by Nadirah Simmons
Bianca Chase’s Instagram name is Alternativehoodrat, and it falls in line perfectly with the Brooklyn-bred artist. Bianca can do it all, from jewelry designing, rapping and photography to art curation, fashion designing and DJing.
We talked to Bianca about their relationship with New York, the stress that comes with presentation and how the internet helped breed the “alternative hoodrat.”
What makes Brooklyn different from the other boroughs in New York?
We’re really diverse, and I feel like sometimes we don’t really realize it. It’s a melting pot and people bring their energy and their art and we adopt it.
I read one of your other interviews and you said you have a love/hate relationship with New York. Why is that?
I got bullied a lot as a child. The things that people used to pick on me about are the things people love about me now, and it’s trauma. It makes me feel a way because this is the environment I grew up in. Then I go to other states and people like it, but when I’m home people pick on me about my lips and stuff.
I love that you mention that, especially being fellow a bald-headed person-I remember when I shaved all of it off and everyone was not happy.
Same, I had to let it all go. I kept my hair because everyone around me wants me to have hair. But I was like I’m not happy, it makes me uncomfortable, it’s was a weight on my shoulders. And when I shaved it off I was like “wow!”
Same! I had this big afro and everyone was like “don’t do it!”
That’s real. But who is going to braid this for me? Who is going to detangle it?
Ha! But you know what? That’s so good for younger Black people. To be reminded to be multidimensional and to do whatever you want with whatever, even if it’s starting with your hair.
Right! There’s more than one way to be and ways you can be.
You yourself are also a multifaceted artist. A quick glance at your Instagram shows that you have your hand in a lot of things. How has the internet helped your career?
The internet grew me. When I saw alternative stuff I realized I want to dress gothic, I want to wear platforms..I [also] realized what you can and can’t put on the internet. I notice that when I’m sad or angry my work doesn’t share as well, and when you’re in drama and people peep it they see you in a certain way. And I’ve worked really hard to get out of that negative space. But I’m just like I am on the internet as I am in person.
When did you get into DJing?
I’ve always really loved music. I’ve always loved certain tunes and the sounds that were a part of songs. I asked my father to buy me this synthesizer in 2014, my junior/senior year in high school.
What songs are you playing at a function to set the mood and then get everybody hype?
“Sticky” by Ravyn Lenae and to get hype? Asian Doll’s “GUMMO” remix.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would have told myself to be a little bit more patient and consistent with my art. I would’ve told myself to be more prepared and not to get caught up in the fck sh*t.
What do you mean by fck sh*t?
When I was younger I was trouble maker! But I also got bullied a lot so I was very paranoid-from elementary school until the year I graduated middle school, and then when I got to high school I didn’t talk to people. And if I did talk I wasn’t very nice.
If you could pick one song or one artist as the soundtrack to your life who or what would it be and why?
Steve Lacy, “Looks.” That’s my mood right now.