Noah & Jay De Amor
Interview by L. Valena
First, please describe what you responded to
Noah De Amor: It was a drawing of a sea man standing very confidently with a fish on a harpoon. It was a rush of beautiful colors.
Jay De Amor: When Noah saw it, he just instantly started craving fried fish. He said “I want to eat some fried fish tonight.” And then he said “You know what, I’m gonna record myself frying the fish.” And while he was doing that, and we were eating it, I thought of one of my favorite Disney movies growing up, which is the Little Mermaid. When I saw the picture of the sea man, with the fish…
N: No- remember? We went through a little bit of a back and forth over exactly which song it was going to be?
J: Yeah, there was a little bit of a discussion.
N: So we started, and I said ok, this is a fish thing, we should probably sing Age of Aquarius. And we tried it, we gave it a shot, but it didn’t work out. So, we were working through it, and we were thinking. What would be a good, fishy song for the very fishy piece that we’re making? And also I knew that I wanted to dub the video of me frying the fish with some of Jay’s vocals. So, I said, do we know anything from the Little Mermaid? And Jay pulled up… this was totally a 2018 process, because Jay pulled up a Youtube video of the number ‘Le Poison’ from the Little Mermaid, and it was just such a perfect fit. So we went on another social media app that we use, Smule, and Jay recorded the song for us to use.
I think it's amazing that the drawing you were working with actually made you hungry, and that sent you down this whole path. Does that relate to any other work that you do?
J: I feel like it has a very strong tie to our daily regiment of listening to good music and preparing a well-cooked meal. I think that the mood that we’re in- sometimes we’re in a DreamGirls, soulful, steak-fried tofu mood, and sometimes we’re in a Little Mermaid, ‘Le Poison’ kind of mood.
I love the music and food connection.
N: It rarely works out so perfectly, in terms of the lyrics lining up. The lyrics were just perfect. It’s the process of preparing fish, to fry it.
J: I was looking at the video, and watching you slicing up the fish, throwing it in breadcrumbs- I just head that Frenchman screaming ‘Stuff it with bread!’
I especially love the moment when the fish is frying, and you’re like, cackling in the background.
J: That was my favorite part too! He was so gleeful about killing and eating these sea creatures… I always thought of that chef as this happy villian.
What else do you have to say about this process?
N: It was a real challenge. I have never been to art school, or really even taken any art classes since 9th grade. I’ve never taken any classes in video editing, or anything like that. And never with anything having to do with visual art, I’ve had some performance art education, but it was a challenge to come up with and manage solid visuals to go along with the performing arts. And a lot of our video editing in the videos we do are self-taught and self-inspired, I’ve never had anyone show me how to edit video.
J: I liked how it grew into this amazing masterpiece. It started out with us just looking at a picture, and saying “We’re hungry, we’re going to eat some fried fish and think about what we’re going to do for this piece.” “Oh, we’ll sing Age of Aquarius!” as we’re buying the fish. And then we were getting it ready to fry the fish, and then as we’re frying it he said “I’m going to record myself, maybe we can make a video” and from there as we’re eating the fish that he just finished frying, I said “You know what? Let’s add some Little Mermaid music to this number. It was like a great little sandwich, one on top of the other.
You guys often do collaborative videos together, right?
N: Yes, we have done them for fun and we have done them for business at the bike shop.
J: We like to be creative and do the video stuff. I think it’s really the singing- we like singing and recording ourselves being theatrical. We love musicals and theater so much, and theater is very much part of our daily life.
Do you have any advice for someone else participating in this project?
N: Follow inspiration, follow your gut, because coming up with frying fish and putting a song over it was the first thing we came up with, and it was a little bit of a challenge. We had a little bit of creative block for a little while finding the right song, but we stuck with what inspired us immediately, looking at the drawing.
J: Don’t overthink it. Go with your natural instinct, and make an experience out of it. Don’t just look at the piece that’s going to inspire you, but live it. And then after you’ve let it take over you for a good 24 hours, just take it away!
Call Number: Y8VA | Y3FI.dePo
Noah and Jay De Amor are married Blatino queer activists and social entrepreneurs from Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. When they are not focused on "putting more butts on bikes" at The Spokehouse, their community bike shop, they lend their voices to quirky parodies of some of the most iconic numbers from pop music and musical theatre. "No and Jo" are proud pet parents to Roxbury and Max, and unofficial gay uncles to countless neighborhood youth.