Hey Nomad Kitties,

This is a continuation of our Mexico series in preparation for the release of the Death Is A Business Album: “Papaya.”

Sonia Erika and Coach Steph Z

On this warm sunny afternoon, Coach Steph Z and Sonia Erika smoked some weed, poured some rose tea, and had a psychedelic conversation about the album art for “Papaya.”

There is an audio version of this if you would like to sit back and listen while you enjoy a spliff. Otherwise, enjoy a summary of this lovely conversation.

Nomad Kitties Podcast, Episode 5

Want to access the complete piece, travel guide, contacts, and gallery? Join our patreon, help us get artists paid. Full gallery is available just for #nomadkitties, thank you for supporting this journey.

Coach Steph Z


Hey, everybody. How are you? My name is Steph. I am a life coach. I am a traveler. I am the Litty Committee Director for Death Is A Business. We are a traveling band. We are #NomadKitties. I bring energy. I make sure everyone is taking care of themselves.

Today we are interviewing the amazing @fruits.of.revolt AKA Sonia Erika, an amazing artist who I’ve had the amazing experience of traveling with. We are going to talk about the new Death Is A Business album, “Papaya” coming out October 20th. I’m feeling excited. Tell us more about the album. When did you start making this album?


It has taken us two years to put out this album, and since then we have been to three different countries: Mexico, Peru, Brazil. However, all the music on this album was recorded in Mexico. That is why we also call “Papaya” the Mexico album. The music we recorded in Peru and Brazil will take a few more years before it’s ready for release.

And you were there Steph! That’s why you are also on the album artwork.


I was going to say I was put onto eating papaya by you because I used to think “papaya tastes like puke.” And then I thought I was a part of that population that just perceives papaya tasting like puke but by the end of this album process, I was requesting papaya for breakfast!

We ate papaya everyday for breakfast. I love that ritual about us. I was allowed to have a relationship with papaya because I broke out of my ideas of papaya and I was pushed. And I appreciate that and I love it. And it’s so good for me personally in my body, just what I need.

And I definitely think that intentionality is important in what you’re doing. That process of two years, the gap that you were talking about, it’s intentionality.

“Papaya” Single Art


Well, it’s hard. I love what you’re saying about intentionality because it is hard to maintain that consistency and bigger vision and stick to that production. How I see it sometimes is like giving birth: a baby that takes nine months to come out, yeah? And then it’s here! It’s born into the world. This project took two years to complete.

You know when you’re having a phone call and there’s a lag? There’s a lag in our creation process. We started recording the album in Mexico two years ago, and it’s only now that this album is coming out. It takes a very long process of fermentation and reflection to see: now that we’ve produced, how do we put it out?


Why did you choose the name Papaya?


We saw this fruit everywhere over the past two years: we went to Mexico, Peru and Brazil. We did think about a few other album names, but when it came down to it, this fruit has been so present in our journey.


What inspired the art?


We started developing the artwork while in Brazil. By the time we were preparing to launch this album, we were in Brazil and what really inspired “Papaya” was a beautiful image that I think I’ve shown you before.

At the time we were staying in this beautiful beach town, probably my favorite in Brazil, Imbassai.

Portrait of Oshun, Imbassai Brazil, Artist Unknown

I won’t say too much about it now because I have to save some magic for when we release the Brazil project. But I saw this painting that mesmerized me. I had no idea who she was, her figure was drenched in yellow sunlight. Her delicious curvaceous body came out of a body of water, surrounded by delicious fruit, including papaya. I brought several people to see this painting, and you just have to see it. I’m going to share it with people. Because that just really gave me so much life.

So that inspired a photoshoot of a beautiful papaya with these local flowers, all from that region of Brazil in a basket similar to the painting.

That was going to be used in the video for the hit single “Papaya”, the title track of the Papaya album. But it is not the artwork for the album. We will not be using it for the single, we chose to use the album art for the single. But, you will see its connection in the music video. We ended up making a lot of the music video footage from the creation of this fruit basket. <3 <3 <3 that comes out when the album drops.


So then who created the album cover art?


We chose an artist. We originally wanted to work with @Xeroine.Illustration, who has made all the artwork for our past releases. She’s made “Mother Earth,” “Make Love” and “Golden Boy.” They are all amazing. She’s so fucking fire. And I’m so happy we were able to come together, make these beautiful fucking paintings. So fucking dope.

“Make Love” Art Work

Unfortunately, artist burnout is real and she was no longer taking commissions from people, which I understand because there needs to be a balance. We need to also just do art because we want to do it. Not for other people. So I appreciate her wanting to protect her inner child and her energy, and communicating.

So when that happened, we said, Okay, if it’s not going to be Yessica, who is it going to be? And it ended up being @Cabin7originals. I don’t even know how I found her work, but I loved it. Do you want to describe her work?


I love it, it’s dope psychedelic imagery. You are chilling by the beach with planets around, and it’s dope, the perspective of it. It’s cartoony, it’s fun. It gives me energy. It’s sexy, it’s got cute scenarios. You’re looking at yourself.


Yeah, I loved her showcase of gentleness and femininity. And I love that she draws people of color, women of color. So that’s why we chose @Cabin7originals. We worked together with her over a series of weeks to understand what was going to be shown in this image.

If you see the artwork, you will see pyramids, you’re in a forest, but it’s nighttime, you see the moon surrounded by stars, and of course you see the fruit, papaya on the ground. We chose night time because of the moon, it has a very strong presence in our journey. The pyramids represent Mexico’s ancient indigenous culture which is something that really influenced songs on the album like “Make Love.” That’s the only song on the album that’s been released.

Catalina, Co-founder of Wa’haka Gallery

“Make Love” was totally influenced by an indigenous community during our travels, Teotitlan del Valle. Someone from that community, Catalina, actually speaks a poem on the album version of the song. If you are curious and would like to adventure there, we have released episodes all about Teotitlan Del Valle as part of our “Mexico Series” you can check it out on the band website.


Yes, “Make Love” is one of my favorite songs. My favorite part of the song is your rapping to it, you know, “Una fulana, sin lana… cuanto cobras,” talking about artisans getting ripped off. What inspired that?


It was crazy for me to go back to Mexico for the first time after 21 years, after so many

people have been talking all this shit in the media, like:

“build a wall”

”Mexico’s bringing criminals”

“y’all need papers”

“y’all need a number”

When I finally went there, and saw Mexico for what it was, I was like:

“LOL. Y’all [ AMERICANS] need papers.”

What a fucking beautiful place. Magic, you know, I really felt the magic. I felt how beautiful and precious and sacred Mexico is. Instead of this other narrative that I had been fed my whole life, I shed the shame about who I was.

Zeus (Papa) connecting with his siblings after 21 years.

And I don’t want to promote it too much, or I don’t want to promote it in a way that makes people just move to Mexico because what’s happening is unintentional gentrification.

That’s what shocked me. I saw whole neighborhoods that were American neighborhoods, rich neighborhoods, neighborhoods where you could see the stolen wealth. There is a neighborhood called Polanco where they don’t even charge in Mexican Pesos. They charge in dollars.




Yeah. And so this is weird. So many beautiful neighborhoods that are just

colonies of—I don’t want to say white people because whiteness is a construct, but American people.


Yeah. American expats. When we travel, there’s a lot of those.


And then what’s even crazier to me is that my family and I waited our whole lives to have papers.

21 years.

But then there are people that are renouncing their citizenship. Really?

Maybe I don’t need this American citizenship.


But you don’t know until you go, right? And until we see this other existence.


Yes, these feelings are what inspired the album “Papaya.”

I think my papers are what helped us become a “Nomadic Band.”

We decided to record with Mexican musicians because we wanted to capture a little piece of Mexico, we wanted to bridge the gaps. We hope you all will love it. 


Thank you so much!

I think this is such a beautiful journey, I love the album.

It comes out October 20th, about a month from now. Enjoy the content we will be putting out until then!

Want to access the complete piece, travel guide, contacts, and gallery? Join our patreon, help us get artists paid. #nomadkitties, thank you for supporting this journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *