Brooke Candy, rising hip hop star and “racy new muse” of Nicola Formichetti, didn’t always lead the charmed life. She’s faced her fair share of adversity on her way up to the top, including being homeless. While we didn’t get the story behind her myriad of tattoos, the two words she has etched in ink on the palms of her hands, “hard luck”, says it all. Brooke’s risen above her lot and made it to where she is now seemingly by an act of sheer, ferocious will.
Check out an excerpt of Brooke’s interview below and make sure to pick up a copy of her 8 page story + cover in The Untitled Magazine‘s Legendary Issue now! Visit our online store to buy your copy, or download the free “Legendary” Issue App on iTunes now!
The Untitled Magazine: Tell me about how you got started in the entertainment industry?
Brooke Candy: Well, I got started very organically, it just happened naturally. I’ve always liked art, and I’ve always expressed myself in that way. One night out, I met a producer who was looking for female rappers to make a track with. I had been writing music and had been taking photographs, but writing music and was a new form of expression for me at the time. I got into the studio with him, we recorded a song, and it turned out to be really cool. Then I was like, ‘Oh wait, I can go even further with this, I can make a video.’ To me, film and music are ultimate forms of art expressions, so it just happened naturally. I just kept doing it, and the ball just kept rolling and I worked really hard just doing everything myself. Then I got really good feedback. It was just a lot of hard work, and it just happened naturally.
UM: What are your thoughts on the sex industry? We know you were a stripper at one point and we know that there’s a pro-sex movement in America right now… How do you feel about all of that? Did your work as a stripper influence your work or they way you live?
BC: Just to go back quickly, my dad worked for Larry Flint, so the earliest memory [that I have] of going to my dad’s office on Wilshire, there were boxes and boxes of dildos. I was exposed to it at a very young age. It’s never been a hush hush, or weird thing – it’s always been very sex positive in my family, so that’s one thing. I don’t want to be labeled as a stripper, because I haven’t stripped in literally a year. I don’t understand why every person that’s interviewed me, or any time anything pops up about me it’s like ‘Brooke Candy: Stripper.’ Tumblr? I don’t use my tumblr. Strip? I don’t strip. I stripped at a time when I was homeless and down-and-out, and the label has hung on me. I’ve talked about it, it’s fine, but it’s just odd because I don’t strip anymore and it definitely doesn’t inform my art. I think it didn’t affect me because I’m a strong human being and it was empowering to me; I brought home money and it taught me how to perform, and to perform at my most vulnerable. But, I am not a stripper. I don’t strip. It was just a job. Just like what I do now is a job, it’s just that I have more creative freedom with this one. I mean it’s something I did, it was something I felt comfortable doing. I don’t do it anymore.
UM: What’s been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
BC: All of my performances are fun, and I’m really excited about all of them. When I perform, I pretty much black out. It’s this incredible release of energy that can’t be put into words. I can’t explain it, you have to do it to know—its insane. But, I do have a funny story. I was performing in Paris and I had pneumonia, so I was really not having it that day, I was pretty on edge I was running with pneumonia. It was horrifying – I needed to take a break, I was like gasping for air. This was maybe a year and a half ago, and I was having this twerk competition on stage, and everyone was getting really rowdy. At all my shows still, it feels like a punk show. Everyone is rowdy, no one gives a fuck, people throw drinks, people go crazy! This was how this one was starting to turn into. So I made it a point to be like, “Only five people on stage, please everyone chill out.” And I turn around to look at my DJ, my best friend Jessie, and we’re getting ready to start and we had already picked everyone, and I saw this girl climbing up on stage…I asked her to get down, and she punched me in the face! It probably looked so funny, it was like me with my mic, and she just wacked me! I was like ‘get off stage now’ and she just punched me in the side of my face. I was like ‘Wait, that was amazing! You fucking rule!’
UM: Do you have any words of wisdom you would impart to young women who are trying to make it in this industry?
BC: I think something that really got to me were the comments about the music that I was putting out. I believe that I am a role model, because I speak out, and I have spoken out on things that matter to me. I think it can be difficult when I’m trying to be an uplifting person who is trying to support these oppressed communities, and I still get hatred. It’s like shit flying at me, people picking apart my body, saying I’m fat and ugly, that I have a horrible voice and that I’m an idiot and I speak with my hands! If I were to look back in ten years at this time, I would just want to shake myself, and tell myself to not give a shit, because it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you put your work out to express yourself, so you don’t kill yourself, and you don’t look back. Never look back. I don’t feel like I regret anything I’ve done, I just want to put it out and never look back at it again.
UM: What can we look out for coming from you in 2014?
BC: World domination.
Read the full 8-page interview and check out Brooke’s exclusive photo shoot in The Untitled Magazine‘s “Legendary” Issue 7!
Interview by Marianna White for The Untitled Magazine
Photography and Styling by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine
Hair by Gregory Russell @ The Wall Group
Make-up by Stephen Dimmick @ Aim Artists
Photographed on location at James Goldstein Residence
Brooke wears a dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, harness by Skingraft and feather corset by Leka.
Brooke wears a bra by Addiction, bikini bottom by Niro Castillo, mesh tank by Diesel and customized jacket by Nicola Formichetti
For more photos of Brooke Candy, see her 8-page spread in The Untitled Magazine‘s “Legendary” Issue 7!