So tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I'm 19 years old. I'm from the suburban area of Portland and I lived there until I was 18 when I moved to New York. I go to NYU Tisch and I think going there has given me a lot of performative tools and it also taught me a lot about the kind of art that I don't want to make. I'm an Afrolatinx, trans-masc nonbinary, AFAB and the art world doesn't cater to me. I think that growing up in Oregon, where there's like no black community at all, made me hate how I looked and who I was and who my family is and I acted like an ugly brat. I'm trying to kill my old habits of automatically assuming that my voice is not equal to the one of my cis-gendered white neighbours. I got really deep into the underground punk music scene in Portland and that was awesome at the time but ONLY white cis-men were playing shows. I used to be in a femme- punk band called Cheddar Biscuit, and then the Midriffs, and NOBODY would let us play! We played two shows I think, and people expected us to not know how to make music or how to set up. I try to be really unapologetic about my blackness, my transness, and my presenting female body, and that really feeds into my music and inspires my art.
How would you describe your work?
Everything that I make is connected in some way. I like to think that all of my art exists in its own world in my subconscious and when I put it into the world it feels like it's just a copy of it's truth. It's just a freeze frame of what it really is because in my head it will always be growing. I've a lot of dance training and I look at my other mediums of art through a movement/moving perspective. I make music, visual art, and am starting to write plays and films. My music is kind of experimental bedroom -pop, but I've been writing more punk songs because I've a lot of things to scream about right now. My visual art is a lot more personal and less performative, and I choose when and when not to show people (instagram) what visual pieces I'm working on. I think that there's an art in creating something and not showing it to anybody while social media is so hot. But, my pieces are usually directly related to race and/or gender and are self- contemplative.
Where do your influences come from?
SO MANY DIFFERENT PLACES WOW! I'm really inspired by Yoko Ono right now and by Claude Cahun because their work is very sentimental and packed full of importance but isn't super in your face, which I love. It feels honest. I'm also very inspired by Vaginal Davis, who's a black trans punk singer, visual artist, and performance artist, and I would love to see myself following her path of being critical of my communities while also celebrating them and trying to help get more POC and Queer voices heard! I'm also very influenced by whatever I'm learning at school, I try to only take classes that inspire me and that I can bring into my art.
Could you tell us a bit about your recent work/projects?
I just finished my new album 'DO I LOOK LIKE A CIS GIRL' today!! I don't know when I'm dropping it, but probably soon! I made it when I went home to see my parents in Oregon. I had 3 gigs in Portland, and the two that I did end up playing made me so angry. The white cis men where TRULY disrespectful and assumed that I couldn't play music, or set up my own equipment. BUT THEY WERE WRONG THIS TIME and they were truly, genuinely, surprised when I played killer sets. The cis men liked it would I would scream about their white cis shenanigans because it gave them a reason to mosh and punch femmes, which also made me upset. My new album is really about transformation for me. It's about coming into who I am as a very strong and self aware Afrolatinx trans-person, while being sentimental and grateful that love and hurt do exist. I also made a film the other day with two of my friends about how when someone you love leaves your life, they become a ghost even though they still exist in the world. It's called 'Mourning Dance'.
What is your personal philosophy in regards to making music?
To be able to have a message and creativity good enough to produce a beautiful song, even if you don't have the skills or money to afford it. I believe that anybody can make music, and everybody should! It's the best outlet for emotion and helps you trace out how your'e feeling and what you're experiencing. Art should be accessible to everybody, it shouldn't matter how much money you have, if you have the free time, if you feel like art is 'for you' or not. I hate that Capitalism makes it so that art is really only accessible for rich white cis people, especially men.
How do you integrate this in regards to your work?
I don't have any fancy equipment and everything that I do could be done by anybody, the only thing that makes my music individual is my creativity and my message. I record my music on my bedroom floor using the voice memos app on my iphone, and I can't afford a music software so I use the demo version of FuityLoops, where I can't save any of my work. All of my songs are lo-fi and I can't spend a lot of time editing them.. I just try to get creative!
What projects are you working on/looking forward to doing in the future?
I'm writing my first play right now! It's called Big Balloons and Body Violence and it's a piece that uses lots of dramatic imagery and noise to explore how fetishization, exploitation, and power dynamics between the oppressed and non-ooppressed are violent. I'm really hoping to get to put it up somewhere soon, and explore directing for the first time but we'll see!