“You have to kill your plants a few times before they thrive”
BY SAMANTHA GRIERSON, IMAGE VIA BIAANCO ON INSTAGRAM
I caught up with Biianco in Canada, where they are recording a new Mix Tape. Transported virtually, I can see that the LA vibe travels with them as they wander through the Vancouver streets, chatting to me and swigging from an oversized porcelain mug, wires dangling from earphones – the epitome of early morning Transatlantic cool. I ask them about their music and what drives them: it’s music that is “interactive and immersive, visually and audibly compelling”, they tell me. The LA-based musician/producer gives an easy laugh and says, “The way people are consuming content has changed. We need to change. My biggest fear is holding onto things that are not working. People are gravitating towards visual”. Their latest release, Pins and Needles, presents an interactive 360 video of Biianco crawling out of heartbreak on a rocky beach, with wild seas and a potential rescue boat. “It’s Gladiatorial – can I survive this?” they ask. The video has hidden features, called Easter Eggs, and the more you watch and interact with it, the more you discover.
Biianco wants to demystify what they do, to make it more accessible to women particularly but also a wider audience. Biianco admits they would have started producing earlier in life but it was never a conversation that occurred to them internally. “There was a gap between me and producers. I didn’t know the technical terms – EQ, compress etc. But you learn. You have to kill your plants a few times before they thrive. Now I share all of it on TikTok – the mix chains and loops, anyone should be able to do it”.
Biianco identifies as pansexual, non-binary, femme presenting. They are scathing about the underrepresentation of women, particularly in the producing side of the business, with the percentage of female producers reaching just 5%. “What’s sad about that is that womens’ ears are more sensitive and have evolved differently to tune into mid and high range frequencies. This should be harnessed”.
I wonder where Biianco gets all of their energy from – we discuss what it’s like to create and produce our own work, and how we are motivated to do that without a team around us. “It’s from direct feedback loops, like TikTok. I can see the growth happen. When I put out a new loop and I get 32,000 likes and comments, that’s energy. I take time out to juggle and this enables me to create. Sometimes I isolate in Vancouver, and I travel between London and LA. I don’t need an expensive studio anymore. I can create anywhere”.
Having spent the last hour chatting with Biianco in this virtual adhoc space, I can see their vision enfolding. I totally get the concept now – limitless, without boundaries and with no need for the formal industry approach that used to dominate.
Watch this space, DIVAs. Biianco has more than a few more tricks up their sleeve. Pins and Needles is available for streaming now, with MIXTAPE #2 due on 28 October.
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