WHAT YOU CAN’T AND WON’T WANT TO UNSEE IN “PUT YOU IN THE KITCHEN”

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Wouldn’t it be grand if we could custom-tailor our vibe intake… Pardon, but I’d really love a bit more Cheeto-laden, sneaker-clad, new age energy infused into my daily content diet? Now serving Biianco and Chong the Nomad’s new video for single “Put You In the Kitchen”.

“Fuck conventional song form, let’s make this song a wild dance ride.”

…was the proclamation these two powerhouse womxn producers made to each other early on in the process. And we can attribute the song’s hypnotic quality to this clear intention. The way the synths bloom out of each other, the way the tune leads you into different movements without you realizing you’ve left the last all contribute to the ‘Alice moving through many doors of an electronic Wonderland’ experience.

But behind the seductive soundscape is a lesson in perseverance… The let-down of Biianco’s international tour being cancelled due to Covid could have led to a much longer meltdown but instead she recycled this energy into more creation. The video, made remotely during quarantine, is the scrumptious result of that newfound time. A Frida Kahlo like pallet of colors and imagery served with a side of Queen-dom at no extra charge.

We were lucky enough to speak with Biianco, the multi-faceted Italian songstress herself about how excavating existing talents helped her realize her role as  producer of her own experience…

Can you elaborate on your production process? What comes first, words, a sentiment, the music, etc…

Honestly, my production process is really different for each song but with this one, I was in the studio with Chong the Nomad and she was telling me about how she was finally able to leave her job as a cook for music.   We kept laughing and celebrating the idea of finally getting out of the kitchen and how symbolic that is for women historically — so the concept/vibe really came first.  Alda (Chong The Nomad) is absolutely incredible with beats so we started this session with her on her laptop making the beat and me weaving in the chords and the bass line around it.  It was probably the first time I’ve ever been in the studio with another woman where we were co-producing the track so fluidly and it was really amazing.  At one point we looked at each other and were like “fuck conventional song form, let’s make this song a wild dance ride.”  So, that’s why the song drifts through different sections in an unpredictable manner.

How did it differ when collaborating with Chong the Nomad here? What was the impetus for you to coming together?

I actually told a few mutual friends that I really loved Chong The Nomad’s music and they organically put us in touch.  It was really a perfect puzzle piece writing process because our strengths compliment each other really well.  We’re also queer womxn producers so we really relate to each other’s life experiences as well.

This song speaks to perseverance, especially when not expected. How did the quarantine play a role in this? Did you have to decide early on you were going to approach this time in this manner as opposed to sinking into stagnancy?

Quarantine hit right as I was about to head out on a big international tour.  I spent 24 hours absolutely devastated (probably drinking too much wine) about it getting postponed and then I said fuck it and channeled all that aries itchy energy into creating.  You’re right.  Put You In The Kitchen really does embody that “make the most of what you got” sentimentality so it’s been a good anthem for this time period.  I used this time to finish my debut full length and re-imagine wildly different covers of some of my favorite songs.  Oh and lots of zoom recording sessions.  I am now a pro at producing music over zoom 🙂

This video was created in quarantine as well. Both of you being shot separately. Love the tangible quality of the colors and food, all of it and how the two of you come bounding off the screen. What was the process like creating something without being able to have much contact with your collaborators? 

A lot of phone calls.  We planned everything over the phone and pieced the shots together a little over the course of 2 months.  I feel so bad for Chong’s neighbors because she was probably banging on those pots for an entire afternoon in her kitchen.   Conceptually, I wanted to play with the idea of ascension into a role that no one expects of you.  That’s why there’s so much “queen-dom” imagery with a tinge of Cheeto-laden, sneaker-clad new age vibe.  I’m really Italian too (Bianco is actually my mother’s maiden name) so I always try to weave symbolism from my Italian roots into my art.

Can you tell us a little about the Joshua Tree writing retreat that set Biianco in motion and how it empowered you as a female producer?

Leading up to that retreat, I had spent a lot of time producing the live stems for my band or always demoing out songs before I’d go into the studio with another producer.  I simply had not thought of myself as a producer.  I had never seen myself in that role probably because of internalizing a lot of cultural stigmas.  Once I was there, and I was watching all these womxn talk about their production processes and how they use Ableton for live performances, I realized… oh shit I’m actually already doing all this.  And a lightbulb went on that I already was a producer and I was just holding myself back by not just embracing that and stepping into that technical role.  It was sort of a “once you see it, you can’t unsee it” moment.

Has there been any art that has kept you inspired in these last few months? If you were quarantined with that artist, what would you ask them?

Still Woozy has been on repeat in my house and I would probably make him explain to me exactly how his brain births his basslines and beats.  His songs have such a natural marriage between elements to create groove and I really admire that.  I also am absolutely in love with Jessie Reyez and the way she writes lyrics in such a conversational and fierce tone.  If we were quarantining together, I’d probably just fall in love with her 🙂

CONNECT WITH BIIANCO

INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY

CONNECT WITH CHONG THE NOMAD

INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY

photos / courtesy of the artists

story / Chris Hess

 

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