Introducing; Miss Blanks. She’s confident and vivacious. She’s sharp, she’s smart. Most importantly, she’s the Queen of Realness, emitting a prophetic howl that grinds against the grain of our often-too-beige Australian music industry and mainstream society at large. Things are changing around here, and Miss Blanks isn’t just taking a seat at the table, she’s building a new one. Not only is she a totally soulful poet creating beats that punch the norm, she’s looking out for others, creating safe spaces for margenalised folk to dance, celebrate themselves and feel free. I chatted to Miss Blanks about her unapologetic style of art, the fluidity of her writing process and our shared dream of female/NB world domination.
To begin, you’re so cool. Why aren’t there more people like you in the Australian music industry?
Thank you! I think there’s a lot of people like me but unfortunately, their voices, experiences, bodies and identities have been dismissed by so many for so long – so it’s great that I get to use my platform to elevate those voices and carve out a space for those people that are just like me.
Your lyrics have been described as emphatic, often projecting both sexy and fierce tones. Can you share a little about your writing process?
My writing process is quite fluid. For the most part, I write about my experiences, just where I’m at in life. If that means going out with my girls on a Friday night, having sex with the next-door neighbour or whatever, then so be it. I think a lot of people have found my music to be so disruptive and confronting is because I’m a trans woman, point blank. When you look back at the black queens of hip hop that have expressed themselves through their music the same way as me, they’ve been cisgender females – from Lil Kim, Trina, to Foxy Brown, Khia and more. I find it really interesting.
You also play a quintessential role in a club night called Femme Fetale. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Femme Fetale is a club night I started back in October 2016 in direct response to the lack of spaces in Australia for people to enjoy Rap, RnB, Hip Hop and Dancehall music within a positive and inclusive environment. Femme Fetale’s ethos is to elevate and promote the voice, bodies and identities of women, non-binary folk, women of colour, people of colour, and LGBTIQ folk.
Australian rap—and the music industry in general—is still a bit of a white man’s paradise, isn’t it. What needs to change first? What needs to change the most?
I think the Australian music landscape is quite incestuous.
Everyone knows each other and the key influencers across mainstream Australian Rap are white cis het males. It’s really problematic when white folk take up space in black spheres and spaces, resulting in lack of access and opportunities to people of colour. The Australian Hip Hop industry needs to prioritise POC voices, be more inclusive and provide pathways for those under-represented voices that don’t currently sit within the mainstream template, and continue to push dialogue.
What inspires your unapologetic style of art? Where do you look to for the energy to protest and make change?
I would have to say my biggest inspiration is the staunch women – specifically women of colour – I have around me, daily. It’s women and feminine power that has given, and continues to give, me big energy, big love, and the ability to dream big dreams. My mother is a huge inspiration; she’s such a strong woman who has shown me the power of woman and the feminine – women are powerful beings, change only has to start with one.
In your opinion, what does your dream-future look like for female/female identifying artists? And what can we—the public—do to help you?
It’s important for people to recognise the mental, spiritual and emotional (sometimes physical) labor put on women and non-binary folk, daily, to come up with our own solutions to problems we face. Firstly, it would be incredible if people didn’t have an expectation or standard around how female artists must present, look, engage, react, and exist. Secondly, people need to stop tokenising, fetishising and polarising women in music and our experiences. Thirdly, buy our music, support us, pay to go to our shows, and spread the word. We’re here to stay. I want to see ultimate female/NB domination!
Please list your top 5 hip-hop/party tracks: