If I could go to one Fashion Week event this year, it wouldn’t be the Marc Jacobs show (yawn), or some party thrown by Terry Richardson (blech) — no, I’d want to go to SPIN and Refinery-29′s party tonight at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, sponsored by Virgin Mobile. Why? Oh, Azealia Banks is performing and I love her. Who do I have to talk to about getting an invite? My evening in wide open. While I wait to hear back about my VIP ticket, let’s get to know Azealia, shall we?
1. She’s a born-and-bred New Yorker. Azealia grew up in Harlem and attended the well-known LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, which is famous for its long list of talented alumni. She never graduated, however, instead choosing to focus on launching her music career, releasing her debut track “Gimme a Chance” onto the internet in February 2009. She signed on with XL Recordings for short period before eventually signing with Interscope/Polydor, which released her EP 1991 — the year of her birth – in May 2012. Girlfriend can singgggg.
2. She’s got a taste for indie rock. While her overall sound is definitely in the hip-hop genre, Azealia’s style isn’t limited to just beats. An early demo included a cover of Interpol’s “Slow Hands” and she guested on the Scissor Sisters’ “Shady Love” and Lana del Rey’s “Blue Jeans.” Not to mention, she “live(d) fast and die(d) young” with Missy Elliot on M.I.A.’s hit song “Bad Girls.”
3. She’s been open about her abusive family history. In an interview with Dazed & Confused magazine, she said:
“We grew up in the hood, but we had some money. But I moved out when I was 14 to go live with my older sister, because my mom just had, well… issues. After my dad died, my mom became really abusive – physically and verbally. Like she would hit me and my sisters with baseball bats, bang our heads up against walls, and she would always tell me I was ugly. I remember once she threw out all the food in the fridge, just so we wouldn’t have anything to eat. It was like growing up a feral child, being raised by this person who was always yelling and screaming, hitting you and dragging you around and shit. Granted, she never had any drug or drinking problems – her house was clean, her hair was always done, and we had stuff – but she still fucked me up real bad.”
4. She’s got fly style. There’s a reason why Refinery 29 and Spin asked her to perform at their Fashion Week party in NYC tonight — in addition to being wildly talented musically, she also has a unique sense of style that’s still accessible and sets her apart from even her crazier contemporaries like Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. I’m obsessed with the wide array of Kool-Aid colored locks she’s rocked.
5. Her album release date is still soooo far away. Her first full-length album, apparently titled Broke With Expensive Taste, is not due out until February 2013. Argh! For now, you can listen to Azealia’s mixtape Fantasea – which came out in July — and the aforementioned 1991 EP.