Hosted on Miss Blanks’ Instagram Live, the two engaged in a long, insightful and thought provoking discussion of how their race and gender play into their experience within the Australian music industry, as well as life in this country in general.
Over the course of the two hours, the two hit on many topics: what men aren’t doing – and can do – to combat misogyny, what feminism is in 2020, the concept of soft power vs. hard power, and even the issues within the hip-hop culture that both Ramo and Blanks reside in.
“I make hip-hop, right?” Ramo said. “We as a culture are birthed from oppression and bringing a voice to oppression, yet within our culture there’s rampant transphobia. We’re so misogynistic, we’re so sexist, we’re so homophobic. I think if we don’t have these conversations within our communities about recognising our privileges within these intersections, then we are part of the problem in speeding up change.”
That led into a further point Ramo made about his choice to operate as an independent musician throughout the entirety of his career.
“I’ve stayed independent my whole career because the fabric of all structures within our society have come from places where myself and yourself are not supposed to be alive,” he said.
The two also discussed the idea of other people, particularly white people, prescribing the terms ‘activist’ to them.
“Bitch, whether I claim it or not, me stepping out the front door is a political statement,” she said.
“That is radical, that is activism at its peak. My brownness, my femininity, my womanhood, my trans-ness.”
It’s a long spanning conversation, but one worth sitting down and listening to.
As for their music, Ramo is experiencing major critical acclaim with the release of his debut album Black Thoughts, which dropped shortly after George Floyd was killed in America. He recently performed the album at an empty Sydney Opera House.
He called out Q&A, while appearing as a guest on the show, for not letting him perform the album’s standout track ‘April 25th’. MusicFeeds called the song one of the best Australian tracks of the year so far, while deeming Black Thoughts one of the best albums of the year thus far.
As for Blanks, while she hasn’t released any music since 2019’s ‘Tommy’, she is working hard at raising money so she can finally undergo gender affirmation surgery – a notoriously expensive and difficult-to-get procedure in Australia, but one that so many lives depend on. She’s currently just over $10,000 away from her $50,000 goal, so if you’d like to donate to her cause you can visit her GoFundMe page here.
Watch both segments of Blanks and Ramo’s conversation below.
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