Producer, Vocalist, Performer
July 18, 2016
How old are you?
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles.
How long have you been in New Orleans?
What brought you here?
She just kept haunting me. I had been here four times and the last two times I kept crying that I was leaving. I needed to get out of L.A. Being in New Orleans was the happiest I had felt in a long time.
How has the first six months been?
Hell. I love it though. I love hell. Burn me. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned so much about myself and there’s still so much more. This city is up and down and there’s no in between. I’m exhausted. It’s great though because everyone is so slow here compared to the city where I come from. You have that time to rest from all the intensity of just living here.
In what capacity would you say you are a part of the music community of NO?
I produce music. I play with noise and beats. I write. I sing. And then all that music becomes a part of a performance piece when I perform. I have two EPs I’ve released with some singles and I’m working on the third one now. There have been collaborations with the first EP and the second but I’m the captain of every ship. There is a lot of responsibility with that but I love it because I’m the boss.
Do you remember being told or taught anything growing up about the behavioral expectations of being girl?
I come from a really traditional conservative Latin family. Not only that, my parents are also part of a different generation. They were older when they had me and I was expected to be contained and that’s not who I am. The blessing of that though was my father, although he was prisoner to those ideas and that mentality, he was also fascinated with religion. We had all these goddesses in our house growing up that completely went against everything he expected of me and led to me thinking my own way. kept following my heart and trusting that they would trust me because they love me. It’s been a journey. I was constantly being told to contain myself and corset who I was naturally but I can’t. I won’t. And I did for a while but not anymore. I’m still working on it in ways. We all are.
Can you define sexism as it presents itself to you?
All I see when it’s presented to me are people imprisoned by a patriarchal idea that doesn’t actually exist.
Do you think now it’s perpetuated by men or the construct that is in place?
I believe in the construct for sure. I think there are men who fall prisoner and there are women who fall prisoner to that. I believe change starts with self-awareness and that allows me to start creating change. There’s a lot to be mad about. I face it all the fucking time. You can’t walk down the street in fucking peace. I want to be free. Free yourself. Free your fucking anger because that’s doesn’t do anything. At least for me it didn’t do anything. When I see it and I’m aware of it, I just breathe through and I tell myself, “Just keep fucking doing what you’re doing, girl. Just keep fucking doing it.” Because every women that was born before me that made me the woman I am, that sacrificed their lives to make me able to be what I am, would be completely dismissed if I just sat around and got angry and stopped doing what I was doing. I need to continue to free the females that come after me and to free the men that come after me too. We all need a little femininity in our lives right now.
How does being treated in a sexist way make you feel?
I think it’s funny. Whenever it happens, I have to laugh at it. Because I’ve been mad at it and it didn’t do shit. I’ve been sad about it and it didn’t do shit. I just laugh at it. I think everything’s so funny. They really don’t know. I could sit there and try to explain it to them because they really don’t know or understand so I have to laugh at it in order to see it and have perspective and not become prisoner of it. I’m constantly laughing at people, thinking “You fucking idiot. I’m not even going to put my energy into this. I’m going to go home and write a song and it’s going to be so fucking good and your girlfriend is going to be shaking her ass to it while she’s fucking you.” That’s it, that’s my power.
Do you always notice when individuals are acting in a sexist way?
I don’t go out of my way to focus on those things because then you attract more of it. As much sexism as I’ve seen in this business, I’ve also been blessed with working with males and females who have treated me like a human being which is the most important thing to me. Sexless, genderless, just two spirits creating. I’d rather focus on that and I notice that and be grateful for that.
Can you recall any specific occasions when you experienced sexist behavior against you?
Honestly, I don’t want to give that shit energy. I could tell you a slew of things but what matters to me is that I still sit in front of my computer and I make my beats and I write and I’m not afraid to release it. I’d rather focus personally on the creativity and the art of it than give those motherfuckers energy.
Do you react differently to subtle sexism and blatant sexism?
Blatant sexism hits me a harder because how do you not notice you’re doing this? I give a pass to subtle sexism. Not because it’s ok but because it’s one of those things that time will heal. It just fucking will. Shit doesn’t happen overnight especially changing the ways of patriarchy. It will not happen overnight. But if I feel any sort of threat, I just remove myself from the situation. It’s so important for you to instill power within yourself and a lot of times I think the big thing is manipulation. There’s a lot of manipulation in the music industry. “You need me,” “I can screw over your career,” “I can make you look bad.” You need to have so much power and trust so you can say, “Even if you burn my career, I’m gonna rise from those ashes and be something new.”
Are there any particular stereotypes of men or of women that just drive you insane?
I feel really bad for people who are so defined by the labels that they let society put on them. Human beings are so much deeper than that. We’re so powerful. We don’t recognize that half the time that our words are spells. So the shit that other people are saying is powerful but the shit you’re saying about yourself is even more powerful. Yes, you’re going to get shit because you’re a woman because of the world we live in but then start fucking using that power. All the martyrs that came before us? It’s our responsibility to just keep going. Be a martyr for the next generation.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The most important thing that I express through my art and through my performance is finding the individual. Just fucking do you. Be free. It’s so important for women and men to not become prisoners of their own mind. What patriarchy and men and patriarchal women are doing to women is always going to happen so it’s your responsibility to not let that shit fucking sway you and just keep going on your path. You’re freedom is so much. We’re all working on it. There’s so much shit embedded in me growing up the way I was raised and going to Catholic school but I’m never going to let it define me.