Samira Villagomez, also known on Instagram as @samisdacoolest and @motherofthemosh, is making big strides in the underground music scene and is working tirelessly at fostering a healthy community for the New Jersey alternative scene.
Villagomez, an Ecuadorian sophomore at Montclair State University majoring in design technology management, first came on the scene her freshman year by hosting events in various North Jersey venues, including Montclair’s The Meatlocker.
Besides managing bands and hosting shows locally, Villagomez had picked up a new side hustle drumming in her new band “The Pin-ups,” including Salvadorian guitarists Ruben Chavez and Saraí Furman, and fellow Montclair State film and television, student Celine DaSilva, who is Brazilian, on bass and vocals.
Villagomez explains how lead singer DaSilva and her had brought the band to fruition.
“She had the idea for a while, and I’ve been in bands since I was about 12,” Villagomez said. “I started playing guitar, but I never really thought I was going to ever stick to being in a band. I thought I was going to do more hosting and management, but down the line, she asked me to become a drummer.”
As time went on, the duo had recruited more members through mutual friends.
“I had been managing another band called Public Disturbances and one of my buddies there, he was interested in doing something that wasn’t as heavy, heavy rock. And I, you know, offered him to come join us,” Villagomez said. “And Celine had found one of her friends who was trying to do more with guitar.”
Villagomez describes the band as merging into the “indie sleaze movement” as its revival is on the rise but some of their inspirations for their music include Daft Punk, Regina Spektor, MGMT and LeBang, a French Jazz band out of New York.
As of now, The Pin-Ups has performed less than ten shows, but that does not mean that there haven’t been many memorable moments. Villagomez recalls a previous show in Rahway, New Jersey and describes it as a “nice, nice time.”
“The turnout was amazing,” Villagomez recounts. “It was everybody who I’ve ever cherished in my life who showed up. That was just a fulfilling moment because when I host, sometimes it’s scary. You feel like people aren’t going to show up, you know? It’s just that fear. But everyone showed up and there was just so much love that day.”
The Mother of the Mosh’s biggest priority for these shows is creating a safe environment for all of those performing and spectating.
“I love creating community and I love bringing people together, especially creating safe spaces for everybody to be able to be themselves and make new friends,” Villagomez said. “One of the highest honors I’ve had is have someone tell me that they felt the safest they’ve felt at a local venue, like ever.”
Villagomez at times feels like she is the “only Hispanic in the room” and describes the isolating experience of being a Hispanic woman in the art scene.
“There’s been big movements in getting more inclusivity in theater which is really cool. But lately, like around me, I just haven’t had a lot of other people, a lot of other Hispanic people,” Villagomez said.
Villagomez takes it as an opportunity to pave the way for other Hispanics into the music, art and theater world.
“It’s really important to me to be able to be that voice because sometimes there isn’t a voice and things become stereotyped, things don’t become the way they really are because nobody is able to really speak upon it from personal experience,” Villagomez said.
Villagomez describes Lin-Manuel Miranda as one of her inspirations, as he is a multifaceted talent and speaks up for Hispanic communities.
In terms of the future, Villagomez plans to make costuming a priority and work on children’s TV focusing on puppetry or “anything crafty of that sort.” She also plans to pursue production in the music field, own a record label or an event venue of her own.
Villagomez’s next event will be hosted in Montclair’s The Meatlocker this Halloween.