There’s Brooke Candy the artist—the enigma, the five-foot-something, covered in tattoos, loves a good latex moment, drops lyrics and beats as hard as Lil’ Kim, Brooke Candy. Then there’s Brooke Candy the woman—the irrefutably loveable—not likable—eyes like beryl, has a voice you want to bathe in and skin you want to lick, Brooke Candy.
She is immediately warm and engaging, possessing that quality of a true performer. She makes everyone in the room feel full and welcome, like you’ve got a front row seat to her show. It’s evident that duality shapes her identity—that woman and artist, like a set of twins, are inherently bound yet constantly working to prove their disparity. She’s a compellingly relatable mix of everyday life, jumping between moments of extreme confidence and vulnerability. Candy’s life work will be discovering who she really is.
Brooke wears top and bottom by Baserange, Shoes by Reike Nen
That brings us to her music. In her newest single “Happy,” she lays down resolute lyrics on heavy bass while tied up in Shibari for the Rankin-directed video. But the name, just like the woman, isn’t what you’d think. Quite the opposite, actually, as the song walks us through the challenges of feeling anything but happy. It dives headfirst into mental health and self-acceptance, both subjects Candy has been vocal about struggling with. To say she’s going through it would be an understatement.
On the heels of ‘Happy’ and ahead of her European mini-tour, we sat down with the hard-to-catch—and equally hard to define—multi-hyphenate.
There has been a ton written about you that makes it seem easy to “know you” without actually knowing you. In your own words, who is Brooke Candy?
“In my own words, I think that Brooke Candy is nobody.”
You’re a bit of a shapeshifter: Your personal style, music, etc. have changed a lot over the years. Do you feel it’s been a journey to finding your true self? And do you think you’ve found it?
“I think my personal style and musical style have changed a lot over the years, but that’s just a natural evolution for most humans. When I was younger, I was a lot more ignorant with the music and art I was making. It had no purpose. Now that I’m older, I’m discovering more of a purpose within the music and art I make; I’m trying to figure out why it needs to be made. My goal is really to help people—especially people with emotional instability or mental health issues. I feel like my music definitely serves a purpose. It’s an escape, not only for me making it but for the listener. That’s how we connect.”
Brooke wears dress by Off-White
You’re really a beacon of individuality and eccentricity. What do you hope for your fans to take away from this?
“I hope that it just makes people happy, and makes anyone who’s been a fan happy. I worked really hard on [this album]—even though we made the entire thing in four days, we did work all day and night. It’s such a process mixing and mastering and going back in and getting all the features. So I hope that it’s still as eccentric and has that semblance of individuality that I’ve always tried to approach my art with. And I hope that it’s a true representation of who I am, because I feel like it is. I hope that shines through.”
At 29, you’ve already had quite a career. How have you evolved personally? Do you ever feel so young to be so seasoned?
“It’s funny you say that, because I feel that I haven’t had a good ‘career’ at all. When I was younger—I think I was 23—I signed a 2.5 million dollar deal with Sony and I worked with Sia, will.i.am, Stargate, Diplo, and big producers like that, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve had a career at all. It’s so bizarre. I’m just now finally feel like my career is starting because I’ve created a body of work that I’ve had full creative control over. I feel like I’m just beginning.”
“I’ve evolved personally just based off of that alone. When I first started making music and art, I was really confused. I didn’t know why I was doing it and I was really, really, really…what’s the right word to describe this…I was really swayed by money. I’d do anything that brought me money or anything I could do to be relevant at that moment—money is what I wanted. So I feel like that’s an evolution that’s taken place because that’s no longer a priority.”
Brooke wears sweater by Acne Studios, underwear and socks by Baserange
Sexual liberation has always been a theme in what you create. Why?
“Well, because I am a very sexual person. I have this weird theory that the planet is creation and consciousness was created. We don’t know who or what created it, but we were put here as human beings to create, and I think being sexual is a form of creation. It’s a natural thing for humans to do. It’s an animalistic impulse, and we are all animals. It’s just something that I’ve always been maybe a little too obsessed with, but, as a woman, I feel like it’s really important to be free with it and own it.”
Your new song, ‘Happy’ just came out. Tell us about it.
“‘Happy’ is actually about being really really unhappy. It’s the saddest song ever. But it’s laid over this beat that goes so hard; it’s this nice juxtaposition of baseline and beats. Also, the delivery of my lyrics is pretty tough; they’re really dark and relatable. I have a lot of the issues I talk about in the song on a regular basis. I think we’re all just trying to find happiness and, oftentimes, we fake it or think that we’ve found it. It’s kind of like me looking in the mirror and telling myself that I’m happy so that I can go about my day and get things done and not just lay in bed all day. Even still today, there are days I don’t want to get out of bed and I am massively depressed. But I think that’s just part of my journey with my mental health, and hopefully one day that will change.”
Brooke wears dress by Priscavera, underwear stylist’s own, shoes by Pierre Hardy
Do you have any self-love rituals?
“My favorite [ritual] is taking a bath. It’s really simple. I put in all of my favorite essential oils and bath salts and I’ll just lay there. There was a time recently when I smoked a little weed; it was the wrong type of weed though, because it was a sativa, and I freaked out and sat in the bath for a couple of hours—at least it felt like a couple of hours—and it totally snapped me out of it. When I’m really stressed out, that really helps.
“Being around people that make me laugh or make me happy is definitely a form of self-love for me. But I’m definitely discovering more forms of self-love because I’m not at a place right now in my life where I can say that I truly 100% love every aspect of my being. I would love to be there, but I’m still on the road to figuring that out.”
“Happy” is the first single from Candy’s upcoming album SEXORCISM, set for release this Summer