top of page

Richmond Fringe Fest: Grimalkin Records

Written by: Rian L. Moses

Richmond Fringe Fest celebrates the bold, curious, and risky work of performing artists locally and abroad. We were lucky enough to talk with one of the festival's after party hosts and Richmond’s own queer record label and arts nonprofit, Grimalkin. The record label's founder Nancy Grim Kells, who goes by Grim (they/them), also will be performing as Spartan Jet-Plex during the special evening. Let's dive in!

Q: What does Fringe Fest mean to you and how do you fit into it?

Celebrating and highlighting people working in the fringes is something Grimalkin has in common with the mission of the Richmond Fringe Fest and usually the people who work and create in the fringes are also often marginalized in various ways. I feel like Grimalkin being a part of the Fringe Fest is kismet and a perfect fit. What we’re doing and who we are as a collective is on the fringe, but we do hope to eventually make a positive impact on the music industry by creating alternative structures of support, especially for marginalized artists, in an effort to subvert and counter the current structures that exist within capitalism and the mainstream that put artists, especially marginalized artists, at the bottom or don’t even include or consider them at all.

Q: When guests attend your afterparty what do you hope they learn about Grimalkin Records and it's artists?

I believe people will learn about an amazing trans and queer-led nonprofit and collective that is based in mutual aid and that has already created support structures and a supportive community for and by people who have not had these supports previously, and we can do even more if we can expand the reach of our message and support to other like-minded people. If you are marginalized in any way, or are an ally or a creative working in the fringes, then you will be excited to learn about our work.

We are grateful to Carmel and Fringe Fest for including us and we hope you will come out to support Fringe Fest and our after party.

Our mission at Grimalkin is to mentor and support trans and queer musicians, particularly BIPOC and disabled artists, using an artist-centered holistic approach to break down barriers, create new systems and structures of support, and expand the reach of marginalized voices.

Grimalkin is transforming the music industry, our world, and documented history with artist-centered structures of support through education, mentoring and production services provided through our ever-growing international network of trans, queer, BIPOC, disabled, and neurodiverse creatives.

We provide trans, queer, BIPOC, disabled, and neurodiverse artists support and access towards living authentic, healthy and fulfilling lives through partnerships and connections with other individuals, collectives, organizations, and nonprofits.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designated as a public charity 509(a)(2).

We envision a world where dedicated artists, especially marginalized artists, can make a living wage and have access to resources that allow them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. We are creating new systems of support in an effort to set an example for new standards in music and art. View artists we’ve supported here.

Grimalkin was founded on the premise of marginalized artists supporting each other. We also believe art and music have immense healing powers and our work helps transform society’s perception that art and music has great value and is essential to our lives, well-being, and for the health and welfare of our community.

Grimalkin is not genre specific and our artists work within many different genres, often simultaneously, and one commonality is that our artists are experimenting and pushing the boundaries of music and the genres they are working within, and most of us would describe ourselves as underground artists.

While Grimalkin is Virginia and RIchmond-based and although we do support many Richmond and Virginia artists, we are an international collective and organization in that we work with, represent and support artists all over the world. We feel it is especially important to develop, understand, and promote an international trans and queer perspective within our organization and communities. The attacks, particularly on trans people, necessitates working collectively together and supporting each other. This is reflected in our artists, our collective, our board, and in the services and mutual aid work we do.

Spartan Jet-Plex of Grimalkin Records
Spartan Jet-Plex, photo by Mx. Bex

Q: How were the artists (Spartan Jet-Plex and x0teric) chosen for the festival after party performances?

It came down mainly to availability in conjunction with artists that are pushing the boundaries of music. All of our artists are doing that to some degree. We were invited to represent Grimalkin so we are planning a short presentation about our nonprofit for folks who come out to the after party on Sunday. With the time we were given and knowing that we wanted to make the most of this opportunity to present who Grimalkin is to folks who may not know us yet, we had enough time on the schedule for 2 performers in addition to the presentation about Grimalkin.

Since I am the founder with multiple marginalized identities that we support (trans, queer, disabled, and neurodivergent), I felt it made sense to perform as my solo project Spartan Jet-Plex. I am a self-taught artist and make experimental dark folk, as well as experimental ambient and production work. My live sets are intimate and I play stripped down versions of my songs. I have been striving to create an experience in my live sets that differs from my recordings, and I have been experimenting with how to create that. It’s an evolving process.

x0teric (aka 0) is making beautiful, dark and ambient vocal pieces. They create music completely made from manipulating, laying, and looping their vocals. Their music pushes the boundaries of music in extremely engaging and interesting ways. Seeing them create that within a live setting is always special and a one of a kind experience.

In addition, 0 is also someone who we've been working with since the very beginning of Grimalkin. They’ve been a long-time supporter and community and collective member. We have supported them in their previous projects several years ago. They took a hiatus during the pandemic and recently started getting back into creating music and performing again. We are very excited to see and support that. They have an incredible voice and spirit.

Lastly, both of us are also very different and yet experimental, and I feel that speaks to the eclecticness of the experimentation within music that you find in Grimalkin artists.

Q: Who is Spartan Jet-Plex and what are they trying to do or cultivate with their music?

"Music is therapy for me and creating music helps me process my life- past and present, and I believe that helps me continue to grow and develop as an artist and human. It allows me to honor and explore the darkness that is in all of us and to use it to create something positive, at least personally, and to share that with others. I often have a haunting and intimate aspect to my music that I am continuously developing and exploring, and I strive to present that in a unique way that differs, yet encompasses what I do in my recorded music. I am exploring how I can present or capture the essence of what is happening in my music recordings without replicating that in a live setting in order to present an engaging and unique performance every time I perform.

I have terrible stage fright and anxiety in addition to several other physical and mental health issues, and so although I have been making music for about 30 years, I only started playing out January 2019 through March 2020 and then again since April 2022, and so this is a relatively new thing for me and it’s been an evolving process in figuring out who I am and what I want to convey as a performer.

The one sentence description of my music that I often share is “I am cells inside a cell.” I feel like that captures a piece of who I am as an artist."

Q: Who is x0teric and what are they trying to do or cultivate with their music?

"I am a mouse or a fox or a leaf or the river or the ocean or the sunlight or the moonlight depending on the moment. I want to be a part of the creation of the new world(s) we so desperately need to create to ensure our collective survival and thriving. Music is a way for me to better discover and become my selves that can be stronger parts of that creation.

How can we support them?

If we could all slow down collectively and talk to each other, try to really see each other and see the bigger picture of every plant and animal and thing on earth being connected, I would feel very supported. Every action of yours will ripple outwards and I will feel that ripple in time."


Q: What can we see coming out of Grimalkin Records for 2023?

We have so many amazing releases coming out by various artists. We have applied for some grant funding to support our Grim Works services and workshops, and so in addition to hearing more incredible music this year, hopefully you will continue to see more events, mutual aid, skillshares, and our services developing this year. We also are planning our 2nd annual Grimalkin music fest later this year in October.

We are always looking to collaborate with like-minded creatives, business, and organizations. We have a mentoring and production network, and we encourage folks to reach out if they are interested in getting more involved.

You can learn more about our Grim Works services here and about releasing and joining our collective here and here. Check out more about our music and artists here and here. All of our events are here, and you can join our mailing list here.

All of this work takes a lot of time, energy, work, and persistence. While we can apply for grant funding now as a nonprofit, it’s been our grassroots support that has gotten us this far- not to mention there is a lot of gatekeeping with grants. We need support to keep going. Donations are tax deductible and you can donate here or join our Patreon or as a Bandcamp monthly subscriber. Becoming a monthly donor is one of the best ways to help us sustain this work.

Q: Final thoughts?

Thanks so much to you and everyone at HearRVA for talking to us and for the work you do to support artists in Richmond. We appreciate the support and help in getting out the message about what we do. Thank you again for this opportunity.

Buy a ticket to experience SUNDAY Afterparty With Grimalkin, April 16, 2023 at the Richmond Fringe Festival.


x0teric: (They have not made any socials yet for this project. It is new.)

Here is a link to their performance at our Grimmys this past December.

Spartan Jet-Plex:

Here is my performance at the Grimmys this past December.


Blog Author - Rian L. Moses: What's Up?! I'm one of the founders of HearRVA. Richmond, Virginia has been my home since 2006 and I'm still discovering new things. I'm a visual artist at heart and graduated from VCU in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art (major in video & animation/ minor in painting & printmaking). It feels great to use these skills on all the visuals you see coming out of HearRVA.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page