“I Actually Understood That ’This Is A Man’s World’ And What That Felt Like, Which Was Powerless”, A Conversation with Agnes Azria
I had the pleasure to interview Agnes Azria. Agnes is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter from Los Angeles. She released her debut music video for her new song ‘The Beauty Myth’ on September 18th. The video is inspired by Naomi Wolf’s book The Beaty Myth, which argues that beauty is the last belief system that keeps male domination intact. Her sound is soulful and powerful and blends jazz and pop influences. Agnes grew up surrounded by the entertainment and fashion industry. She is the daughter of the famous high-end fashion designer, Max Azria (BCBGMAXAZRIA). Surrounded by creative personalities in her large family, Agnes is ready to make her music debut and break in to the industry with her unique sound and lyrics
What is your “back story”?
I grew up incredibly privileged, and that combined with my overt sensitivity made me feel like I have an immense responsibility to give back what I was given. As a baby, I couldn’t fall asleep unless I was sung to by my nanny Ana who lulled her church songs to me, then I started taking voice lessons at 8. From then on, I let music naturally consume me.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
I pooped on stage… do you believe me?
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Can you tell us a little more about your music and sound?
I have a residency this October at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles and I’m planning on making every show different. I want to go CRAZY and engage myself with the audience. On top of that, currently, and probably forever, I am exploring different sounds. I have incredible musicians by my side like Domi Degalle, Chris Bass, Eli Koskoff, and Durell Lee, who change and alter my ideas. I’m just starting to produce myself, and I’m kind of writing a rap and another song with no instrumentation just voice. I know everyone is like, “what’s your image, your sound, how are they going to categorize you” yadayadayada. None of that ever felt right. I really want to empathize liberating identity not trying to enforce one on others or myself! A lot of my music sounds different from each other and I like that it can reach a variety of people.
You just released your music video for your single “The Beauty Myth” Can you tell us the story of that song/video?
Freshman year of college I went to a strip club with my guy friends and I remember feeling so lonely but they didn’t get why. For whatever reason, in those moments I actually understood that “this is a man’s world” and what that felt like, which was powerless. We went on a road trip and I literally saw a sign that said, “our business is your pleasure” for a strip club and I thought it was such a perverse statement, but I told my friends and they didn’t see anything wrong with it. And that scared me, that blind lack of empathy because we are so used to sexism and objectification. After that trip I wrote the song, and my good friend Devin Rojas made this music video to counteract the powerlessness I felt.
Which people in the industry inspire you the most? Why?
Esperanza Spalding and Erykah Badu because of their SOUL. Esperanza just finished her 77 hour live stream of Exposure and I MEAN!!! I admire both of their musicianship and originality and I have so much to learn from them.
Who would you most want to collaborate with? Why?
It would be an honor to collaborate with Esperanza Spalding and Erykah Badu, as well as some producers like Flying lotus, FKJ and Tom Misch.
How have you/do you plan to use your success to bring goodness to the world?
Having people come up to me and express how the music and lyrics to my songs changed their perspective is success to me. I want everyone to become aware of the sexism in front of us regularly so we can do something more about it.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Share examples!
Follow your instincts
You will always be learning
Always plan two steps ahead
Take risks and just do it
If you don’t love it stop
Who in the world would you want to have breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I would love to go to a diner with Erykah so Ican pick her brain, and i would also love to grab a bagel with Ian MacKaye and have his number saved under my favorite contacts.
What’s next for you?
EXPECT MORE RELEASES AND COLLABORATIONS! And probably more of the unexpected!