Brooke Candy: ' I Have A List Of Popstars Who Say They Aren’t Feminists. They Are The Most Irresponsible People On The Planet.'
The Debrief: The rapper/stripper/ex-addict certainly doesn't like to mince her words.
Brooke Candy is one of the most exciting pop artists treading the planet right now, a whirlwind of manic energy trapped in the smokin’ hot bod of a glamorous alien warrior; she has in her short life, packed in more than most. Wearing her Chola girl curls with pride (her last hair do was multi-coloured waist length braids, obvs), Brooke - yes, it’s her real name - has established herself with a fanbase who are attracted to her cartoonish, sexual gangster appearance, which has since caught the eye of fashion world makers such as Nicola Formichetti and Steven Klein. Brooke’s iconoclastic take on hiphop is born from her awakening - moving to San Francisco from LA, ‘our gay homeland,’ as she calls it. After hanging out with IRL lesbians and drag queens and eccentric members of the counterculture, her vision became clear; to unite the ostracized members of society under her great big freaky glittery wing. She’s signed to Sony and is currently working on her debut album with Sia who you’ll know for writing basically all the best pop songs around in the past few years, but her debut EP Opulence is available now on iTunes.
Hi Brooke. You’ve had a pretty exciting life so far [Brooke was a stripper, a wigga and a junkie, she blagged her way into art school and learned how to make music.] How are you finding being a pop star signed to a major label?
It’s exciting. It’s a journey. It’s everything I wanted and so now I’m experiencing it, it’s almost difficult to be present in the moment because it doesn’t feel real. I feel so lucky and what I’ve achieved is based on my hard work. And you know, I hope to help people. Which sounds cheesy, but I was reading this quote the other day, it said ‘it only takes on delusional person to start a revolution,’ so I guess I’m willing to be that delusional person. And now I have the tools to do it.
What’s been the hardest part of becoming part of the pop machine?
Machine is the right word. I met with the head of every label. I go off a lot of things, not just someone’s energy - what they’ve done in the past and who is on the rosta. I feel that the label I chose, Sony, understand what I’m trying to accomplish, so it doesn’t feel like I’m part of a machine, it feels like I’m driving the machine. It feels that way at least.
You’ve started to work with Nicola Formichetti and Steven Klein...
Nicola is amazing. I love him. He’s amazing and a genius. Did you know he’s a classically trained pianist? I went to his house, he played the piano for me, it was so beautiful. When it comes to his styling, I watch him work and fit models and put together the looks, there is no second thought. It doesn’t take more than a millisecond to look at something and know what he wants. I think that’s the key to someone who is successful I think. This industry is filled with snakes. And he is the kind of person who is kind hearted and protective and who came into my life, for good on many levels. He supports and protects me. But not just me, he is nurturing to lots of new talent that he believes in. And you don’t often see that. He brings light into what can be a dark place.
A lot of the outfits in the Opulence video look like they might be a bit uncomfortable though.
Oh my god. They are so uncomfortable and restraining. I have this whole new respect for Lady Gaga that I never had before, you can’t judge someone until you literally walk in their shoes and I literally walked in her shoes. They were SO confining. I couldn’t move my neck in my head piece. And it looked amazing on camera but the idea of this restraint and having to perform under it. It’s actually insane the amount of poise you have to have and sheer mental willpower - it was long days of shooting. When you’re performing it’s a different thing, but for that video.. It was so much. I had to tune it out and just go with it. I guess it teaches you something. Maybe it makes everything else seem so fucking easy.
So right now, are you just being the best pop star you can be?
For me, it’s not being on or off. I don’t feel like I’m playing a role. I feel like I’m just... me. No one’s asked me this before! I try and look at everything that is hard and that makes people weary, I try and look at it as a gift, as a challenge, something that’s making me stronger and a better performer. The hardest part is putting out work and not looking back.
How do you think that the message you want to put out has changed? It seems like you have something pivotal to say that you wanted to change the world with, how has it changed in the last year.
The message is the same but I don’t actually feel like my voice has gotten any bigger. Even though my platform has grown and will continue to, I won’t see any changes until the future. I feel like people think I’m an idiot because I want to do something. Right now, I would say that my platform is that of a newly signed artist. It’s not huge. Statistically if you have 500,000 twitter followers, 50,000 of those followers will listen to you. That’s a small army. 100 people can revolt. I feel like it pains me because I don’t see any change and it’s sad. But I know it will take time. It’s scary how we oppress people. Look at what year it is. We can watch the news and see what’s happening in the world or we can have our attention caught by some famous asshole in a red dress. And all I want to do in change that. It’s all a distraction. I don’t give a fuck. If me speaking out about it is going to make it harder for me to climb up the ladder then so what. But people need to wake up and see what is happening. People need to stop being walking zombies. I can’t get into it because I will break the phone. I feel the weight of the worlds sadness on my shoulders. Who cares who wore what at the Met Ball, it’s all fake bullshit. It’s a big fucking show.
So do you not feel conflicted when for example, you play a party a show at a party that is put on solely to get press attention?
I absolutely feel conflicted. But I have to do it. If you really want to enter into a system and change it then you have to follow the system and follow the rules until you penetrate the system until you have a voice and then you can change it. What I just told you is going to be in print and someone will read that. But we might not be talking if I hadn’t done that Diesel show. It is conflicting. And it does get to me. But at least I can go to bed and know I am voicing some opinion.
It is great. Particularly at the moment, there seems to be a few people who don’t want to be role models.
I have a list of pop-stars who say they aren’t feminists. They are the most irresponsible people on the planet. Music is the one thing that connects us all. Music alone can start a revolution. Music makes you use both sides of your brain. It’s a universal language. These pop-stars who say they are just doing it for themselves and they don’t want to be a role model should just go somewhere else to jerk off. With power comes responsibility. You’re given an amazing platform and you’re in an amazing job where you get to do things that most people don’t get to do and on top of that you should appreciate how powerful your voice is. It’s like people are afraid abut I don’t know what they are afraid of. I’m not afraid. You have to speak out about things that matter. But then I think, the more I speak out about things, am I going to be met with a moment of silence.
Follow Hanna on Twitter @HannaHanra
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