partner for like a year, but when we first got together I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so in love with you, nothing will ever go wrong.’ And we had our first fight and I was like, ‘Do I even love this person? What do I want out of this?'”

With the new track, Bershy remembers the value of taking a minute to think things through and accepts that moments of obscurity and self-doubt are a part of relationships.

“We’re humans, having a squabble, it’s ok,” she said. “‘Give me sixty seconds’ sounded better than, ‘I need a minute,’ but that’s basically what it is.”


The new track also marks the singer/songwriter’s second dive into the pop genre, following her single, “Say Fire.”

“I’m like in this weird, experimental phase,” Bershy said. “I’ve been doing folk music since I was like 15 and then switched to ‘dream-pop’ last summer.”

With two breezy pop singles under her belt, she’s currently working with Cincinnati producer Mike Landis to drop one more song, which will be followed with a four-track wrap-up EP, arriving this spring.

“A lot of the songs are about relationships as a whole,” she said. “I also think [that] being a queer person informs how I think of culture and politics. So, I get a lot of inspiration from that, but love is so easy to write about!”

Stream “Sixty Seconds” below.

PLAYING CINCY: TRIIIBE Stays Busy With New Album, Solo Projects & Outreach Programs


With three very active members in Cincy’s hip-hop community, TRIIIBE always has a lot going on. Aziza Love recently dropped her solo effort Views From The Cut EP, Siri Imani is gearing up to release her debut solo project Therapy project next month, and as a trio they’ve not only been working on new music, but also developing community outreach projects, and credit Cincinnati for stepping up and following them on their musical and philanthropic journey.

After their Bunbury Music Festival set on June 2, members Siri Imani, PXVCE, and Aziza Love opened up about spreading positivity on stage, their individual and group growth, their next album arriving this fall, details on their youth and homeless outreach programs, and the important of investing in their community.

AF: Your set was awesome, really great energy. Siri, I know you have a solo project coming out soon, can you tell me a little bit about it?

Siri: Yeah, it’s called Therapy. It releases on July 19. It definitely just goes into a journey of my life, not only this year, but just everything I’ve been through.

AF: And since it’s your debut solo, how has that been different from your usual group recording?

Siri: It is different. Not too different, because PXVCE is producing pretty much every beat that’s on the project, so it still has the TRIIIBE feel. It has the same vibe and message, but it’s more personal and it’s more specific. Therapy goes into five points and it’s the five stages of healing from PTSD and it goes into different parts of my life that reflect those different stages, leading into the transition of a healthier life and healing.

AF: At your set today, you had everybody repeat: “I love me.” You said, “You are worthy.” You implement that positivity not only into your music, but also in your stage presence. Why are those messages important to you?

Aziza: I feel like healing is its own vibration. Music carries and supports that vibration when we all come together to speak our truths. I think that, in itself, creates the opportunity for community healing. So our music, not only when we perform live, but when we’re in the studio among ourselves performing, we open that space for clear communication and raw expression and that, in itself, can be a release, which supports a healthier state of mind, spirit, and being. So joining with people we’ve never met before in that same space, to invite them to do the same thing, I think is really powerful.

PXVCE: It’s a healing process. It’s a transfer of energy. We are able to get to know the audience [and] the audience is able to get to know us, in a very small amount of time, and it’s a lot of our first impressions for a lot of people, so in order for us to relay our message I think it’s powerful to have it received so easily. Words are very powerful; vibrations are very powerful. With us saying, ‘We love you, we love ourselves,’ I think it is very healing.

TRIIIBE performing at Bunbury on June 2, 2019. Photos by Victoria Moorwood.

AF: Siri, you’ve got a solo project coming out. Aziza, you just released your Views From The Cut EP. Is TRIIIBE recording anything together at the moment?

Siri: Oh yeah. Our last album came out on 10/10, our next album comes out 10/10.

PXVCE: We’re about to make it like a ceremonial thing.

AF: What stage is the project in?

Aziza: We’re in a transformative stage because it’s a mixture of writing, recording, reconnecting. We’re setting our focus to our philanthropic side and all that we do. Especially seeing all what’s been happening in Dayton right now, reconfiguring in general with one how we’re operating in Cincinnati and how we’re operating elsewhere and how we can help on a more grand scale. We’re in a transformative state in our music because it reflects our work in the community as well.

Siri: It reflects the project. III Am What III Am was last year. That was us literally showing who we were. III Am What III Wanna Be is showing what we want to be, that’s musically, physically, in reality and all. It’s all a process and we’re playing with different styles. We all bring different things to the table and us figuring out how to leverage that is the key toward III Am What III Wanna Be.

AF: What philanthropic projects are you currently working on?

Siri: Potluck For The People is for people experiencing displacement, homelessness, and that’s every final Sunday from 12 to 5 [p.m.] and Raising The Barz is every first and third Thursday at the public library. That is an Intro To Hip Hop class for the youth, we’ve got as young as 6-year-olds and as old as 30. We invite local artists and local students to help themselves get better with hip hop or any craft they want to work with.

AF: Most Cincinnati artists I’ve spoken with credit you to bringing togetherness and acceptance in the hip hop scene here.

Aziza: Really!?

Siri: Wow.

Aziza: That’s so beautiful.

AF: Do you guys feel a little bit of pressure with that recognition or has this just been your natural progression?

Siri: We curate spaces, but we can curate a space and nobody shows up. The people genuinely wanted to connect and taking the time to do it makes this work. Without anybody supporting, we’d just be three people trying to do something. This is something that the city wants and the city made it happen and it’s not just the credit to us, it’s never just the credit to us. That’s the whole point of TRIIIBE, it’s understanding that we are doing this. It’s one big machine and without any of us playing our part it wouldn’t work out.

PXVCE: When you look at Atlanta or Chicago, who have huge underground scenes, many people can become catalysts for some of those movements, but to take the credit completely, it just doesn’t make sense because if not everyone is participating then you can’t even say that.

AF: It’s a give and take.

Aziza: It’s a unified decision to make change.

Siri: I’m definitely proud to be one of the holders of the idea… but the city and the people are the catalysts of it.

Aziza: We’re not the first. And we’re not the last.

Find more of TRIIIBE on their website.

PLAYING CINCY: Cincinnati Throws Down At Bunbury Music Festival


Last weekend, the city of Cincinnati gathered along the Ohio River for the 7th annual Bunbury Music Festival. The three-day fest featured headliners like The 1975, Greta Van Fleet and Fall Out Boy, along with impressive supporting acts such as Machine Gun Kelly, Girl Talk, Run The Jewels, and Sublime with Rome. Local talent, like TRIIIBE, was also represented.

Machine Gun Kelly performing at Bunbury Music Festival 2019. Photos by Victoria Moorwood.

Bunbury is a perfect example of why festival veterans prefer the smaller fest experience. With over 50,000 in attendance, compared to Coachella’s 250,000+, festival-goers had room to spread out amongst the vendors and multiple stages that stretched along the riverfront.

Miller Lite and local Braxton Brewing Co. provided the drinks with tents near every stage and a wide variety of over 20 local and delectable eateries–like INJOY, Mikey’s Late Night Slice, and Island Noodles–arrived in food truck fleets for attendees to enjoy.

The lineup hosted a complimentary mix of alternative, rock, hip hop, and nostalgia. Reignwolf stood out as a wildly talented rock trio, while MGK and Run The Jewels held down the fest’s hip hop and Fall Out Boy and Stone Temple Pilots reignited 2000’s favorites. Girl Talk had the entire crowd dancing with his signature mix of pop and EDM hits.

Local hip hop trio TRIIIBE kept the energy going all through Sunday with a set that vibrated positivity. “Say, ‘I love you!’ Now, ‘Say I love me!'” they prompted the crowd.

(Left) Pxvce, Aziza Love, and Siri Imani of TRIIIBE performing at Bunbury on Sunday, June 2.

“I feel like healing is its own vibration. Music carries and supports that vibration,” Aziza Love of TRIIIBE told AudioFemme. “Joining with people we’ve never met before in that same space, to invite them to do the same thing, I think is so powerful.”

Bunbury’s lineup maintained the audience’s energy throughout the three days, with fireworks ramping up the wow-factor on the very first night. The amount and variety of foods, spacious and spread out location and lineup marked Bunbury as a Cincinnati summer highlight.

Only 358 days ’til the next one!

Canadian singer Taylor Janzen singing her Bunbury set.