These days, it’s the norm for artists to be multi-hyphenates, but Lauren Abedini really takes the term to the next level as Kittens. The Los Angeles-based producer and DJ identifies as an activist and intersectional feminist while also proudly representing her Iranian heritage. Kittens is also the founder of PWR WITH KITTENS, a women-focused charity DJ workshop that has been operating since 2017.
Even though she’s been whipping up mixes over the past four years, Kittens hasn’t released an original project of her own until now. Today, we’re premiering an advance stream of her debut EP Zanan & On which features Quality Control member Kollision and Flipp Dinero. In an email to Highsnobiety, Kittens explained the intention behind this fresh body of work.
“This project feels like I’m finally walking through a door I opened many years ago,” she said. “I was so scared and full of self doubt to let myself just make something and share it and own it which is partially my own neurosis but was also reinforced by societal obstacles I let be projected on me. I feel like now I’m really able to show my love for electronic sounds, ethnic vibes, and hip hop influences all in these couple tracks so I’m just super excited to share.”
The title comes from the Farsi language and pays homage to Zanan, the only women’s magazine published in Iran until it was shut down by the government. Kittens adds, “‘Zanan & On’ to me is kind of like a more inclusive version of ‘The Future Is Female’ meant to empower women and other people who feel they don’t belong. To see doors and windows and walk through them with confidence instead of letting doubt hold them back.” Kittens also added that the lyrics for “To Light” are “all about going through darker times with obstacles but having faith and enjoying the light and abundant side after which I relate to on such a deep level at this point in my personal life and career. ”
Zanan & On is officially out everywhere on August 15. Get a full preview by streaming the pair of tracks below.
For more of our premieres, bounce back to Toronto trio Bones & Bridges’ latest single “Go Figure” right here.