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Ultraista makes a debut

"Multimedia trio" Ultraista Credit: "Multimedia trio" Ultraista is performing its first NYC show.

Music fans may not recognize the names Nigel Godrich and Joey Waronker, but they've almost surely heard their work.

Godrich is Radiohead's longtime producer, and Waronker has played drums for everyone from Beck to Paul McCartney.

This week, the two play their first New York show with Ultraista, a beat-driven electro-pop trio they formed with singer Laura Bettinson. amNY talked with her.

How did you get to know Nigel and Joey? I met the guys a few years ago when I was in college in London. They had made a lot of rhythmic tracks and were looking for a singer. ... I met them through mutual friends. Nigel didn't want a traditional singer. He was looking for someone who would bring more to the table.

Is it daunting performing with people who have such long resumes? I didn't find it daunting because I had been performing in my own world and was very comfortable with the artist I'd become. I knew I could only bring what I had and they'd either go for it or they wouldn't. I also didn't grow up listening to Radiohead. I was slightly too young for them.

You've described Ultraista as a multimedia trio. Why? Because we make all our videos ourselves. During the whole process, we were thinking about how we want it to look and be received. We wanted the visuals to be as strong as the music.

Is it challenging to reproduce these songs live? We're all doing a hell of a lot. Joey is keeping the rhythm on drums and triggering samples. I'm doing vocal looping and sampling and building harmonies and playing some keys. Nigel plays keys and synths.


If you go: Ultraista is at (Le) Poisson Rouge Wednesday at 9 p.m., 158 Bleecker St., 212-505-3474, $15.

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