Femme on Fire: Brooke Candy

By Vanessa Butler

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Femme on Fire: Brooke Candy:

This badass babe is kicking ass and taking names all the way to the top, and shame on you if you try and stop her. Brooke Candy is one of today’s hottest commodities in music and art, making waves with her stunning music videos, silver-tongued lyrics and carefree attitude toward anyone who dares throw her shade. We had the privilege to talk with Candy about her latest EP Opulence, her collaboration with Diesel and our mutual fear of technology when it is used for anything but art.

Playboy.com: Congratulations on your new EP, it’s awesome. It’s funny, just looking at my notes here I see the words “absolutely stunning” and “wonderful” after just about everything I have to ask you about. I must’ve eaten a thesaurus or something before writing these.

Candy: [Laughs] I work on music just about every day. When it comes down to it, there’s about two days out of the week that I don’t. I found the right rhythm and collaborative team. For me I know that I’ve landed a song when the first session with whoever is helping write and produce is when you’ve made the song. You shouldn’t have to do four sessions or whatever; it should be organic and natural. So every song on the EP was one of those. We cut it down to what we felt my core fan base would react to.

Playboy.com: You also have these really incredible music videos, like “Opulence.” It’s refreshing to see someone who is utilizing their platform to speak to their views without expecting anything in return. I admire that.

Candy: Thank you, what a nice way to put it! I mean, I shouldn’t expect anything since all I’m doing is polarizing myself. Not only am I not gaining anything, I’m losing because I’m voicing such strong opinions. At least that’s how I feel right now. If I was to have just stayed silent and maybe voiced them later on down the road, I don’t know what would’ve happened. Everyone takes their own journey and I just couldn’t shut my mouth. I have this problem where if I feel something strongly, I preach about it.

Playboy.com: No, that’s great! That was another point I was going to speak to—the confidence you have is something many people struggle to find in themselves. Is it something you’ve always worn on your sleeve?

Candy: Yeah. I’ve been tormented my whole life and I just don’t care! No matter what I did when I was young, I stood out. You attempt to change yourself to fit in because you did something that felt natural and then was tormented for it; you find out that even if you change yourself it doesn’t fucking matter. At a young age I learned that I just didn’t care. I was desensitized to being tormented over my own beliefs, I just didn’t care.

Playboy.com: Sexuality is a strong lifeline in your music too.

Candy: I had an odd upbringing. In my family, sex was very taboo and not spoken about. My father’s side of the family is Orthodox Jewish and they were very religious. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, though; there was still a sense of positivity there. Although when I identified as queer I was met with hostility, which was unfortunate. But I’ve always been very sexually expressive. I’m a very sexual being, as all humans are. If you’re in touch with it, you should be okay with it.

Playboy.com: I agree completely. I don’t think sexual expression should be seen as “breaking the mold” or whatever! I liked the way Diesel joined up with Playboy, a shoot in which you actually appeared.

Candy: It was amazing. Terry Richardson shot that. It was so cool because it was the first time I met Nicola [Formichetti], and at this point he has helped me so much. He had e-mailed me about my videos and it was then that he actually presented me with something that we could work on together. [laughs] It’s so odd, I’m just piecing this puzzle together. Playboy literally brought Nicola and I together. I don’t want to give Playboy all the credit, but because of the shoot and how well it went I think it spawned my collaboration with Diesel… So thanks, Playboy! Woo-hoo! [laughs]

Let me just get off topic for a second, but I collect them. I have so many old issues, it’s so fucking cool! Like Marilyn Monroe was in Playboy.… That’s classy! I’ve also heard that a lot of my friends who are artists, whether it be cartoonists or whatever, a lot of them have told me that they have been hired by Playboy to revamp the image and make it a bit more current with internet culture. These are good artists. It’s cool. I like the combination of sex, porn, art and politics.

Playboy.com: I love that I am a woman who can edit for Playboy and talk to fucking rad women like you that I believe people should know about.

Candy: I love when brands are socially conscious. They understand what’s currently happening. Regardless of whether it’s a sex or a fucking fashion magazine, you should be up to date with other things so that your readers are knowledgeable, and that’s Playboy.

Playboy.com: So what should we look forward to this year?

Candy: I put out the video, which was a dream come true, then put out my EP. Working with Sia and producers like Stargate, Dr. Luke, Diplo and will.i.am... I’m doing some pretty fucking cool shoots that are secret and I have the next video all planned out in my head. It’s going to be crazy; it’s the opposite of my last one. I just shot with Diesel again too! I just shot a campaign with Nick Knight, it’s so fucking cool. His studio is like a sci-fi orgasm. I don’t know what the fuck this thing was, but I sat in this chair and they strap my head in while I was naked and they take this 360 body scan and within two seconds it does a digital mapping of my body. So they shot us like this and they’re going to integrate this technology with the photos somehow and it’s so cool.

Playboy.com: I love that we’re now at a place that we’re able to combine these awesome new technologies into art; it’s taking us to another level for sure.

Candy: It is, that’s when technology is not scary. When you make art out of it is so fucking interesting. Did you see the robot art exhibit?

Playboy.com: The robot dancing in front of the mirror by Jordan Wolfson and Spectral Motion? Oh my God.

Candy: Yeah, it had a pop star body with a witch face, which is very fucking cool and funny to me. But that was so sick. That’s when technology is inspiring. That’s when you realize that you’re living in the future and that you appreciate it. Anything else scares the shit out of me. Google Glass? Scary. You’re always tapped in! You can be located anytime with stuff like that. Even iPhones, everyone has them and we’re all desensitized to their power. Someone the other day was at my house and I was saying that everyone likes at least a few things that have mass appeal, everyone does! If you say no you’re lying! And a girl told me that she didn’t…I looked at her and said, “Do you have a fucking iPhone? Then you’re a part of mass culture! You’re a part of mass consumerism!” It’s just odd, technology is weird.

Playboy.com: I think because we’re so desensitized to it since it’s in our lives, people are having a hard time realizing the bigger picture. I was so fixated on the thesis of the art exhibit but so many people I showed it to have a hard time even finding purpose for it.

Candy: Yeah, I was in London when I saw it. I watched it a thousand times. Even the way the hands move! This was technology that I didn’t even know was here yet and that’s the thing—people who give us what we have right now already have the prototype of something that’s 10 years ahead of it. They’ve already seen and worked with something that is so beyond what we’re stuck with right now. I feel like we didn’t understand that it was just going to take on its own pace and move beyond us. Now we’re running after it trying to catch up. We’ve built this machine that can take over us. Every fucking movie on the planet predicted this! [laughs]


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