MUSIC: Mx Blouse ‘Own the Space You Occupy’

Apeiron. chats to the up and coming musician with a style and voice that cannot be ignored.

You shouldn’t be afraid to own your identity, and whatever space you occupy.

Now, I know this sounds incredibly idealistic considering how much toxicity womxn and queer people have to contend with in public spaces, but I think it’s important to constantly remind ourselves that it’s not wrong to stand up to bullies, and most importantly, NO ONE has the right to make you feel uncomfortable. Especially with regards to expressing yourself. Living your life as you see fit is a birthright as far as I am concerned.

It’s very easy to internalise the negativity that the world puts on you.

You begin to feel like you are not worthy of good things, even just living and being yourself, and I think it’s important to resist internalising this kind of negativity at all times. I think it’s important to not let ourselves surrender to social definitions of where we should and should not fit, what we should and should not do.

I think we pay a lot of lip service to supporting local.

I often find it incredibly weird when artists specifically rant about people not supporting local, but when you look at the same artists, do they practice what they preach?

‘Don’t wait for your queer edition to feature us’

We have some mad talented designers and I think it’s important to use whatever platform I’m afforded to give a shout out to other creatives and talented people whose work I appreciate.

I dream of a reality where we celebrate each other.

And see one another’s achievements as inspiration rather than competition that needs to be quashed.

I think it’s awesome that GNC issues and people are receiving more attention in mainstream media…

… but I hope it doesn’t remain in this place where queer people are used as a caricature to meet some sort of editorial agenda. We need to start looking at queer people as people. Don’t just feature me in your ‘Queer Artists to Look Out For’ list, and don’t wait for your queer edition to feature us.

Collaboration is important.

I’ve evolved so much as an artist purely by immersing myself in the creativity of my collaborators. Collaboration often affords you the opportunity to look at things from a variety of perspectives, and that in turn, widens your scope as an artist, and suddenly you are doing things you never before thought possible. This is what collaboration has done for me, and I think more collaboration is the key to innovation, otherwise we just become complacent.

I want to explore the visual and performance aspect of things a little bit more.

I’ve got a few collaborations and features coming up, there’ll probably be a new song with me in it every two months from now till the end of the year, including a single of my own set for a September release. I’m excited about them because they are all sonically varied. 

I’m currently obsessed with the talent that is emerging locally.

I think, hopefully soon, everyone will wake up to the new wave of artists who are not bound by genre, but whose work preserves our cultural heritage. There are artists like Stiff Pap and Darkie Fiction who I think are doing something special and preserving kwaito through their work.

Kwaito is a big part of our cultural heritage as millennials specifically.

It’s important to preserve it, and to innovate and take the sound forward in order for us to create a unique South African music identity as the world begins to look at us and what we are doing, and have to offer.

On my playlist…

I’m in love with Moonchild Sanelly, my producers Thor Rixon and Parabyl and the work they are doing as artists themselves. I’m loving BONJ’s solo debut ‘Til The Tide’, Shekhinah, Muzi and I love Nakhane’s Sophomore. Right now in terms of international artists Jorja Smith, Mahalia, Kimbra, DJ Koze, Kelela, King Krule, Cakesdakilla, Moses Sumney, Saba and a South Korean band named Say Sue Me are what’s on my playlist.

‘I can be loud as fuck!’

Local brands I love:
Selfi, Rich Mnisi, Nao Serati, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Young And Lazy.

I’m shy as fuck!

I think because I carry myself with such confidence, most people often read my blank face as being reserved, as self-absorption, arrogance or whatever. Nah, I’m just shy. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on though- my people skills. That said, I come out of my shell quite easily, and I can be loud as fuck!

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By: Zoya Pon

Images: Instagram/sandiblouse