Ana Tjoux’s Chaos Theory and resisting ‘Garbage Culture’

Hey fierce listeners!  Welcome to MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman. I’m Charlene Sayo, your host for the next half an hour and every week, I have the honour to have lively conversations with unique, trailblazing women in the arts, sciences, literature, music, politics, activism, feminism and more.

Today’s episode is not only an exciting one, but a very special one because this is the last episode the month-long series, Women in Hip Hop.  For the entire month of November, I’ve featured conversations with some of hip hop’s most provocative and ground-breaking artists: Kinnie Starr, Maya Jupiter and Asa Lianess.  Tonight’s finale is all about the politically-charged, French-Chilean super-fierce, super-star MC, Ana Tijoux.

What makes this episode different than past episodes is, aside from my interview with Ana, I’ve included a portion of a Q and A that Ana did at a recent national conference in Los Angeles titled “Women on the Wave” organized by AF3IRM, a transnational feminist organization across the United States.  And if you don’t know anything about AF3IRM, be sure to check af3irm.org as they are currently doing actions across the United States until December 10th in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

For the next little bit, you’ll hear Ana sharing her thoughts on feminism, art for social change and her definition of garbage culture. I spoke with Ana in Los Angeles on the last day of AF3IRM’s “Women on the Wave” summit.

***Special Thanks to AF3IRM***

BIO

AnaTijoux_3Ana Tijoux was born in France to parents exiled from their native Chile by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.  Ana returned to Santiago in 1993 and by the late 1990’s was well known throughout Latin America as MC of the hip hop group, Mazika.  A solo artist since 2006, she has thrilled audiences internationally with her politically hard-hitting lyrics and signature flow, earning the title, “South America’s answer to Lauryn Hill” (The New York Times).  This year she has travelled throughout the USA—performing at Austin City Limits and SXSW, among others, while making time for interviews on programs such as Democracy Now!—in support for her latest album, Vengo (2014).

myspace.com/anitatijoux

@anatijoux

Intro/Outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

 

Asa Lianess: On Love vs. Sex and Being Real in Hip Hop

Hey fierce listeners!  Welcome to MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman.  My name is Charlene Sayo, your host for the next half an hour and every week, I have the honour to have lively conversations with unique, trailblazing women in the arts, sciences, literature, music, politics, activism, feminism and more.  Today’s episode is the third installment of the month-long, Women in Hip Hop special series where I feature conversations with Maya Jupiter, Asa Lianess, Kinnie Starr and Ana Tijoux.

For this episode, I have Philippine-born, Los Angeles-based artist Asa Lianess.  I sat down with the MC, poet, singer, and henna-artist in October during the Woman on the Wave National Summit organized by AF3IRM, a transnational feminist organization.  For this episode, Asa shared her thoughts about underground hip hop, sisterhood and spirituality.

BIO

Photo by Cisco StreetLenz

Photo by Cisco StreetLenz

Asa Lianess is a member of the Los Angeles-based, all female hip hop collective, Earthstonez.  Asa is the founder of Global Oneness Arts and Culture, Henna For A Cause, and the Coordinator of SEDARVP Ghana’s Women’s Empowerment Program.  She is also a human rights advocate, poet, singer, MC, and henna artist whose art reflects healing, awareness, inspiration, innovation, elevation, empowerment, and love.

soundcloud.com/asalianess

earthstonez.bandcamp.com

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

Kinnie Starr: Lifelines, Hip Hop, and Half-blood Old Blues

Hey fierce listeners!  Welcome to MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman.  My name is Charlene Sayo, your host for the next half an hour and every week, I have the honour to have lively conversations with unique, trailblazing women in the arts, sciences, literature, music, politics, activism, feminism and more.  Today’s episode is the second installment of the month-long, Women in Hip Hop special series where I feature conversations with Maya Jupiter, Asa Lianess, Kinnie Starr and Ana Tijoux.

For this episode, I have the multi-lingual, multi-talented, highly experimental, politically-charged, Juno-award winning Kinnie Starr.  The Calgary-born, BC-based artist was recognized as pioneer in Canadian hip hop by Toronto’s Manifesto Festival in 2011. Her music has been described as “edgy and enchanting” by the New Yorker, and the Record Magazine has described Kinnie as being a “sensual, spiritual, self-possessed [artist]…blazing her own influential trail.”  I caught up with Kinnie last week in Vancouver during her tour for her latest album, From Far Away, where she discussed social justice over the music industry, her environmentalism, how hip hop correlates with her Indigenous ancestry, and retiring from the music industry.

BIO

stairsKinnie Starr is one of Canada’s most adored and critically acclaimed underground musicians. Widely known in hip hop circles as an artist with a strikingly authentic voice, Starr has been blazing trails since 1996 with her beat slamming recordings, outspoken race and gender politics, intelligent and edgy visual art.

Hailing originally from Calgary, Alberta, the multi-lingual artist pushes artistic boundaries by ignoring them. The mixed-blood Mohawk uses her degree in women’s studies, her love of hip hop and street art, and her untrained intuitive talent as a pulse in all her music.

In 2010 Starr won a Juno for her production on Digging Roots’ second album, “We Are”, and she was nominated at the APCMA’s for her video, “It’s All You,” produced by Big Soul Productions. She also played the Olympics in Vancouver, BC with The Borealis String Quartet. In 2011 she was recognized as a pioneer in hip hop alongside Michee Mee by Toronto’s Manifesto Festival.

kinniestarr.ca

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

Maya Jupiter: The Chicana MC From Down Under

Hey fierce listeners, welcome to MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman.  My name is Charlene Sayo, your host for the next half an hour, and I’m very excited to kick off the very special Women in Hip Hop series. Over the next month, you’ll be hearing conversations with Maya Jupiter, Asa Lianess, Kinnie Starr and of course, Ana Tijoux.

For the premier episode of MsRepresent’s Women in Hip Hop series, I have Maya Jupiter, a Mexican-born, Australian-raised,Los Angeles-based rapper, artist, and activist.  I spoke with Maya while I was in LA during the epic Women on the Wave National Summit organized by AF3IRM, a transnational feminist organization, where Maya shared her definition of hip hop, the hypersexualization of women in music, her thoughts on mainstream hip hop, Brazilian dancing and more.

BIO

Photo by Osher Gunsberg

Photo by Osher Gunsberg

The Chicana From Down Under.

Born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican Father and Turkish Mother, Maya grew up in Sydney, Australia. It was in Sydney’s Western Suburbs where she first fell in love with Hip Hop.

Maya’s love of writing rhymes helped her express her fear, pain, joy and hope as a teenager and later on she realized the power music held in using it as a tool to make a positive difference in her community.

It is with this ideal that she co-founded Artivist Entertainment, an entertainment company committed to creating and supporting art and music that inspires positive social change alongside Quetzal Flores, Veronica Gonzales, Alberto Lopez and Aloe Blacc.

Maya has release two solo albums, the latest created with Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez of Grammy Award winning, EastLos rock band Quetzal and her husband, singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc. The album is inspired by Son Jarocho and stays true to Maya’s love of hip hop, dancehall and soul, made up almost entirely of live instrumentation, including Mexican harp, tarima and jarana. Her lyrics are powerful, vibrant, and uplifting.

Maya’s first album ‘Today’ debuted in 2003 on Mother Tongues, the first label dedicated solely to women in hip-hop. She later performed with Latin Jazz band Son Veneno, formed a group called Foreign Heights, presented and produced several hip-hop radio shows including the national ‘triple j’s hip hop show’ and her own ‘Black Beans, Brown Rice’ Radio show on http://www.radiosombra.org and was a VJ for Channel [V] Australia.

Maya’s Artivism began in her early twenties when she facilitated Hip Hop workshops with at-risk youth in Sydney’s south and west, teaching young people how to write, record and perform songs. In 2012 she was an official Ambassador for ‘The Line campaign,’ an Australian government anti-violence initiative.

In Los Angeles she volunteered as a mentor with Peace Over Violence’s Youth Over Violence Summer Institute, facilitating a song writing and recording internship around songs that discussed healthy relationships. in 2014 she became a spokesperson for their Denim Day Campaign bringing awareness to Sexual Violence and was recognised with the Voice Over Violence Humanitarian Award.

She volunteers with Tiyya as a writing instructor for the Storytellers writing course dedicated to refugees and first and second generation immigrants of Los Angeles and she has co-facilitated a Youth Radio Internship at Radio Sombra, teaching high school students from Boyle Heights how to present and produce their own radio shows.

Currently Maya is writing new music produced by Quetzal Flores and Aloe Blacc. Her latest release ‘That Ain’t Me’ is a fierce rebuttal to popular media’s image of beauty which is demonstrated in the video when she pulls out her extensions, rips of her false lashes and discards the push up bra among other things.

Look out for her new single Insha’Allah available soon.

mayajupiter.com

@mayajupiter

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

 

Audrey Siegl: “We are moving what is considered immovable.” The Musqueam Warrior on Indigenous Matrilineal Societies, Women’s Leadership and Idle No More

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman.  I’m very excited to introduce my guest, Audrey Siegl (ancestral name sχɬemtəna:t), a Musqueam warrior and protector involved with Idle No More.  Audrey is also a prominent figure in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side where she organizes against gentrification and advocates for accessible housing for marginalized communities.  This past summer, Audrey caught the attention of the media and public as she was a leading force against the eviction and tear down of tent city in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park.  This fall, Audrey is running for City Council with the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).  Her platform includes homes for all, protection for women and Indigenous Sovereignty.

For this episode, Audrey discusses matrilineal Musqueam culture, the effects of colonization on Indigenous women’s power, the impacts of homelessness on women and women’s leadership in the Idle No More movement.

BIO

Audrey SieglUntil recently Audrey Siegl (ancestral name sχɬemtəna:t) lived in East Vancouver, where she was raised by a single father of East Indian and British heritage, and by her mother’s Musqueam family. In recent years she has moved back to the Musqueam Indian Reserve in a process of reconnecting with maternal and ancestral ties, where she has worked in the Musqueam Language and Culture Department to revitalize hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.

She currently lives and works on the reserve, located south of Marine Drive near the mouth of the Fraser River, where she gives tours of the cultural pavilion and gallery, as well as the Chinese market gardens. The reserve is a beautiful but very small portion of traditional Musqueam territory. In recent years Audrey has been an active in the Idle No More movement. She was also involved in organizing the protection of c̓əsnaʔəm (Marpole Midden) in 2012, and most recently the homeless Tent City in Oppenheimer Park,Vancouver, B.C.

Audrey uses her voice to draw attention to growing inequalities in Vancouver, which she sees as having roots in the system of colonialism, a system that creates dispossession from the land, and which values the lives of certain people and communities at the expense of others. She wants to work to radically change Vancouver as we know it and to build a city where basic needs and humanity come before corporate profit and corporate politics.

@Goldmund8

cope.bc.ca/audrey

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

 

Safia Elhillo: Finding ‘Home’ Around the World

Hey fierce listeners!  Welcome to the last episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman, the New York series.  Over the summer I spent some time in the Big Apple where I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with super fierce women in the arts and activism.

For the final New York episode, I have Safia Elhillo, a spoken word artist who was a finalist in the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam and has graced the stage with luminary artists such as Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Immortal Technique, Faith Evans, and Sonia Sanchez.  I met up with Safia at Barnes and Nobles where she shared her experiences as a transnational immigrant poet, and discussed language fusion, Egypt and the Arab Spring, the myth of the tortured artist, Wu-Tang Clan and odes to Egyptian Pop stars.

BIO

Headshot colourSafia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, D.C., currently living in New York City. Safia is an alum of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in “Poetry as a Tool for Therapy” and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at the New School. She has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and has shared the stage with ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Immortal Technique, Faith Evans, and Sonia Sanchez. She is a founding member of Slam NYU, the 2012 and 2013 national collegiate championship team, and was a three-time member and former coach of the DC Youth Slam Poetry team. Safia appears on season 3 of Verses and Flow on TV1, and was a finalist in the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her chapbook of poems, The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles, is published by Well&Often Press. Safia is a Cave Canem fellow and a poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly: a journal of black expression.

safia-mafia.com

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

 Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.

“The Excuse” by Safia Elhillo. Produced for Verses and Flow, TV One.

“Egypt” by Safia Elhillo.  Film courtesy of Joe Amodei.

Defining Progress: Street Artist Gilf! on Gentrification, Art, Activism and the iconic 5 Pointz Mecca

Hey fierce listeners, welcome to another episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman, the New York series.  Over the summer, I5 Pointz spent some time in the Big Apple where I had the chance to hang out with awesome women in the arts and activism.

For the third episode of the New York series, I met up with Gilf! a Brooklyn-based artist whose politically charged work has not only gained her a loyal following, but has also put her front and centre in the gentrification discourse.  Earlier this year, Gilf! caught the attention of art lovers, activists and social-media aficionados when she dropped her “Gentrifcation in Progress” banner over the iconic Queens, New York graffiti mecca, 5 Pointz.  For this episode, Gilf! discusses America’s wars of occupation, gentrification, art, politics, activism and the art of smashing kitchens.

BIO

Gilf Define Progress

Gilf! in “Define Progress” for Surplus Candy.

Based in Brooklyn, gilf! is one of NYC’s most recognized and provocative female street artists. Her focus is on creating bold typographic public works that inspire thoughtfulness, while simultaneously motivating progressive change within communities. Earlier this year, the artist garnered national media attention when she installed a colossal banner resembling police caution tape that read ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’  at the former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Queens, New York. Since receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Madison, her work has been reviewed in Blouin Art Info, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, Brooklyn Street Art, and Wooster Collective. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad including shows at Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York, Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran, Iran, and CAVE Gallery in Los Angeles. Through her travels, murals, uncomissioned street work, gallery installations, and curatorial projects she continues her dialog of mindful and constructive revolution.

gilfnyc.com

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon.  Remix from the original.

Additional music: “A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços” by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio.  Remix from the original.