Lupa J on rejecting sexist and limiting conventions

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NAME

Lupa J

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Produce and perform electronic pop songs!

FAVOURITE BAND?

Grimes (2012 era)

FAVOURITE SONG?

I hate this question because I never really have one song I love more than others! I have about 5 favourite songs a month, always changing. But if we're talking Grimes, then Genesis!

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST AND WHY?

Grimes again, because of her wild sense of creativity and how she is so self assured and confident of her abilities as an electronic music producer in a field dominated by men.

 

IS THIS WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF?

If being able to direct my own creative project and be the sole producer and creator behind every element of it is the dream, then yes!

THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?

1. Coming out of a two year period of having a disordered relationship with my body and food when I was 15 where I was unable to be creative or see myself as anything more than a body, then having to learn how to shift focus away from my appearance in order to begin expressing and exploring myself through music.

2. Trying to write and release music while doing my HSC at a highly competitive school where electronic music was neither understood or supported, whilst having to be in tiny intense classes (28 person year group!) with people that had made aspects of my school life very emotional and anxiety inducing.

3. Learning that it's easy as an artist in the music industry to start trying to pander to the tastes of those considered important or powerful, but that when you do that it feels dishonest and unsatisfying. It's much harder to stick by your creative vision and make sure everything you're putting out is work you're really passionate about.

HOW CAN WOMEN BEST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER?

Feature each other's voices and work at any and every opportunity! If you're hosting a show of your own, make sure the lineup you're putting together supports enough emerging women. I think another really important thing is to (kindly and supportively) pull up influential women on anything they're doing that is unintentionally supporting discrimination/racism/homophobia or negative/sexist portrayals of women. It's easy to unconciously participate in a culture that hurts ourselves, and as creatives who influence culture we need to make sure what we're doing is in no way contributing to it or ostracising the less privileged members of our community.

WHAT MAKES A WOMAN ELECTRIC?

A woman becomes electric when she learns to separate her idea of she wants for herself from what everyone else, or our culture, wants from her as a woman. When she begins to figure out who she is, what her desires are, and begins to chase those desires for the benefit of no one but herself. It's bloody hard, but so powerful when women do things for themselves, because we're taught from birth that we should desire what our patriarchal culture wants us to desire, and become the kind of 'ideal woman' our culture wants us to become.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A KID? HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

I was a pretty fierce and imaginative kid, after discovering Princess Mononoke when I was 6 I demanded that my mum help me make her wolf girl costume and then proceeded to wear that costume every day (even to bed!) for the next 4 years. I would get teased for being weird because I was like that, but it didn't really stop me. I guess something changed in high school and, as I mentioned earlier, I lost my imaginative and creative streak for a while as I tried to fit in with the current ideals of what a successful, attractive woman should be. However as I learned to start rejecting those sexist and limiting conventions, I feel like I returned to my princess mononoke roots, (I named myself Lupa because it translates to she-wolf!) and began to start exploring my powerful and creative side again through music.

Lupa J is teaching Plugged In: Using instruments in production and performance as part of MusicNSW's and FBi radio's Women in Electronic Music Masterclasses details here. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and listen on Spotify and Apple Music