Nite Jewel is the alias of Los Angeles musician and multimedia artist Ramona Gonzalez, whose lo-fi, synth-based compositions filter '80s freestyle and electronic disco and early-'90s R&B through the haze of shoegaze and an experimental approach to recording. Born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley by musically inclined parents, Gonzalez studied philosophy at Occidental College. She remained involved in music throughout her studies, playing in a series of rock bands with her husband, Cole M. Grief-Neill (later a member of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti), creating ambient synth pieces for sound-based installation art, and eventually starting her solo career as Nite Jewel. Despite production help and occasional co-writing assistance from Grief-Neill and live reinforcement from Emily Jane, she records exclusively on a portable eight-track cassette recorder, building up her songs with layers of analog synths and drum machines before adding her ethereal vocals.
After a self-released six-song CD-R titled My CD, which caught the ear of New York's taste-making Other Records, and the What Did He Say 12" in 2008, Nite Jewel issued the full-length Good Evening through Human Ear Music.
In 2009, Nite Jewel's profile grew among the indie rock community with the release of the Want You Back 12" on Italians Do It Better, a self-released CD of demos called You F O, and two 7" singles. In 2010, she collaborated with Dâm-Funk on a single for Stones Throw and released a late summer EP, Am I Real?, on her own label Gloriette. 2011 saw Gonzalez busy with more collaborations. Various 7"s and the It Goes Through Your Head EP on Mexican Summer added to her discography, along with collaborations with sound artists Julia Holter and Jason Grier. Following this slew of tracks on various labels, Nite Jewel inked a deal with Secretly Canadian and began work on her least-murky set of recordings to date. The highly polished full-length, One Second of Love, arrived in March of 2012. The following year, Gonzalez worked with Bay Area rapper/producer Droop-E on the song "N the Traffic"; they expanded their collaboration as the duo AMTHYST, releasing the Euphoria EP in 2016. Gonzalez also returned with her third Nite Jewel album, Liquid Cool. Released on Gloriette, the album reflected the more independent, experimental side of her music. Later in 2016, she reunited with Dâm-Funk for the Nite-Funk EP, and worked with him again on the following year's Real High. A more pop-oriented set, the album also featured contributions from Grief-Neill, Droop-E, and Julia Holter. The companion EP Obsession, which featured alternate mixes and B-sides, arrived that year via Italians Do It Better. ~ K. Ross Hoffman