It’s a rare, rainy November day in Los Angeles, and Mija and GG Magree of the duo So Tuff So Cute are in their element. “I love this shit,” says GG, referring both to the rain and to the eclipse that occurred that morning. “Our house is so witchy and cozy so we’re literally like …” “Thriving,” Mija interjects. Mija and GG–both in sweats–sit side-by-side in matching upholstered chairs with a floor to ceiling Monstera plant peeking out behind them. “We moved in together a year ago,” says Mija. “Basically the same time as we started So Tuff So Cute.”
“We were like, ‘let’s move in together and work together and have a joint bank account and basically be each other’s wives,” GG chimes in playfully.
The vibe is warm, welcoming, and soft–a balanced backdrop to their energetic banter and a stark juxtaposition to their LOUD and purposely chaotic music. Described aptly on their Twitter as “pussy power basically the spice girls of edm” accompanied by a profile picture of the duo dressed in pink with GG licking a matching chainsaw and Mija holding a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire–So Tuff So Cute is Mija and GG’s safe place to make a lot of noise.
“We’re all about that riot girl shit,” says GG. “Chaos is fun.”
“Chaos IS fun,” Mija agrees.
“We’re just taking back that femme power, you know?” says GG.
“Call me a slut and now I’m ratchet,” Mija quotes the lyrics of their latest release “Death Wish,” matter-of-factly. “Like fuck it, what are you gonna do?”
“The Devil's daughter's psychopathic,” GG chimes in to finish the line.
‘“It has some highly toxic lyrics, but it was on purpose. All of our songs are kind of mad inappropriate and funny like that,” says Mija.
Sporting cheerleader outfits adorned with varsity letters “D-A-D-D-Y,” holding pink axes stained with fake blood in the “Death Wish” music video, GG and Mija scream-sing the song’s hook “my pussy is your death wish,” with complete ownership. It’s over-the-top and unapologetic, and completely intentional. Neither Mija or GG are unfamiliar with the paradoxes of pressures and the boxes female artists are so often asked to fit, and STSC is their way of rebelling against it. GG recalls being told by a former manager not to “wear skimpy clothes” if she wanted to be taken seriously–among other restrictions including not singing about love, sex, or her personal experiences. “I abided by it for so long, and then I cut that and turned into my absolute self. I was like holy fuck, I have never felt more free in my entire fucking life.” The liberated energy is unmistakable, and it’s what makes STSC so electric. It’s real, like an inner power manifesting itself through GG and Mija’s outward expression, as a unified front. “We have both watched each other become the women that we are today,” says GG. “I’ve watched her from the sideline blossom into who she is today, and that empowers the fuck out of me.”
In addition to STSC, both Mija and GG have successful solo artist projects and are known internationally for their careers as edm DJs having played festivals like Tomorrowland, Coachella, ULTRA, and Electric Zoo. GG, whose dad owned clubs in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, started throwing raves in college and eventually taught herself to DJ, landing her first gig playing nightly at a local pub. She moved to the US five years ago, where she’s found success not only as a DJ, but as a songwriter and recording artist, too. GG cites her openness and willingness to trust the process for getting her where she is today, but Mija wants her to take a little more credit. “GG inspires the fuck out of me. I feel like we have similar paths, but we have different areas we flourish in,” says Mija. “When I see her grinding…her work ethic is so fucking insane, and it’s so inspiring to me.” Mija, who grew up in Phoenix, Arizona started going to raves when she was 15–“illegal warehouse stuff,” she says–and eventually started throwing her own. With too much liability and not enough payout, she decided to try her hand at DJing, booking gigs immediately. “I still have all my old CDs,” says Mija. “My CDs are fire.”
By 2017, Mija and GG were both playing festivals and ran into each other at Electric Zoo. “It was magic, we became best friends that night. GG was like, ‘do you want to come in my trailer and play dress up,’ and I’m like, ‘ok,” says Mija. “We put on these matching orange jumpsuits and matching pigtails on top of our head and then proceeded to cause absolute havoc at the festival.” Their agent, who they happened to share, made a note of the chemistry and booked them on a tour in China together where their friendship flourished. “We had separate rooms but obviously stayed in the same room every night,” says GG.
“Watching Mary Kate and Ashley movies,” Mija interjects.
“And eating pasta in bed and hanging out,” GG adds.
“Not partying mind you,” says Mija.
“Most DJs are like ‘let’s go out and rage,” says GG. “And we’re like …”
“Let's do face masks.” Mija finishes her sentence. They both smile.
Eventually, they couldn’t keep playing the same shows due to radius clauses, so they created STSC instead. That way, they could perform together.
Choosing the name So Tuff So Cute as a way to encapsulate their individual identities as well as their mutual persona (‘So Tuff’ is GG and ‘So Cute’ is Mija–though “everyone thinks it’s the opposite because of the blonde hair,” GG points out), the secret sauce is in the name. Mija and GG are each other’s complimentary balance. “We have the yin to each other’s yang,” says GG. “And that’s such a rarity.”
Making a habit of pointing out each other’s strengths, GG notes how generally creative Mija is–who has an extensive shopify with original paintings and clothes for sale. “Mija makes all our clothes,” says GG proudly. “Wanna see?” says Mija before holding up a black t-shirt with ‘sex, drugs, and STSC’ on the front. And while discussing their writing process, Mija points out how well connected GG is in the LA music scene. They both say each other is the better writer, and regardless of who’s right, it’s clear their flow is effortless.
GG eggs Mija on to talk about her solo project and how well it does in web3–Mija was recently #1 on Sound trending for 30 days straight with her experimental and introspective drops from her upcoming album. “She sells out every drop in less than a minute,” GG says. Mija is more concerned with sharing that her Spinamp playlist went to #1. “I wanted to put out my whole album, so I could listen to it on Spinamp, because I'm very bullish on Spinamp,” says Mija.
Mija and GG both stress their emphasis on community in their web3 strategy and particularly feel that a lower price point on their STSC editions is conducive to their give-more-than-you-take philosophy. “All of our drops are definitely cheaper than everyone else's,” Mija says regarding the STSC drops that have so far included “Death Wish,” and “Break Stuff” on Sound (ETH) and their music video for “Death Wish” on Glass (their first experiment with SOL). They credit friends and supporters like Cooper Turley and Afterparty (who booked STSC for their first web3 performance in Vegas) and the importance of reciprocity. “Every time we do a drop we buy someone else's drop. Simple as that,” says Mija. “Don't take more than you give in the community, and that’s kind of the ethos we’re been doing with So Tuff So Cute.”
Another tenant of STSC’s web3 playbook–collect your own NFTs. “Buy your own drops,” says Mija. “I swept my own floors a few months ago. I made a lot of ETH dropping a song every single night, so I was like ‘I’m gonna take 1 ETH and sweep all my floors. Feed the bots; buy back stuff from your collectors; make them a little bit of money and increase the value of your own shit. Own your shit and be proud of it.”
GG and Mija are candid about some of their less positive experiences in web3, too, like their first time at NFTNYC where they encountered a lot of “white dudes” who didn’t give them the warmest welcome. “No one was taking us seriously,” says Mija. “They were looking at us like ‘whose girlfriend are you?’” says GG.
In true STSC form, the experience only fueled them to turn up the volume. “It’s funny because we realized there’s a hole in the market, and we kind of love a challenge, so we were like ‘ooo challenge fucking accepted,’” says GG.
Having sold out every drop thus far, their approach seems to be working. While their brand is highly curated with a cohesive and flawlessly executed brand aesthetic and distinct sound, STSC remains raw, rule-bending, and lawless. It’s a perfect match for web3. Experimenting is part of the fun for them, and there’s a freedom and confidence they exude that attracts a loyal audience. “In web2, a brand new project is kind of harder to get eyes on sometimes. I don't know how to explain it, but web3 likes STSC, and I like it,” Mija says with a thumbs up.
Discussing the subjectivity and risks, their candor–again–is refreshing. “Nothing is objectively correct or incorrect,” says Mija. “It’s scary. It’s a brand new thing, and nobody knows what’s going to happen.” And for them, maybe all the more reason to go for it. “We love it,” says GG. “It’s so fun.” And while they’re at it, they want to make space not just for themselves, but for everyone. Noting “the structures and systems in place constantly pinning people against each other,” STSC wants to build a world where abundance reigns. “There is no competition. We want everybody to win. Everybody can win in their own unique way. Everybody has something to offer,” says Mija. “Even as women, it’s like, there’s enough cake for fucking everyone,” says GG.
With their upcoming release “Reverse Cowgirl”–due early 2023–they hope everyone can get their piece. A properly on brand pop country punk song–purposefully irreverent, in-your-face, and sexually empowered–STSC continues to create with abandon. Fortified by each other, Mija and GG don’t plan to back down anytime soon. “We’re always trying to amplify each other,” says Mija. “Essentially what we’re trying to do is amplify everyone, so they can express how they feel without being afraid or being shunned.”
“We spent so many years as up-and-coming artists dealing with, ‘oh you only got there because you did a song with that dude,’ or ‘you toured with that guy,’ or whatever it is,” says GG.
“It only perpetuates being afraid of not being taken seriously…having to play that game,” says Mija. “All we’re trying to do is set a good example for people who have experienced the same type of things and give them their power back.”
“Free expression baby,” says GG.
They both sound like they’re just getting started.