Summer’s not over quite yet, but if you’re feeling like you haven’t accomplished much thus far (does breaking in your Birkenstocks, setting up the A/C in your studio apartment and getting to know the summer Friday happy hour waitstaff at the Mexican place around the corner count?), you’re not alone. How is it August already?
Making mere mortals feel even lazier, singer and rapper Angel Haze has pretty much conquered the world: She rocked Glastonbury, worked on her second full-length album and dodged paparazzi desperate for details of her high-profile romance. One more to add to the list? She served as an ambassador for Leigh Blake’s Arms Around The Child organization. Focused on orphaned children in need of care in India and Africa, Arms Around The Child was something that struck close to home for the artist.
“As a once underprivileged child, I feel it’s important to provide children of similar destructive, limited or abusive backgrounds not just the freedom to choose where they want to go and who they want to be, but the resources, as well,” says Haze. “It’s an absolute joy and honor to be involved in a practice so exemplary.”
I caught up with Haze to learn more about her past, present and future (Hint: It may involve motorcycle gangs in Hawaii).
Julie Bensman: How did moving to Brooklyn when you were 18 impact your music and your style?
Angel Haze: Both were affected by the culture of the city itself. I made music that sounded aggressive because I learned it from New York. I dressed like I found myself (even though I obviously hadn’t).
JB: Where do you find inspiration every day?
AH: The world is oozing from its eyes with inspiration for me. People are incredible.
JB: You’ve described your style as androgynous. How do you choose your onstage outfits?
AH: I usually go off whatever I can jump around in and whatever I feel most free in.
JB: Who are some of your favorite designers and artists right now?
AH: Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Jonny Cota, Helmut Lang and Riccardo Tisci. Underground L.A. clothing artists are sick to me, as well. Musically, I’m really into The 1975, Mumford & Sons, Arctic Monkeys, John Legend, Sam Smith, Adele and Tracy Chapman.
JB: If you had an entire day free to yourself, how would spend it?
AH: Locked in a studio on a beach in Hawaii. I’d make music that sounded like that place looks.
JB: Any secret talents?
AH: I’m really good at basketball tricks — I can spin the ball on every finger for at least five seconds.
JB: What’s the last thing you googled?
AH: “The Ghost and the Darkness.” It’s a motorcycle blog.