[S]hot by Rankin in the Hunger Studio, Brooke Candy’s video for N-A-S-T-Y is premiering exclusively on Hunger TV today. Featuring her characteristic visuals, the LA rapper has proved herself to be engaging, unapologetic and disarmingly honest. Once known for being the metallic clad bikini warrior to emerge out of the ocean with Grimes in 2012, she has embraced the hype and is now one of the US’ most challenging artists in her own right. We caught up with Brooke whilst she went out to buy vegan hot sauce to talk about how to make a good music video in 2016, reclaiming “slut” as a compliment and what will happen to the state of the world if Donald Trump gets into office.
Hey Brooke, how was shooting N-A-S-T-Y? What do you think makes a good music video?
It was some of the best energy on set I had ever had! What makes a good video? Er, positive energy, a natural flow of creativity, like the video that we shot.. that was just easy breezy. Just delightful. You can’t take it too seriously you know? And definitely animals too. A caretaker for the animals, a sick director, obviously. Proper costumes and weird costume, hair and make-up… Actually one of my strengths is being creative without having to break the bank. You know it doesn’t take a million dollars to make something visually enticing.
And a solid performance, that’s what it’s really about – you need to believe what you’re performing. That will always overshadow everything and it’s actually easier to do that with less. If you have a massive sound stage and a million dancers and all that fucking stupid hoopla, it just starts to feel all so unnecessary. A real performer doesn’t need anything apart from a fucking spotlight.
I believe in flipping all kinds of terminology on its head so call me a slut, I love it.
Cool. So tell us about the fagmob?
It started with just me and my best friends. We were all creative and we starting making art together. It started there but I think it turned into something more. It kind of became a name given to my fanbase, which I always thought was weird when an artist puts themselves above the people who enjoy the music by naming them. I always found that kind of condescending and strange but fagmob is just for anyone disenfranchised and feels like they don’t have an outlet.
The best kind of people.
Oh my god – the only kind of people that matter to me. I love everybody actually. But I really love the freaks.
You reclaimed the word slut very early on in your career with the song "Das Me", how do you feel if you’re called a slut now?
Funnily enough, I’m never really called a slut anymore but I welcome it. I have to own that, words only have as much power as you give them. I believe in flipping all kinds of terminology on its head so call me a slut, I love it.
And where’s the best place to smoke weed in LA?
Ooh, maybe Malibu? I’m with my best friend right now, I’ll ask him, we started fagmob together actually. Ok he’s saying his apartment, it’s in Koreatown and it doesn’t have a front doorknob so you can’t really get in or out. Failing that, maybe Santa Monica pier? You could smoke a joint on the ferris wheel.
Very cinematic. I was looking at your Tumblr today - bloodyguts - it’s pretty fun, do you have any relationship with the Tumblr community?
I did, my Tumblr was created one month after Tumblr launched. I’ve had it so fucking long and I’ve actually met a lot of my favourite creative collaborators on there. I’m an OG motherfucking Tumblr user, but now I feel like I work best when I’m logged out of the matrix. All that stuff can cloud my creative inspiration, I would rather exist in a bubble without that.
I encourage everyone to look outside of themselves because that is where we grow.
Really? That’s interesting, I thought of you as being very connected to internet culture.
I actually don’t use the internet….You’re making me think about it now! I used it as a tool initially to launch this whole project and I noticed how it started to make me feel kind of sad. Maybe what I was doing wasn’t up to par, or wasn’t enough, and I think it clouded my creative judgement so I just logged out. I don’t use Facebook. I would suggest everyone do the same.
Speaking of your peers is there anybody who is exciting you? Anybody you would want to work with?
I’d love to collaborate with someone like Mykki Blanco, he makes you question the gender normalcy and is a brilliant lyricist. Woodkid is a genius…a brilliant composer and visual artist. I’ve already been awarded the opportunity to collaborate with Sia and that was amazing. Twigs is interesting too, her visual content is beautiful and she is a sick dancer. I encourage everyone to look outside themselves and get uncomfortable because that discomfort is where we grow.
I think there is lot of fear holding people back. My generation is the fear generation. We are controlled and consumed by fear. It’s kind of frustrating.
I think that’s something you do really well, making people uncomfortable.
That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.
My generation is the fear generation. We are controlled and consumed by fear.
America, from UK’s perspective seems politically fucked up right now, is there anything specifically concerning you?
It feels pretty surreal right now honestly, with what’s happening here. Until it’s all said and done it won’t have hit me or anyone else. I’m always going to do what I want to do regardless of what’s happening. I think it is important, this is the first election in my lifetime where I’ve paid attention, normally it just feels very out of my hands.
The powers that be decide all of what happens long before it’s ever presented to us. For some reason I feel like this election is a little different. I feel like it’s good to pay attention but not to be fully consumed by it, what’s going to happen will happen and the universe is going to do what it’s gong to do.
It will be interesting to see what kind of art is made when we get over the hump, when people start to revolt. A revolution needs to happen, if Donald Trump gets into office that will be the start of it. Boom. He’s in office and the American public finally have a reason to fucking revolt. What did Thomas Jefferson say? Every 20 years, in order to maintain freedom, the American public needs to riot, needs to revolt and there needs to be a revolution. I think what’s happening right now could lead us toward that and towards an artistic and intellectual revolution.
I hope so and that's a great quote. What are you going to do now?
I’m going to be healthy and work out, maybe go to echo park, maybe go on a hike. You?
I’m alone in my office.
Are you naked? That’s always been one of my biggest fantasies…