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Rapper, visual artist, chameleon, shape-shifter – Brooke Candy is all of these and more. MC caught up with her in Berlin, for the launch of her second MAC collaboration….
Anita Bhagwandas: You’ve got a real mix of styles – what’s inspiring you visually at the moment?
Brooke Candy: Surrealism – that’s always a factor. I’m inspired by cyber punk but there’s always an element of punk rock with anything I do. That’s my spirit. I like the idea of mixing surrealism and a grittier androgynous punk element with really classic beauty like an old Hollywood glamour. I like to fuse.
A: Obviously your outfits are incredible! What’s your thought process when you get ready?
B: Oh my god, this is the hardest question. I just take inspiration from really strange places. I was just talking to somebody who asked if seeing images so rapidly on Instagram affects my creative concepts. It does, so I’m now logged off social media and taking inspiration from things that I come into contact with in everyday life instead.
A: Coming of social media is a big move!
B: Yeah it is. I’ll do a snap chat if I’m working but I won’t use anything else. And if I’m not working then I won’t use snap chat. Social media made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough. It made me feel like I was missing out on something and I didn’t feel present. I think being present and being grateful for the present are the keys to being blissful and happy.
A: What did you grow up listening to?
B: I’ve always been into music, ever since like high school! I was a little weirdo. I was into emo and I loved Taking Back Sunday! I had a real look and it was purple with black nail varnish on and plugs. (laughs)
A: Who do you look up to musically?
B: Michael Jackson for sure. Everything about him works – he’s an alien, the precision, the execution I mean all of it is mesmerizing and otherworldly. Also L7 and Wendy O Williams. I love Female punk rockers – that’s my spirit. I also like classical, I like Philip Glass, Maria Callass. I like all music really.
A: What have been the most important things you’ve learned from working with people like Grimes, and SIA?
B: Watching someone like Grimes or SIA work is so cool. They are so in control of everything and they really care about what they are creating and sharing with the world. Like, Grimes edits her videos, she directs them, she produces the music, and she also writes the melodies and sings. She’s doing it all, so to me that is a real artist and the artist I’ve always wanted to be – not a puppet. I think own your individuality and take charge of your art.
A: Ah, individuality! So what are your thoughts on the modern state of beauty and the whole super airbrushed look?
B: It’s like the standard now, the Kim Kardashian standard. I just think that it’s slightly depressing. Women need to embrace their individuality, uniqueness and eccentricity. There’s beauty in imperfection. I think if we can embrace that, it would be so powerful. I think the Kardashians are beautiful in their own way too, it’s just whatever you have to do to make yourself happy is fine – as long as you are a good person.
A: So what’s your beauty routine like right now?
B: Generally, I don’t wear much makeup. I will just do a little bit of lip balm, a little bit of mascara. I mean I am so intense when I’m performing that I need the balance, I need to strip it all off. I think I would lose my shit otherwise. That’s why I like the eye glosses in the range, because they are simple for me. You can wear it on your lips, on your eyes and a little bit on your cheeks for a little sheer contour. And I like bleached eyebrows. I am obsessed with androgyny – it challenges the idea of femininity.
A: If there was something you could pass on to the younger generation of girls what would you say?
B: You are perfect as you are. You have everything that you need already within you to be happy and to find peace. I think we need to embrace our bodies. We need to practice self-care and self-love. And if you’re weird and you’re a freak then that’s fucking cool. Are you kidding me – like, what would the planet be without the weirdo’s? I stand for the freaks.
A: You mentioned self care, what kind of things do you do personally?
B: I meditate everyday. But you can go for a walk in the park, and that’s mindful meditation. I practice yoga; I’m really healthy with what I put in my body. I have a vegan diet. I practice kindness really; I just want to project that. That’s the most important thing.
A: You’ve done these two amazing collaborations with MAC – who would be your dream MAC collaboration buddy?
B: Salvador Dali. Or like, MAC Brook Kemp or Stanley Kubrick. But definitely Dali!
The MAC Brooke Candy collection is out from May 2016….without Dali.