Kiki Nelson

Tucson artist and photographer Kiki Nelson is a transplant to Tucson via Portland via California. The self-proclaimed "Happy Accident With Feet," says she courts the organic moment, real people and connections, and the authentic experience. She says she loves Tucson because the people she's met in this crazy little city have enriched her life. "In Tucson, the hipsters are friendlier, the drivers are crazier, the makers are smarter, and the hippies are more guerilla," she says. Take a look at Nelson's work, visit

What was the first concert you attended?

My first concert was A-Ha. I was 12 and thought that I would very much end up marrying lead singer Morten Harket (with John Taylor of Duran Duran a close second). Especially when he nailed the high note live in "Take on Me."

What are you listening to these days?

A goth child of the '80s, most of my music centers around my favorite band of all time bands, The Cure.  My favorite current band is Alt-J.  Their musicianship is amazing and they really have complex ear-candy, layered songs that keep me fascinated. Also, I think Die Antwoord is freaky, and I like them a lot.

What was the first album you owned?

The Beatles Rubber Soul. I was four when I fell head over for those British boys. We bought it at a garage sale along with a bag full of 45's with hits from Bread and Zager and Evans and some disco cover album by Meco of famous sci-fi movie soundtracks. I played them on my Disco lightup '80s record player. I'm so sad it's no longer in my life.  

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

Contrary to the evidence provided of my formative years, I hate disco.  And I don't care what you people say-Daft Punk is bringing it back with a vengeance. Disco still sucks-and I blame all of you people for making it suck a second time.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Amanda Palmer. I've never seen the Dresden Dolls (much to my dismay) but her current work on "The Art of Asking" along with her amazing theatrical and cabaret styles I think would make for a brilliant show. "The Bed Song" practically gives me a nervous breakdown to listen to. Talk about a heart stomper. Oy!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Morrissey will always and forever be my favorite guilty pleasure, current or otherwise. Because ... because ... because, because, because ... it's fun to mock him, fun to mock him, fun to M-ahhh-ock him.  

What song would you like to have played at your funeral? 

One song?  I'm working on an all day "Let's have a Kiki" party playlist for that occurrence. It will most likely lead off with The Cure's Pictures of You because they are my favorites and I am a photographer. It's not my favorite Cure song by a long shot, but it's just too cute to pass up. There will be, of course, an accompanying slide show while they pass out my ashes in little personalized film canisters. Scatter my ashes where you may, my friends.

What artist changed your life and how?

Dead Can Dance. They changed the way I listened to music. They're so epic-they are more like soundcrafters than musicians. They can compose an entire song from nonsense syllables and it's epic enough to make you want to take to your stallion and fight. Or at least take up belly dancing.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The Cure-Disintegration. No. Pornography. No. Disintegration. No ...  oh hell. Just shoot me.

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