Aside from collaborating with Calvin Klein for this year’s American Icons campaign, indie music artist Destiny Frasqueri and Macy’s have something in else common: both were born in New York City.
Hailing from the Lower East Side, the rapper got her first gig after her music video went viral at the young age of 19, and since then she’s had the chance to add podcast host, actress and model to her roster of achievements. Here she tells us about that very first performance, who inspires her creativity most and why the local music scene won’t be (and shouldn’t be) changing any time soon.
I grew up listening to Bikini Kill, Kelis, Aaliyah, Bjork, Coco Rosie and Sade. All of these women inspired me in their own way, which I mirror with multi-faceted confusion… but they are brilliant women who all represented and created different things, and they essentially molded me in some way.
I think New York has been a mecca for non-binary artists who work as successful independent artists. Kids in New York are
head first into the art scene, so they begin producing bodies of work and showing their talent very on. It’s beautiful to see such progression of young artists who are
connected to each other in some way or
another. I think the Bronx right now has the
best un-tapped talent. The musicians I know have really created a great music and arts
scene up there.
It was booked five days after my first music video went viral online and I was 19 years old. It was an absolute blessing. It was a bar party and I wore an I Love Puerto Rico shirt and I had 2 pigtails in my hair. I performed three songs to a large crowd who loved it. It was a perfect New York memory.
I’m currently working on my new mixtape, 1992, which is a great rap project. I also run a feminist art collective called Smart Girl club where I conduct weekly radio podcasts, called Smart Girl Club Radio. And I’m apart of a comedic art collective called Brujas, which is run by my best friend Arianna Gil. Lastly, I’ve been doing a little acting… shhhhh!
My favorite American Icon is Diane Vreeland. She was an iconic woman of fashion, art, humor, and uniquely innovative ideas. She single-handedly changed editorial design and creative direction of fashion in the 1960’s. She was a funny woman, and I know we would have been great friends. She would have hated my dirty sneakers, however!