Photo by Michael Lincoln
Color by Yasi
Keeley Bumford intends to make a statement with her career, and not just through her recordings. The Los Angeles-based artist is a writer, producer and composer who values community. She bolsters femme representation in music at every turn, especially with regard to the production/recording sector, where such voices are underrepresented. Bumford’s greatest aspiration is not fame, but to empower others.
Her resume grows longer each year, as she juggles many active projects at once. As Dresage, she creates lush synth and orchestral musings, allowing herself the freedom to inhabit many genres, from trip-hop to indie art pop; Clash Magazine calls her “pop from an alternate universe driven by a commitment to personal communication…honest, creative and forever outside the box.” Among her collaborations, most notable is her feature with Jai Wolf on “Better Apart,” which just passed 3 million streams on Spotify. She has performed it live alongside him at Austin City Limits Festival 2019, a sold out Emo’s Austin during ACL, as well as at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. She is also half of the boisterous electro pop group, More Giraffes, with Mark Hadley.
Bumford’s momentum continues to build, having signed with Primary Wave Publishing in the summer of 2019. She produces and writes for other artists and has credits as a singer and songwriter for clients like Disney, Apple and Netflix. She also wrote, produced and mixed promotional spots for UNIQLO; Windex; as well as Secret deodorant and “Motherland” on Freeform for Atlantic Records artist MILCK. Recently, she wrote, produced and performed five original songs and co-scored the original Hulu/Blumhouse film, My Valentine, from the popular “Into The Dark” anthology series, released February 2020.
Growing up on a remote mountain range in northwest Washington, Bumford listened to nature and began nurturing her interest in music. She had an immediate affinity for songwriters such as Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and Fiona Apple. After discovering the magic of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday in high school, her first dream was to become a jazz singer. Then at Berklee College of Music in Boston, she changed course slightly to major in music production and engineering; her curiosity was spent in recording studios, exploring the world of audio production and sonic manipulation. These skills became the foundation of her multifaceted career.
Los Angeles cannot compete with the majesty of the Pacific northwest, but Bumford still manages to find a connection back to nature when she needs it. She doesn’t fixate on the industry, which can be fickle and discouraging. Instead, she wants to be inspired for inspiration’s sake—a value that she will pass on to anyone who wants to listen.
Written by Zoë Elaine