Ameria (AKA Pillows) Spent $800 On Quarantine Groceries…
With the world in shambles due to COVID-19, we’re forced to stay inside, quarantine, and entertain ourselves. For Ameria, the show must go on. In actuality, she’s been an expert at the stay-at-home lifestyle, her preference when she’s not tearing down nightclubs and functions around the world.
The Hungarian DJ, producer, and artist has established herself in the dance music world with her wide palette of skills. Having toured at a young age as a singer, she went on to sign a deal with Warner Music Hungary ‚ but she always wanted to create her own lane and sound. After much success which includes two #1 hits, she hopped on an overseas flight to Los Angeles in 2014. She went on to graduate UCLA with a Masters degree in Sound Engineering and Production, which is how she began producing. Following that, she enrolled in Dubspot Music School which added even more abstract layers to her music.
Her current sound transcends pop and dance music, throwing down on the turntables at some of the industry’s biggest venues from OMNIA Nightclub in San Diego to Marquee Las Vegas Hollywood’s Create, Avalon, TAO, Beauty & Essex… the list goes on. Now after 5 years under the moniker Ameria, she’s shifted her focus to Pillows, her new project currently signed to Atlantic Records.
I caught up with Ameria in the midst of quarantine life to get the inside scoop on her favorite hobbies and surviving COVID-19.
Evolving Into Pillows
Pillows is my new project, we just got signed to Atlantic Records. It’s a female Marshmello-esque character. The idea is that I always wear a onesie, basically like a sleepover. The live show is a banging set with high energy electronic music mixed with trap and commercial EDM. The whole night is reminiscent of a sleepover party where beds are set up, confetti’s coming out. The whole thing’s very dreamy.
I started doing music at an early age. When I was 16, I went to work with this band in Hungary. I got an opportunity with this electronic music group called Clickaholics (a bunch of DJs). I wrote a topline for them, it was #1 in my country. I got signed to Warner, then I got another #1. I’m like “oh shit.” I got lucky. I thought, “sure, let me hop on this music thing for a little!” When I graduated, I came out here and started taking it more seriously.
What are you doing to survive the quarantine life?
To be honest, it’s not that different from my life. Have you seen those memes where you’re locked in your room, you can’t go anywhere for weeks so work on beats? I got you, that’s what I do anyway. Other than obviously not being able to go out and play shows, that’s the hard part. If there’s an up and coming DJ who doesn’t have any savings, it’s harder to survive right now with no gigs. I’m hoping this will end pretty soon in the next couple months, and things will go back to somewhat normal.
This is how I live my life: I’m working on music. I have my own schedule all the time. I usually sleep till noon, and I stay up till 4am. I work at night so to me, the whole world just got on with my life rhythm. Everybody who’s a DJ is probably not as freaked out as everybody else. I can imagine if I had a regular job where I’m meeting people and going in, I’d be freaked out too. I’m more anti-social anyway so to me, it’s cool. It’s not that serious.
What are your favorite hobbies to get out of boredom?
There’s this area called Outpost, the hills between Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood sign. I live by Outpost. I go out there, I have this favorite street where I go up. It’s a pretty intense hike or workout that I do. I usually do it at night, which is weird. [chuckles] I do it around 9pm when literally no one’s out. The city’s really pretty, it looks really dope.
Any digital parties or live IG DJ sets coming up?
Yes! I did one recently on Saturday. I’m going to start doing a showcase for my upcoming music. I’m going to actually start singing live. Today, I set up this little studio inside my apartment. I’m going to do live sets, playing the song and singing on top of it.
Go-to shows on Netflix?
I used to love Breaking Bad, because it wasn’t too much. I have a super addictive personality. If I find a good show, I quit my life. I say “fuck everything,” and watch it till there’s no more episodes. Because of that, it’s dangerous for me to seek dope shows. Because I know omg, I’m literally going to sit there until I’m done. [chuckles] I’m not going to get anything done.
I try to keep it safe and only fuck with shows that are good, but not to the point… let’s say Prison Break. I almost failed school because it had that effect on me where I was running home after my classes. “Omg, let me watch this!” I didn’t do any homework, I didn’t do anything. I became addicted, so I try to keep it easy with shows. Right now I’m watching Breaking Bad because I’ve already seen it, but it’s still entertaining. I don’t remember, it was five years ago when I watched. It still entertains me, but I’m not putting things off because this next episode I have to watch. It gets bad with me when it comes to shows, it’s crazy.
Favorite snacks during quarantine?
I actually went and bought so much food a couple weeks ago, that I almost broke my fridge. We brought $800 worth of groceries because I had this theory that after months of “you can’t go anywhere,” people are going to clear everything out. I bought all this food because I thought “I’m going to keep picking up and Postmates until I can’t.” If things get gnarly and you can’t go out on the streets, that’s when I’ll attack everything in the freezer. Until things are normal and operating, I try to do deliveries. I’ve been doing a lot of tacos, I love tacos. Do you know Sweetgreen, the restaurant? It’s a salad with rice in it. It’s filling, but it’s still a salad. I do a bunch of those.
Are you cooking or ordering in? What would most-likely be on your plate for dinner?
I’m ordering. I have people cook, I’m literally the worst cook ever. You have no idea, I’d die first from my cooking instead of the virus. That’s a bigger fear of mine, to eat my own cooking. You have no idea how bad it is. It’s terrible. I think it’s because I’m so impatient that I already ate half the food while it’s not ready. That messed up my stomach. It’s bad. I’m not cooking until I’m absolutely forced and I have to. My friends who actually know how bad of a cook I am, they cook for me. They leave it outside in a little bag, I take it home and eat it. Friends are everything!
You have to make a DIY cocktail, what are you making?
I’m drinking a bunch of wine, I’m a wine person. If it’s a DIY cocktail, it’d be something basic like tequila, soda, lime. Something where you can get really wasted without getting super fat.
Walk me through what’s on your playlist these days.
I have this one playlist I keep adding songs to, it has 600 songs. It’s just for me. It’s pretty much hip-hop, the type of hip-hop that’s more ratchet. There’s some pop music, electronic music, but mainly hip-hop. Actually working on a hip-hop song as we speak. Do you know St. JHN? I found him when that remix of “Roses” came out, by a young kid Imanbek. I found it super early when it only had two million plays. Now a month later, the remix has 80 million and the original has 20.
It’s #1 everywhere. He pitched his vocals up, so I’m going to do the same with my vocals. All my Pillows music is modified, we always modify the pitch to make it more interesting. We usually turn it down a couple semitones. With this one, I’m going to turn it up one or two semitones and make it sound like a chipmunk. Something different! I really adore hip-hop music, but it’s not really in my culture in a sense.
Where I grew up in Europe, I listened to Eminem. In Europe, only type of hip-hop that came through was big enough in America. It’s usually more house music in Europe. When I was 10 years old, hip-hop didn’t crossover in Hungary. I want to be authentic and sound genuine, so I have to have a different approach than all the rappers who are coming from a different place than where I’m coming from. I found that having a different take on it might not be a bad thing. It might be my angle. I’m experimenting. I’m thinking of dropping it on Ameria, and doing the electronic stuff on Pillows.
What song transports you back to a great night at Omnia SD?
There’s one song: TLC “No Scrubs,” which I always play. It has a real trap vibe. After five or six heavy trap songs in a row, I think “let me keep this up.” I have my own transition on how I do it.
“It always has an impact and hits so hard that the whole club starts singing and screaming. Every time I hear it, I have this moment.”
Because I do it every time I play. I have the same exact three songs in a row, I transition into “No Scrubs” from anything in any BPM and it always works. I pull up 10 videos on Instagram at Omnia, every time people are screaming! I just became a headliner at Omnia, but Corona fucked it up for me.
I’ve been a resident there for a couple years now, I just became a headliner. My first show was supposed to be in May, but it got cancelled because of the virus.
What do you miss most about being away from gigs?
Gigs are my ways of connecting with people. I go to the gym, and I have a group of friends I usually see for dinners, etc. But there’s not many chances for someone to meet me other than when I deejay. I don’t really go out unless I deejay. My whole social life has been when I play, and none of that’s happening right now.
For me, it’s about connecting with people. Especially at Omnia, it’s the type of club where even if you’re not there to see me — by the end of the night, you’ve seen me so many times that physically you can’t look anywhere else other than the stage. You’re going to leave with some type of experience with me. It’s a very special way for me to connect with people and make friends, I really miss that.
What’s the first thing you want to do when the quarantine life is all over?
Hmm, it depends. Before everything was shut down, this national Hungarian TV show came out here to interview me. There’s another Hungarian TV that wants me to be in the show, I’m doing my auditions through videos. If I end up doing it or be a guest on the show, I’ll probably go back there and start shooting.
Anything you want to let me know?
It’s more about my transition from Ameria to Pillows, there’s a lot of new music coming. A lot of people still search and hit me up on Ameria’s music, but I want to communicate that nothing has changed. It’s a different name, but the music’s still coming out.