People at my shows have the kindest mosh pits you’ve ever seen
Which gives you yet another reason to attend BABii’s upcoming show at Botanique. The UK-based multidisciplinary artist composes tingling electronic songs that make you feel soothed and attacked with a buzzsaw at the same time. That is if she’s not touring the US, preparing exhibitions with her boyfriend and collaborator Iglooghost or crafting a huge, silver dragon to accompany her on stage. Or should we say siilver?
How did you end up making a dragon?
I wanted to create a big creature, so I was drawing these long figures which ended up looking like dragons. It was totally unintentional. But I do really love fantasy, folklore and tales about dragons, fairies and giants.
What do they symbolize for you?
There are two dragons, a dark one and a good one. They’re metaphors for how I’d imagine an ideal maternal figure would be and how it felt like growing up. My mom wasn’t present when I was a child. When I met her after years, it was quite upsetting. I deal with things by making things, so I ridded all my demons in my last album, MiiRROR. After I’d written the record, I met my mom again and it felt like something had lifted from me. I wasn’t affected by things she said anymore.
I deal with things by making things, so I ridded all my demons in my last album, MiiRROR
Will the dragons be there at your show in Brussels?
Probably not. It’s quite hard to travel with a dragon, you see. [laughs]
Speaking about props: what happened to your custom-designed buzzsaw?
It got sold immediately, but I might do a BABii utility line. I’ve done head torches, a multitool and a saw already. I could do a drill, a screwdriver, a hammer, … It’d be pretty good.
‘iim cute on the surface, but deep down iim actually tough and scary’, you tweeted a while ago. It starts to make sense.
Everybody thinks I’m innocent and sweet, and to a certain extent, I am. I've got a good moral compass. But I’ve been through a lot, which makes me tough. It translates into my music and shows quite well.
There seem to be quite some mosh pits at your shows.
It’s wild. First, I thought it’d be a one-time thing, but it happened at every show when I was touring in the UK. People at my shows have the kindest mosh pits you’ve ever seen. They’re so gentle, they just want to dance and jump around. I got more and more into it and now, towards the end of the set, I jump into the audience. I never thought I’d end up doing that. [laughs]
You were shy when it came to performing at first. How did you get over it?
I went to music school when I was 16, and we had to perform every week. It was terrifying. Slowly I realized that the more I did it, the less scary it got. So I started going to open mics. I would be shaking so much I couldn’t sing properly. But it was a good environment to be in. It didn’t matter if I was good or bad. When something scares you, your body goes into anxiety mode thinking it has to fight. By confronting your fears, you reprogram your brain until it realizes that you’re not going to die.
When something scares you, your body goes into anxiety mode thinking it has to fight
What do you do when you’re feeling low?
I haven’t been sad in a long time, so I can’t really remember how I deal with it. [thinks] I don’t do it consciously, but I often imagine people saying nice things about me behind my back. It’s quite narcissistic though. [laughs] But it makes me feel good about myself.
Together with Iglooghost and Kai Whiston you created an interactive club concept, called Grid. What does an ideal club night look like for you?
I love going to horrible, chain nightclubs. It makes me feel like I’m in a different world. I want sticky floors, lots of people I would never usually interact with, and disgusting toilets. Something’s wrong when the toilets aren’t horrific.