Wednesday 2nd January

| BY 10Magazine

MALUCA

In the world of Maluca, hair and music have equal importance. Her hair today is Aztec Hair Princess. In a weird way it’s a pretty accurate description of her sound, which is futuristic urban party monster. But faster. More amped up. If her house were on fire, the one thing she would save would be weave. And weave glue. After all, you can make music pretty much anywhere, whereas replacing hair product can be a bitch.

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you have a weave collection? Or a wig collection? Do you wear wigs?”

MALUCA: “Um, I don’t wear wigs. Um, very few times, but I would be into it. I used to wear a lot of wigs actually when, um, I used to be this door girl to this cage party years ago and I wore a lot of wigs, but I’m definitely into weaves a lot. I have like tons of this shit in my house, like braids and all kinds of colours and… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Oh wow. Does your weave collection rival Cher’s wig collection? Is it as big? Do you have as much fake hair at home as Cher?”

MALUCA: “Actually, no, because after a while you kind of just have to get rid of it, you know, but if I did have it all, I mean, it would be like an armoire of hair. If I could retrieve all the hair, that would a lot of frickin’ hair.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “You could make a coat from it or something. You could make an outfit.”

MALUCA: “Yeah. Actually, I used to wear my hair like accessories.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “That’s amazing.”

MALUCA: “I used to be very into wearing my weave hair as a belt or as necklaces and stuff like that.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Who’s your hair icon?”

MALUCA: “Who’s my hair icon?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you have a hair icon?”

MALUCA: “Gosh.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Is there anybody’s hair that you would like to have?”

MALUCA: “Whoa, I don’t know – I have so many different inspirations. I’m really into Björk and Gwen Stefani when they had their knots.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Those were great.”

MALUCA: “I’m really into, like, hair shows. Really tacky hair shows, you know, like helicopter hair and all that cliché shit.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you brush yours every night? A hundred strokes, like a princess?”

MALUCA: “Yeah, I usually brush my hair, like a pretty, pretty princess every night and, like, wrap it up, so yeah.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “So, in Lady Gaga’s Telephone video she wears cans in her hair as rollers. Like you did in El Tigeraso. She sort of ripped off your hair-roller look. Is that a compliment? Or are you annoyed she copied you?”

MALUCA: “Well, actually, I wasn’t the first to do it, to be honest with you. It’s been done in editorials. Naomi Campbell did it. A few other people did it, too. Even though that style is very true to urban Dominican neighbourhoods. You know, people don’t have money for rollers, so they use cans or straws, but I don’t necessarily know if she… I’m not gonna claim that she copied me, but if she was inspired by me I think that’s amazing that she’s watching. She should do it, honey.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “She should watch you more. What are you planning to do with your hair next?”

MALUCA: “Well, I’m kind of into doing, like, braided architecture.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Oh.”

MALUCA: “Very into how weave is really intricate braiding and long, Indian kind of hair, like… intricate urban braided architecture.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Like a futuristic Pocahontas.”

MALUCA: “Yeah. Exactly like Pocahontas.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Your name means bad girl. Are you a bad girl? What’s the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?”

MALUCA: “Oh boy. I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you because then I might have to kill you. If my mother finds out she’s gonna… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What’s the second most amount of trouble you’ve gotten into that your mother can find out about?”

MALUCA: “Jesus. Um, I’m usually kind of known for sneaking into places that I’m not supposed to, like New York City pools and buildings, and you know, hopping over fences and kind of… The last time I hopped over a fence I fell and, like, fractured my back.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Owww.”

MALUCA: “In Belgium. Yeah, so mixing tequila and fences is no good.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Did you have fun in Belgium at least?”

MALUCA: “Prior to the fall? Yeah. I mean, even after I fell I was like, ‘Can somebody give me a shot of Jack Daniel’s.’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Just to numb the pain.”

MALUCA: “Yeah, exactly. I had a great time. It was a really fun show.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “You’re also in the new Louis Vuitton sunglasses campaign.”

MALUCA: “Mmmhhh.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “How did that come about? Did you enjoy doing it? Did they let you keep any sunglasses?”

MALUCA: “Um, actually, they couldn’t let me keep the sunglasses because they were samples.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Haven’t they sent you any? They should send you some.”

MALUCA: “I know. I can rock ’em. But yeah, I had a lot of fun. And I went out on a limb and did long dreadlocks in different colours.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “They were great. Pink and blue and yellow?”

MALUCA: “Yes. Kind of like a cyberpunk meets East Village kid, so I kind of went out on a limb a little bit. I didn’t know if Louis Vuitton was gonna be into this, but they loved it and it was just so nice to be embraced by such a big brand and they really let me be myself so… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you know how they heard about you? Did Marc Jacobs see your videos?”

MALUCA: “Actually it was Jalouse. Because there was a Jalouse-Louis Vuitton collaboration.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Ohh.”

MALUCA: “So I don’t know if Marc Jacobs knows, but… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “He probably does now.”

MALUCA: “That would be great.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “He’s probably so obsessed with you now. There’ll be an LV collaboration coming soon. You’ll be making Louis Vuitton weave for them.”

MALUCA: “Yeah, definitely. It me took me, like, a whole day to get ready for that shoot. It was all worth it, so… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Would you ever paint yourself in LV logo like Lil’ Kim did and do a nude shoot painted in the logo?”

MALUCA: “That was amazing! Actually I wanted to do something like that for the shoot but I didn’t have the chance. I wanted Louis Vuitton nails and kind of like a Louis Vuitton eyebrow, but it was so time sensitive. But yeah, I would love to do something like that.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “They should invite you back for another campaign.”

MALUCA: “I know. I really want to do a Louis Vuitton stomp. Yeah, that would be kind of amazing, wouldn’t it?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “That would be amazing. Do you have any crazy pre-gig rituals? Do you pray? Do you suck off a bottle of Evian like Madonna used to? What do you do to get ready?”

MALUCA: “For a show?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Yeah.”

MALUCA: “Panic.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Panic?”

MALUCA: “That’s my ritual. I usually panic.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you need to breathe in a paper bag to calm down?”

MALUCA: “No, no, no, no, no. I kind of just huff and puff. I kind of just like to be in my own space. By myself. In the bathroom or just in an area by myself and I just blank everything out. I don’t think about anything at all.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Just be quiet by yourself.”

MALUCA: “Yeah. I like to be quiet because then the fears are gonna come up. It’s like the quiet before the storm.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you get a rider?”

MALUCA: “Yeah, I do have a rider.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What do you have on your rider?”

MALUCA: “What do I have on my rider?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Yeah – are you like J.Lo? Do you need everything to be painted white? Do you need butterflies like Mariah Carey?”

MALUCA: “Honey, not yet, but soon. I’m gonna go off. I need, like, M&M’s.

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Brown ones removed.”

MALUCA: “And like all kinds of weave glue and I don’t know. Just, like, stupid shit. Like a pony.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Because you know you’ll be wanting to glue weave to the pony to occupy your mind.”

MALUCA: “Exactly. But do you know what I heard? I heard that people do that. Put really crazy things on their rider to make sure that the promoters are paying attention to everything else. That’s kind of like the clue. If you get like pink M&M’s, then you know that you’re gonna have the wildest night because they’re paying attention to the rider.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “That’s good to know for future reference.”

MALUCA: “Yeah. It’s really not because we want to be difficult. It’s kind of like if they can pay attention to the little details, then they’re paying attention to the bigger details.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What does music mean to you?”

MALUCA: “Music means freedom. It’s born from a place where I feel that I can really just, you know… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Be yourself?”

MALUCA: “It means freedom. It means escape. Fantasy. That’s, like, the one place where I feel, like, free.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “How would you define your sound?”

MALUCA: “My sound is definitely a New York sound with, like, a Latin undertone, so it’s like, I mean, I don’t know how I would describe it. How would you describe it?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “I don’t know. It’s kind of like there’s this Latino pop bit, but there are these crazy beats on top of it, so it’s like it’s all been fast-forwarded? It’s like this strange, infectious, mash-up thing. I really like it.”

MALUCA: “Awesome. Thank you.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “How has your Dominican heritage influenced the sound of your music? Does it play a big role?”

MALUCA: “It does, and the way I see it, it’s not even a conscious thing. It’s kind of like me being Dominican – it’s kind of like you’re… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Being yourself?”

MALUCA: “It’s sort of there. It’s always there. It’s always inside of me. It oozes out of everything. The way I talk, the way I eat, the way I play music, so… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “It’s just part of you.”

MALUCA: “Yeah. It’s just ingrained. It’s just a part of me.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “So, whatever happened to the Wepasodes? Have they ended?”

MALUCA: “They have not ended. Just, it’s really about finding that person to collaborate with, and if it’s just not right, then I don’t want to put it out, so I’m still looking for that right person. Also, it’s a lot of time to dedicate – you have to follow me around everywhere – but they will be coming. They will be coming.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “I’m quite excited by that. Where did the idea for them come from?”

MALUCA: “Well, I needed to put out more internet content and I’m really not into that whole ‘put some bullshit up on the internet just to put it up’. I kind of want to make a statement. I want to be, like… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do it properly.”

MALUCA: “Put something out there that’s really cool. It’s not reality TV, it’s real TV. And I kind of was inspired by, like, public-access television that seemed kind of, like, grimy and gritty. A mix between that and Madonna’s… ”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Documentary? Truth or Dare?”

MALUCA: “Exactly.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “So you don’t secretly dream of being a reality TV star?”

MALUCA: “Do I secretly want to? Probably.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Would you ever do a guest appearance on a reality-TV show?”

MALUCA: “Oh my God, Top Chef or Project Runway, yeah, for sure.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What about the Kardashians or Jersey Shore?”

MALUCA: “No, no, no, no, no. I don’t think so. I don’t know. It would depend. Are they at my concert? That kind of thing.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Who is Banjee Rose?”

MALUCA: “Banjee Rose is my avatar. Like in Second Life, because I’m really into Second Life and The Sims.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What’s your Second Life life like? Is it the same as your real life? Is it complete fantasy?”

MALUCA: “It is complete fantasy. It’s kind of an extension of myself. Like the Banjee Rose is kind of like, you know, how I found my Twitter – Banjee Rose from the ‘Konkrete Jungle’, but kind of like there’s this rose that grew up in the ’hood amongst all this concrete… You know how you find that one flower peeking through the cracks…?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “That breaks through and that’s you.”

MALUCA: “Yeah.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Wow. We’ve also noticed, from obsessively stalking your Tumblr, that you really like clompy shoes, which makes us think that you must be a big fan of 1990s girl bands – maybe the Spice Girls. So who is your favourite Spice Girl? And why?”

MALUCA: “Oh boy. I can’t believe you’re gonna make me have to pick.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Well, everybody has a favourite Spice Girl.”

MALUCA: “I think my favourite Spice Girl would have to be Scary Spice.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “She had the best hair.”

MALUCA: “It wasn’t even that. It was just her energy. It was so infectious and, growing up, she just seemed so powerful. She looked like she could kick someone’s ass.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “She probably could. She kicked Eddie Murphy’s ass.”

MALUCA: “Yeah, exactly.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?”

MALUCA: “I think the best gig I’ve ever played would have to be at… There’s, like, a couple, but the one in Belgium where I hurt myself. Even though I hurt myself it was my first time performing in front of such a huge crowd. It must have been over 10,000 people and I had no idea. And I was opening up for Diplo and Rusko, and it was just me when I first started, no dancers.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Did you not get stage fright?”

MALUCA: “Yeah. I probably shit on myself. I was so frickin’ scared. People were throwing stuff on the stage. I was like, ‘Oh my God, they hate me.’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What? Underwear?”

MALUCA: “They were, like, throwing items of clothing. Shoes. And I’d never seen anything like that before. And after the show people were like, ‘That was amazing, oh my God.’ And I was like, ‘Didn’t you see? People were throwing stuff at me.’ And they were like, ‘No, they were offering their shit to you because they thought your show was so good.’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Is that what people do in Belgium?”

MALUCA: “In Europe, at big festivals, they throw, like, their jackets and random stuff. If they’re throwing bottles, that’s a bad thing. But if they’re throwing random stuff it’s like, ‘Oh, we love you, we’re gonna give you something.’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “I’ve never heard of that before. That’s insane.”

MALUCA: “I know, that’s fucking crazy. Yeah. So that was probably one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever done. It’s an experience.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you have a group of hardcore fans? Like groupies? That follow you around the world wherever you go?”

MALUCA: “Well I have some that follow me around the country. I have this one fan whose father works for a taxi company named Diplo. You know that’s fucking hilarious. And he comes to Philly. He comes to Jersey. He’ll come to Connecticut. Him and his crew. They will be there. I feel a little like, ‘Are you watching Mary J Blige or Maluca?’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Wow.”

MALUCA: “I know – they’re, like, amazing. I mean, I have, like, die-hard fans in LA who follow me. They’ll come to San Francisco; they’ll go wherever I am in the California area.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you ever get recognised on the street?”

MALUCA: “I do. The thing is I always forget. And I’m such a New Yorker. I’m thinking that they want change. Like, ‘What do you want? You want a cigarette? What is it?’ You know, I’m really lucky. I’m like, ‘Oh God, I love you, too. I’m so embarrassed. Come have a pizza with me.’”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “So, it doesn’t freak you out if random people approach you on the street and ask if they can touch you.”

MALUCA: “They’re super cool. My fans are the coolest fucking shit ever. They dress cool. Just, like, their whole attitude, their energy is so up and fun. They’re so progressive and they’re, like, really pushing boundaries and they say I inspire them. A lot of my fans are kids from urban neighbourhoods who are kind of, like, the freaks, you know. Who want to be different and break out of the mould and get out of the neighbourhood and just travel and take part, so I’m really lucky. My fans are just so fucking cool.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you have a nickname for them? Like Lady Gaga calls hers her monsters?”

MALUCA: “Not really. Sometimes I call them Lolas or Locas – stuff like that – but, um, that’s just because they’ve started calling themselves that. They’re just like ‘I’m your Lola, Maluca, I’m your Lola.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “So you don’t have fans, you have Lolas?”

MALUCA: “Yeah. Lolas everywhere.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Are there any musicians at the moment that you think are amazing? That you’re a fan of?”

MALUCA: “Any music?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “What’s your favourite band? Musician or…?”

MALUCA: “I’m a big fan of Zombie. He’s from London. And he’s a producer and he’s kind of, like, a genius. So I’m a really big fan of his. And, of course, my friend Azealia Banks, who’s now working on new music, so that’s really exciting. Who else? There are so many, actually, but because I’m in the process of making music I try not to listen to too much.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Do you and Azealia do each other’s hair?”

MALUCA: “Do we do each other’s hair? No. Can you imagine? That would be like a hot mess. I don’t think so. I’m gonna tell Azealia you said that. That’s fucking hilarious.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “You could do a performance piece. You could do each other’s hair on stage.”

MALUCA: “That would be quite amazing. Actually, speaking of performance pieces, I did my friend’s art show – this photographer named Kenny Rivero. He’s, like, an amazing art photographer and I did, like, a performance piece. I did, like, an airbrushed denim jean on my body, so it looked like a pair of denim jeans but it was airbrushed latex. And then I wore it with a shirt.”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “You’ve got to wear knickers with that, though.”

MALUCA: “Yeah, like, barely any knickers. My ass was all out there. But for art’s sake – you know what I mean?”

NATALIE DEMBINSKA: “Well, if it’s for art’s sake, that’s fine.”

MALUCA: “Exactly. Sometimes, for art, we have to sacrifice some body.”

 www.malucamaluca.com

by Natalie Dembinska