Iggy Azalea Speaks On Being Atypical, Musical Influences, and More

Iggy Azalea recently hung out with the good folks over at HipHopDX, where she discussed her Glory EP, leaving home at age 16, visual inspirations, her relationship with T.I., and more.  Read a few excerpts from the interview below.

HipHopDX: So your Glory EP came out. What is the difference between this EP and your other mixtapes and material. What do you want the world know about Iggy…?

Iggy Azalea: With the Glory EP,  I was trying to make more traditional=sounding records. A lot of people look at making a traditional record as a bad thing. I am a songwriter and I wanted to be able to try and write songs that were more traditional and structured. That was harder than me than just to do whatever I felt like. It was more challenging to me. I wanted to try and make an EP where I had other people sing hooks, because I can’t sing. I wanted to see if I can make these kinds of records well. It was funny because last night we were talking about this next project that is coming out that is completely experimental and in the opposite direction of the Glory EP. I don’t like when people are like, “Oh, she has a record with B.o.B.,” or “Oh, she is going mainstream.” I am not. I just want to experiment and be great. Pusha T told me that people aren’t making records.  Making a record is challenging. It’s not easy. Everyone acts like making a song for the radio or making that B.o.B. stuff is so easy, but when you actually sit down and do it, it’s fucking hard as hell. It’s so hard. That is just what I was trying to do and learn more about it. I put it on the Glory EP so people can hear. That’s why I did it.

DX: To switch subjects a bit, you have an interesting story. You do not see a lot of female rappers from Australia in the United States. You ran away from home when you where 16.  You do not need to get into the specifics, but it’s a very mature and potentially dangerous thing to do. While you were flying here, what was going through your head? At 16, kids aren’t usually thinking about doing something like that…

Iggy Azalea: There are lots of things that kids do that make them feel invincible. Driving drunk, going to parties and doing stupid shit. I just think that I coming to America was such a dream and fantasy and I wanted to make it happen. It didn’t dawn on me on how big of a deal it was until when I was about to leave for the airport and I was lying in bed the entire night before.  I couldn’t sleep thinking maybe I shouldn’t go or what if I die, what would happen to my family. I didn’t want to go. I woke up in the morning and my mom was crying and I wanted to cry too. She said, “Please don’t let anything happen to you or people will think I am a bad mom.” I said, “Okay, I promise I won’t.” As I was on the plane I kind of shat myself the whole way there until I finally got to Miami. Customs had to escort me as a child because I didn’t know how to do anything. It was overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Once I got to Miami it was nothing like I thought it would be. I thought it would be like CSI Miami with all bright colors and fancy drinks. It was not like that at all. I remember getting to Miami and it was the 4th of July. People were setting of fireworks and I was like, “Oh, my gosh where the fuck am I? What did I get myself into.” I ended up liking it for different reasons. I loved the grittiness about it. The part of Miami you don’t get to see with all of the different cultures. I didn’t think it was going to be like that.  People speak Spanish before English. It made me grow up a lot quicker than I would have had otherwise.

DX: What are your visual inspirations?

Iggy Azalea: I really like pop art as a whole, because I think it’s really cool to take a part of culture that already means something and change the meaning of it. That, to me, is what pop art does. When you take a picture like the Coca-Cola sign that already means something in society and an artist like Andy Warhol changes it in to something else. Two people can say the same word and make you feel a different away and I feel that it’s the same thing with Image. I think it’s really cool and powerful for an artist that can take something that already means something and to change the meaning of it. It’s harder to do that. It’s harder to change something that already exists than to just create something. That’s kind of like the “Murda Bizness” video. “Does it mean that? [Or] does it mean this? I like to think of videos like you would think of pop art.

DX: I see some of your studio sessions with T.I and you two seem like two school-children on the playground. What is your relationship like with him? It’s like a brother-sister type thing.

Iggy Azalea: [Laughs] He is super protective of me like a brother. Whenever we are in the studio there is always a big bottle of tequila. We work a lot, like 20 hours a day in the studio. We would do that every day for like a month so we are in the studio a lot. We are saying dumb shit and dumb jokes so by the time the cameras come in we have so many inside jokes that we are laughing at for days and days and days. I just spoke to T.I right before this and I have not spoken to him in a few weeks. He is filming a movie and I am recording this album so it was nice to speak again. I love him. I am so glad that I met him.

DX: Do you think you are truly making the music you want, or do you feel pressured that you are making the music that people expect of you?

Iggy Azalea: I definitely feel pressured to make music people expect me to. Some of the songs that have come out people have been saying that those were the songs T.I wanted me to make, and they weren’t. People hear a song I would do with Electronic music and be like, “Oh, this is Hip Hop, but it has some Electronic sample so that makes sense and it’s okay for her to do that,” but on something that sounds completely Rap, “must be the Black guy that is making her do that.” People say shit like that to me all the time. I honestly don’t think I am making the music I want to make yet because I am not done experimenting. Doing this Glory EP was a bit more mainstream and had some more structure. I wanted to do that to because I wanted to prove that I can make those records.

Now, I am going to make Trap Gold which is Electronic music mixed with Trap music and it’s not going to sound like any other shit. Hopefully my album The New Classic will be a mix of everything. I am really young – just turned 22, and I have not been making music for that long. There are a lot of things I have to go through and try before I have all of the ingredients and all the tools to make music I really want to make. I have a sound in my head and I don’t know how to get that yet. That is going to take practice and trial and error. I like to share my trials and errors with the rest of the world because sometimes the world loves your errors. Some songs you like and some you don’t. I will keep sharing the journey with everyone because you can’t have perfection in art.

Read the rest of the interview here.

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