“My identity is the music – everything you need to know about me is in the music. My home is in the music. It’s where I originate, it’s where I fall apart, it’s where I come to life.”
On this opening to ‘A Tribe Called Red’, from her debut studio album ‘Dirty Gold’, Angel Haze sounds tired and frustrated by the questioning around ethnicity, gender and sexuality that seems to be the constant focus of the journalists she comes into contact with.
“It becomes really redundant to have the same questions asked to you, when it really honestly is about the music!” she vents. “You can’t scream that in someone’s face and go, ‘Dude, it’s about the f*cking music!’ I don’t talk about my sexuality in songs because you don’t need to know about that. Everything that I write is completely unisex; you can apply it to any type of situation.
“Sometimes I just get really over-anxious. I’m not really good at talking to people. And to be honest, mostly every conversation I ever have is super scripted to the point where I’ve mapped out exactly what a person’s going to say and exactly how I’m going to respond. It’s a very weird thing for me to go through. I’m always super-nervous and fleeing for it to be over.”
The 22-year-old (who, if you must know, originates from Detroit and identifies as being pansexual) has recently released her debut under slightly controversial circumstances. Having promised fans that they would hear it before the end of the year, she leaked ‘Dirty Gold’ via her SoundCloud account rather than waiting for Republic/Island’s March release date.
“I knew exactly what I was doing and how consequential it was,” she explains, “but that doesn’t ever take precedence to me over how important it is to always keep your word. They’d already known prior that it was going to happen, and it was going to be a thing that they’d have to keep me from doing or make strides towards making it easier for me not to do it. After that happened it was just like a basic screaming war, with a really long meeting where everyone’s like, ‘Okay, well, f*ck it. If you want to do it this way, do it this way! Just know that there will be repercussions. But if this is what you want, then this is what we’ll stand behind.’”