RECLAIMING AUSTRALIAN HIP HOP: MISS BLANKS
An urgently needed presence in Australia’s music industry, Miss Blanks is somewhat of a saviour. Her sexual freedom and uninhibited demands are well perpetuated through her rhymes bringing a bazooka approach to her local predominantly white-straight-male hip hop community. She takes the industry by the horns and proudly brings visibility to the bodies and voices of trans women of colour. Before she graces our Auckland city, we got the chance to have a chat with the Brisbane artist about sexual liberty through music, snagging a spot on the Brisbane FOMO line-up and so much more.
Who is Miss Blanks and what was the inspiration behind the name?
I’m your everyday girl - gentle, warm, strong, passionate, vulnerable, militant, unapologetic, smart, and raw. I’m just really ~that~ bitch.
Your lyrics have a heavy focus on sexual liberation. Why do you think many Australasian artists shy away from being open and sexually explicit like many overseas artists who are so strongly supported here?
I think Australia is still incredibly conservative and sexist. We hear male artists quite a lot sexualising and exoticising womens bodies. However, for a woman/femme to talk about sex, her body, and reclaiming her/their space, having agency and autonomy, it’s all of a sudden a huge issue - it goes against the status quo. That’s why we don’t hear many Women/Femmes being open and sexually explicit. I also think it’s wild because you have OG artists that were pushing for women’s rights in their music before it was ever ‘trendy’ or seen as ‘woke’. There’s Lil Kim, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Remy Ma, Trina, Foxy Brown and many more. Women/femmes bodies are not political playgrounds and should be afforded the same rights to talk about their bodies and sex if they so choose.
You are well known for being politically outspoken about inequalities within the music industry, has there been any backlash from being so unapologetically vocal?
I mean, have you tried googling ‘Miss Blanks’ and ‘controversy’? Yeah there’s been backlash but the people challenging my word deadass look dumb. Imagine trying to defend lack of diversity/representation, racism, transphobia, abuse, and ableism. It’s not a good look in 2018.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the music world right now?
Oooo that’s a hard one. I’d have to say my team constantly inspire me, they’re some of the hardest working, insightful, passionate, and warmest people I’ve been so lucky to come across and connect with. I’d say the work my industry peers and friends like Nina Las Vegas, Atong Atem, Grace from BE. collective, Jane Slingo, and Jess & Anand from BBE do is wildly inspiring, as well as musician friends like Sampa The Great, Kaiit, Jesswar, and Thelma Plum. There’s so many more!
You are on the Brisbane FOMO line up, how do you feel about performing on the same stage as the likes of Nicki Minaj - one of the biggest female MC's?
It feels right. I mean, I’ve worked really hard in honing my craft, building my business and brand, developing my sound and live show. I couldn’t imagine a more fitting for FOMO By Night - especially in my hometown of Brisbane.
You have done so well for yourself in the past year, being labelled as Australia's biggest breakthrough artist. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
That’s tough because when I started music 18 months ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be where I’m at now and accomplished half the stuff I have in such a short amount of time. Anything is possible at this point. Global domination?
Make sure you catch Miss Blanks getting down tomorrow night at Neck of the Woods thanks to Red Bull Music x Vice. RSVP here to grab a $5 ticket on the door: http://bit.ly/RBMP-Vice-AKLRSVP