Locals Only: Songstress Irene Diaz Shares Her L.A. Picks

Photo via Irene Diaz

Singer-songwriter Irene Diaz began her musical career like most L.A. musicians do playing at coffee shops and local venues, but it did not take long for the Highland Park native to catch media attention. While Irene began performing her soulful music in late 2011, by early 2012 she’d begun to catch the attention of music blogs with her plaintive, emotional vocal chops. Since then, recognition for Irene’s romantic, bluesy music has only grown. With an EP and various musical performances including SXSW and the 2013 LAMC under her belt, the singer is now working on her first full-length album. We caught up with her to see how she spends her time in her native L.A.

Tell us what you do?
I am a singer-songwriter and musician.

How does L.A. inspire your work?
I’ve spent some time watching old film noir movies that were set in Los Angeles and I’ve used that as inspiration for posters/artwork and videos… and even my song titles.

Describe the ideal night out in L.A.?
At home with my boo, a home cooked meal, and renting movies.

What local bands/DJs should we have in our radar right now? Why?
Haim, I love their catchy songs and stage presence!

What are the best venues for live music?
I’d have to say Room 5 in Hollywood is a great listening room for singer songwriters to play, they have great sound.

What are the best venues to go out dancing?
For me, it’s my living room since I don’t go out dancing.

Best Latin place to get hangover food?
I don’t drink so I never get hangovers, but I enjoy eating at Las Cazuelas.

Go-to restaurant?
Manifesto Cafe.

Hidden Gem?
I don’t know if it’s a hidden gem, but I love walking up to Debs Park and looking at the view of downtown LA or watching the sunset.

Favorite local gallery?
Manifesto Cafe, they have local artists put up their work in the cafe and my partner Carolyn has her work up there right now.

Favorite local artist?
Moses Sumney.