In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re revisiting some of our favorite interviews with killer artists from around the world. From their first time songwriting to how their foundational experiences shape their music, read up on their inspiring stories!
“I know the moment I realized I could be a musician, but not the moment I wanted to be one.
My musicality came later, but I realized I wanted to be a rapper when I was in fourth or fifth grade. I was a really shy kid. I still am, but when I was a kid I was one million times worse. I saw other kids on the bus rapping and they were battling each other with so much confidence — everyone was looking at them. I was writing poetry at the time, and I knew rapping wouldn’t be that much harder, so I went home and wrote my raps, came to the bus stop the next day and told them I wanted to rap. No one believed me. I probably hadn’t spoken a word up to them until that point. I did it and no one could believe it.” Full interview here.
“Most of my life, Iran has always had a negative connotation in America. With the recent election and Muslim Ban, I’ve become really passionate about bringing attention to my culture by preserving it with art and entertainment. In return, I hope it shows the American audience that we are people too, and we don’t have to have this political cloud over our heads. It also pushes me to go after my dreams harder. “ Full interview here.
“I’m from a mining village (Doncaster, Yorkshire), where it’s very rare to find an openly gay person on your street and very rare to find a female artist on your street, so when you put the two together, it was a bit weird. I’m a musician who’s a woman and gay.
I’ve never had any homophobic slurs thrown at me from crowds or the music community, as I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful musicians and people. It’s no longer an issue for me to be accepted in most places, but you still have lots of atrocities happening around the world. There are some countries I could visit where I would have to keep it kind of a secret that I’m a gay woman. That, as a musician who wants to tour the world and visit everyone, pisses me off a bit. It’s ridiculous. We still have a lot of steps to overcome. But, in the world I’ve experienced so far, the world has opened its arms to me.
For any LGBTQ+ artists who feel like they can’t express themselves through art and music, we have to open the door for them. I’ve got my hand on the door, so let’s open it.” Full interview here.
“Being black makes me proud. Being a woman openly in love with another woman makes me proud. Being a part of creating platforms for artists to share their gifts with the world makes me proud. Being an artist who helps others see the beauty in their journey makes me proud. Being a human who leads with love and authenticity makes me proud.” Full interview here.
“When I was cutting hair on the east coast, I would tell my clients I was going to quit my job and move to LA to explore my music career, but it sounded insane. I don’t blame people for thinking that sounded crazy. I had this feeling that this was my life and there was no 'more,' but I wanted 'more'. Music didn’t feel real to me to explore, but it was real. We’re the gatekeepers of the limitations we put on ourselves.” Full interview here.
“When I was in 3rd grade I used to take songs that I liked on the radio, and change the lyrics. In my mind, it felt like I was writing my own song. My first one was to the melody of 'My Boo' by Ghost Town DJs. It’s wild that that song had a resurgence in 2016, I was writing to it when I was a baby! From there I filled a notebook of lyrics over the years, not really paying any mind to it because it came so naturally. I’d write lyrics and draw lines (think patterns on a heart monitor) to remember the melody since I had no clue what musical notes even were! I never stopped writing, and I always loved that I drew what looked like heart beats all over my notebooks.” Full interview here.