Dizzy Fae Playboy

Try to Keep Up with Dizzy Fae

The artist discusses her on-going metamorphosis in celebration of her new mixtape, 'NO GMO'

Courtesy Bobby Rose

Dizzy Fae doesn’t like to be still. She won’t sit, and the only time she’s willing to pause is when she’s formulating a thought. It’s our jobs to keep pace with the multi-talented artist, who is currently trying to navigate her way around a pretty tough-looking group of geese. They’ve blocked the path around Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles and they’re not budging. “God, this is like a minefield,” she says, sidestepping around the birds. The fowl family reunion doesn’t faze her though, “We have so many geese in Minnesota...and wild turkeys.” In sky-high Nike platforms, Fae moves around the blockage and gets back to her steady walking gait.

At only 20 years old, navigating her own path through twisted trails and surreal experiences is already second nature. While the singer was a senior in an arts high school, her first track “Color Me Bad” premiered on Beats 1 and before she released her first full mixtape—2018’s experimental R&B Free Form—she was already on tour with Lizzo. That experience opening for a fellow Minneapolitan allowed Fae to get to know crowds around the country, study what made them move and figure out what she wanted her relationship to be with them. 

“I think being versatile is the future,” she says with a nonchalant shrug.
She could be talking about any aspect of her life—from her identity as a queer, brown woman to her personal style, which today includes a brassy wig—but, in this instance, she’s talking about her next mixtape. NO GMO, out now, finds Fae working with the same producers that she’s collaborated on in the past (Psymun and Alec Ness), but her sound has shifted, evidently influenced by pulsating electronica. Fae leans into the electronic wave for tracks like the dancefloor-ready “Big Wall” and the glitchy “Company,” describing her second release as a project for people to think less and feel more. 
I know some people just like being plain in the box. I’ll dabble in the same box, but I'm also going to play around.
“I think when you're living your truth, you don't think as much as you think you do,” Fae says, as an answer to a question and as a reminder to herself. “When you're really doing you, it's your gut that's guiding you… For this project, NO GMO, I really got out of my own head. I noticed, when I was in my head…you have to think about [everything you do], in a more critical sense.”

While Fae wants to give her fans a mental break when they hear NOGMO, she knows that, in this day and age, everyone’s got to stay vigilant: “It’s very important to be aware. I think that’s something that shouldn’t get dismissed when you want to get out of your own head. I’m still figuring out the best ways to be informed [without] getting wrapped up in social media." She continues, "People find so much validation in social media and I think that's where getting in your head becomes a problem. But it's good to be informed about what's happening in the world… There's always something better that can happen in the world, that you can be a part of.”

Fae’s composure is inspiring, but her honesty is what’s most captivating. “I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately,” she says about her post-school life and burgeoning career. “Like, what am I really doing? I think that's hitting me right now. I'm really just trying to find the best ways to stay aware, stay up to date, but, like, really do me the best way possible because I think you're always enough.”
Part of Fae’s path is navigating the same questions about her being an out queer woman asked over and over (and over) again. “Not too long ago, I was talking to my manager like ‘Why do people ask me the same fucking questions?’ It’s so annoying! But, you know what, [I have] compassion for them. People aren't used to that. Even if they heard you say it, they want to know for themselves. I'm okay with that.” She follows the curve of the lake, lost in thought for a moment, “Sometimes I get annoyed, though. Like, can they ask me what my favorite color is or some shit? Or can they ask me about how I feel about walking on a sidewalk? I know some people just like being plain in the box. I’ll dabble in the same box, but I'm also going to play around. You know what I'm saying?”

Thinking outside the box comes naturally to Fae. Beyond wanting to have conversations that don’t exclusively deal with her sexuality, she continues her career at her pace—from directing her own music videos to acting in fellow rising star Khalid’s feature film, Free Spirit. “I don't think anyone's made to do one thing,” Fae says, still forging her route around the lake. “So when I say ‘my brand,’ this is a phase [of my] overall being. I like to dabble and I'm just passionate. I just flow with passion, so whatever I'm passionate about, I'm going to be passionate about. That can be bittersweet in some cases, but it's definitely something that keeps [me] moving.”

Just because Fae likes to go with the flow, it doesn’t mean she’s aimless or confused. “I think when you just like flow with passion, you don't really goal set,” she says. “I've been working on really goal setting and doing things for my future self—and what that looks like. I envision where I want to be every day, but goal setting and actually having like some goals is a good thing to do.”
I don't think anyone's made to do one thing.
Self-confidence has always been a north star for the artist, whose real name isn’t Dizzy Fae. “I know myself more than anybody and Dizzy Fae is me,” she says, careful not to reveal her given name. “At birth, my mom picked my name, my dad picked my name. But Dizzy Fae is the name I got to pick; you know?” She refers to ‘Dizzy’ in the third person several times around the lake, but it never sounds pretentious—it’s her deliberate choice for her future. “It’s not like an identity crisis thing. It’s actually pretty tight. It’s very freeing.”

And no one knows the untapped power of Dizzy Fae more than Fae herself: “It's my art—my art piece—you know? [Dizzy is] everything for me. With getting older and more disciplined [I’m] more aware of my platform and aware that there are people that look up to me… I'm really trying to become really ace at [trusting] my intuition and my gut feeling.”
Part of trusting her gut includes knowing when she’s ready for the next step: a debut album. “I think mixtapes are like caterpillars and I'm a caterpillar right now. Who am I think to think I'm a butterfly right now? Like, I'm really just tapping into myself, but it's going to happen because I want it to happen,” she says, adding another goal to her list.

“A debut album is a big thing. I think [a debut album is] you saying ‘I'm a butterfly,’ and I'm not a butterfly yet.” Fae starts to laugh, “But I'm cute-ass caterpillar! A very hardworking caterpillar! It's definitely going to happen and when it does happen it's going to be, it's worth the wait.”

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