Bizarrefae talks personal development and healing through music

By Dom Smith
By April 5, 2022 April 7th, 2022 Features, Interviews, News

How’re you today?

I’ve been doing really well overall. I struggle with mental health an awful lot as I was raised around those issues but the more I find myself, the more I resolve those internal struggles and my trauma. I’ve always found myself being overly open about my internal battles and aspire to encourage others to do the same. There is no shame in feeling awful but it would be sad to suppress your truth and never allow yourself to receive help. Every day feels like a new opportunity to change my story and grow as a person, so yes I’m doing good and looking forward to the future whilst loving every individual moment I experience.

Where did your fascination with the fae begin?

My dad’s side of the family are Irish and always encouraged me to stay in touch with my Celtic roots – from my first time meeting him and my family, they have told me stories of the Celtic fae and the ties of the Tuatha Dé Danann in our ancestral history. I remember very vividly being taught of the mischief and chaos that the faeries brought, even convincing myself that the reason I never seemed to fit in with the kids at school was because I was a changeling, swapped out at birth with a human child to cause problems. In my teenage years I started studying and practicing witchcraft specifically Faery Wicca, the path first explored by Kisma Stephanich. Learning more and more about the occult helped me understand my place in the world a little better. So long answer short, my entire life I have been entwined with the fae folk.

How important is image in your work?

My music tends to focus on themes of self-identity, expression and extreme emotion and I feel as though my external appearance reflects many of the same values. In university, I am studying drama and theatre with a specialism in costume. The way appearance conveys a subconscious message has always fascinated me.

I grew up in a very alternative setting with LGBTQIA+ mothers and a biker father so I’ve indulged in alternative fashion and ideologies my entire life. I’m still in the process of finding my personal style, so I tend to flit between varying aesthetics depending on my feelings of the day.

The first few times of meeting me people tend to struggle with recognising me which has made for some awkward yet funny interactions definitely. I currently have 12 facial piercings and seven tattoos but I’m constantly craving more, all I know is that one day I am gonna be a very cool looking old person.

What would you say is your mission statement as an artist?

I want to encourage the uncomfortable conversations that most generations tiptoe around. I want to highlight that most of the taboo topics we get shushed for are normal thought processes that need to be discussed if there is any hope for resolving issues in society. I aspire to not only be a voice for marginalised youth but to encourage the youth to use their own voices and inspire the older generations to stop settling for the way things are. I know in my heart that humanity can be so much better than it is but unless we are all making the effort to have more compassion and empathy for our fellow people we can never achieve it. We are living in the most comfortable time period of human history, it’s time to stop pushing for systems of old and further civilised expansion and to start readjusting our focus on how to make life with 7 billion people easier. I want to instigate a revolution of radical kindness and self improvement.

Where, and how did you find your confidence to perform, and your voice?

I’ve been singing my entire life, my mums and dad always encouraged me to use my voice. I started music therapy in year 10, realising that singing gave me an outlet to express my anger, confusion and sadness towards the state of the world. I went on to study music in college but never particularly pursued it until just before lockdown. I performed a song called Out of Mind that I made with a friend- Abominable sound- at an open mic located in The Warren Youth Centre. EndOfLevelBaddie then reached out to me in early 2021 about something called the Venn project, funded by Can You Kick It.

Being around so many musicians truly encouraged me to get stuck into my craft, reformatting my demos alongside EndOfLevelBaddie. Throughout the Venn project I worked closely with Alen Allaw, and Jodie Langford. I had known Jodie’s poetry since 2017 and having her encouragement on stage truly made me find my confidence, we went on to create a group act called Salty Bitches (EndOfLevelBaddie, Jodie Langford and myself). I am so blessed to have such talented and supportive individuals in my life and truly found myself in The Warren.

Is ‘Dwarfed’ an accurate representation of what we can expect from your forthcoming material?

Yes! I am a big believer in using music as a medium to engage in uncomfortable conversations and my entire unreleased discography so far is as aggressive towards the patriarchy and the tropes of stereotypical lifestyles. In my tracks I aspire to teach people that there is no one right way of living life, I have a particular fondness for the queer, the controversial and the things that would make our great great grandparents roll in their graves. It’s the 21st century, truly time to let go of old stereotypes and redefine what it means to be human regardless of how ‘sinful’ people will label the happiness of others.

What inspires you outside of music, think specific people, places, movies and games for example?

The world is my muse, I take inspiration from the moments in life that cause pain, panic and sadness. There’s a lot to be angry about and most of my influences are those who encourage the anger that is deserved. I am extremely inspired by the Tank Girl comic books – Rebecca redefines femininity in her gritty dystopian future and fights against the hoarders of crucial resource. I like to think my own fight is in the same vain, in her own words “I can’t let things be this way. We can be wonderful. We can be magnificent. We can turn this shit around.”

The community surrounding Insane Clown Posse has also been a huge inspiration for me, a lot of people get the wrong end of the stick with them. There’s something about the unapologetically absurd lyricism and storytelling that empowers me to protect myself and others from the bigots of the world. The juggalo community really helped draw me out of the shell I forged as I began to process my trauma, just knowing there was people who felt the same and were healing alongside me.

What would you say your biggest challenge is as an artist right now? 

My mental health most definitely. I’ve been raised around mental illness and remaining on the path of recovery is a major struggle when the media heavily romanticises those low vibrational states of being. On top of that my identity as a whole is something that provides a multitude of issues – being non-binary in a stereotypically cishet society presents a variety of challenges I was unaware of when I came out at 15. I’ve never understood gender roles and spent my entire life being told I didn’t fit in with women or men. I finally found a label that helped rationalise why, and then to be hated because of that was illogical to me. It’s a struggle to be queer and non-binary generally but even harder in the alternative scene which is a majority male bands who tend to be quite misogynistic lyrically.

How have you changed and developed as an artist, since the beginning of your career until now?

It’s still very early days in the wonderful world of bizarre, I’m still refining my sound and getting inspired by new and exciting world views every day. When I first started writing lyrics I was eight-years-old and since then I’ve naturally progressed but I can still see a lot of work to be done. I think the next step for me is learning multiple instruments, so I can explain my ideas further but my dexterity has always been a weak point as I struggle with coordination a lot. I can see where I want to go and I struggle a lot with maintaining the confidence in myself that is needed in order to keep chasing my dreams.

What is your message to those just discovering you, and those who have supported you until this point?

I’m honestly just so thankful for everyone who takes the time to listen! I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling unseen and unheard, but every time somebody reaches out to let me know my music moved them it fills my heart with love.

I started making music to escape my own brain and convey the internal processes that language cannot fully describe so knowing that people resonate with those internal processes makes me feel like I’m never truly alone. It’s so easy to feel as though you do not matter in a world where value is determined by clicks and likes, but every single individual who has shown me support and appreciation has been rewiring the way I see my place on this Earth. Nothing brings me joy quite like standing on a stage and looking out at a crowd of people who truly care enough to be there, meeting people after the shows just makes me feel at one with the universe as those people share their stories, thoughts and feelings with me. I am truly blessed to have the opportunities to be heard and I’d like to encourage any and everyone who is reading this to use their voice. You really never know who needs to hear it.

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