FM Meets BIIANCO

"HIRE WOMEN PRODUCERS. Yeah, you can’t scroll through Instagram or TikTok without stumbling upon a woman bedroom producer but that doesn’t mean shit when it comes to money. We might be visible but we’re not. being. hired. Do not mistake visibility online for closing the gender gap. The major labels and publishers are still leaning on the same men to handle the big projects. They still launch the careers of male producers and hesitate when investing in women. The game is rigged. The ceiling is concrete—not glass. We need to blow it up. "
27 April 2021

By Vanessa B

Hailing from Manhattan, NYC, LA-based BIIANCO – queer-femme producer, singer-songwriter, poet, director, and multi-instrumentalist – presents her glorious Bandersnatch-esque interactive music video game for new luxuriantly hypnotic electro-chillwave gem, called “that’s what friends are for”.

The game is rigged. The ceiling is concrete—not glass. We need to blow it up. 

How are you BIIANCO? What’s on your mind right now?

I’m mostly just adjusting from apocalyptic to post-apocalyptic life in the music industry.  It’s the Wild West with everyone running full speed towards touring after a year of being cooped up.  

The music video game for “that’s what friends are for” – very interesting concept! Can you elaborate on how the idea came about to use the medium of a multiple choice story game?

We wanted to leave the fate of the storyline in the hands of the audience and viewers.  I loved the idea of placing the responsibility of being a “good friend” on the viewers shoulders rather than decide for them.  I grew up with those choose-your-own-adventure Goosebumps books and was really inspired by that when developing the concept for this video.

Your music has been described as “queer-femme downtempo electronica”. How did you find your way into this niche?

I make the music I love which is downtempo electronica (amongst other styles).  I also happen to be a queer femme human so it really has been a quite natural progression into the niche 🙂  Though, I would love to just exist in the downtempo electronica space without being qualified as a woman too.  There are simply not enough women in that space and we should normalize it.

You have a series on TikTok offering tips and knowledge for fledgling bedroom producers. How do you see TikTok or any other platforms facilitating artists and producers at the start of their careers?

TikTok is the best for this because the algorithm is so amazing at getting content in front of the exact people who want to see it.  So, every time I upload a music production tip video on TikTok, it’s immediately being viewed by thousands of bedroom producers across the platform.  Music production used to be so elitist.  There was all this hardcore, mathematical engineering knowledge that was only accessible to the people privileged enough to go to school for it—and without those understandings, you really can’t get beyond a certain point in production.  I went into these tips videos with the hope of giving people the shit that took me years to gain access to in one minute digestible increments. 

Who do you hope to inspire or touch with your art, and to what end?

I want to make people move and to move people. My art is a ladder and a trap door into my mind and my mind is a labyrinth of raw, vulnerable, complex emotions. I hope they listen to my music when they need a soundtrack to their most emotional moments.  I also hope to make people dance 🙂

What are some things you would love to see a change in the music industry?

HIRE WOMEN PRODUCERS. Yeah, you can’t scroll through Instagram or TikTok without stumbling upon a woman bedroom producer but that doesn’t mean shit when it comes to money. We might be visible but we’re not. being. hired.  Do not mistake visibility online for closing the gender gap.  The major labels and publishers are still leaning on the same men to handle the big projects.  They still launch the careers of male producers and hesitate when investing in women. The game is rigged. The ceiling is concrete—not glass. We need to blow it up.  

Who have been some unexpected inspirational figures for you?

Honestly, I need to shout out Femme House and specifically LP Giobbi for the work they’re doing to empower, educate and actually move the needle when it comes to women producers in music.

From an artistic perspective, I’ve been really inspired lately by 90s trip hop—like Faithless, Massive Attack, Zero 7.  They have such gorgeous ways of blending jazz voicings and electronic elements—it feels incredibly elevated.  

Unexpectedly, I’ve also been extremely visually inspired by prohibition-era and tapping into my southern Italian/Sicilian family ties.  That was around the time when they immigrated to the United States and I find myself learning more about them and it informs my identity.  Bianco is, after all, their family name and is at the core of all things BIIANCO.

When you’re writing a song, how do you know when you have an idea worth pursuing?

I pursue every idea.  If, four hours later, I’m still enchanted by it, I finish it.  That might not be the most time-efficient way to do things but sometimes you stumble on a treasure chest off an idea that you might have initially thought had little value.

What’s coming next for you as an artist and producer, or with any other passion projects?

I am wrapping up production on a full mixtape and am excited to start touring again.  I also started this monthly DJ series where I’m remixing songs that remind me of the different zodiac signs (next up is Taurus season!).  Diving into more remixes and DJ sets has been a departure from the way I normally handle my live shows but it’s been really freeing and fun.  I am also really passionate about digging more into connecting with my fans on live streams and Twitch and interacting with them during production sessions.  It’s such a fun and supportive community of fellow music producer nerds 🙂

biianco.com

@itsbiianco

 Photos by Scott Fleishman

©FM