At the beginning of 2015, self-proclaimed post-crunk rapper Chippy Nonstop returned from a slew of dates in Asia to the US to find that her visa was no longer valid, and was sent to Vancouver. Since then, she has DJed at events around the world, and set up Intersessions, an organisation who run workshops to ‘teach women & people within the LGBTQ+ community how to DJ, record vocals and produce music.’
Now, she has released her first LP since then, in collaboration with dj genderfluid – supposedly the secret alias of a famous LGBTQ+ Canadian producer – with influences that span from jungle to techno. It dropped early last month. Tracks with titles such as Let’s Get Messy For The Drama and Why Did You Block Me?, along with Chippy’s nonstop internet presence on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and OnlyFans, speak to a whole new generation of e-consumers.
The style of your album, in collaboration with dj genderfluid, is very different to the post-crunk material you were releasing in the early 2010s. What remains is that the music is danceable and ostensibly unserious – ironic even – yet well-crafted and very appreciable. Is there an intentional carnivalism in your creative work?
I think the biggest intention in my life and with my music has always been do whatever the fuck you want, as long as I feel fulfilled. If you feel happy and fulfilled that will come across and make other people happy too. I have always been nihilistic, in the sense that nothing in the world is that serious and I don’t know anything for sure.
Your family moved around quite often when you were growing up. In an interview with the Fader, you mention Dubai, Zambia, and Toronto. Do you think the danceable carnival feel of your music is influenced by celebrations in these places, such as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival [formerly Caribana]?
I think raves and underground party culture influences my music more than carnival feel.
In a 2012 interview with Vice, you called yourself the ‘second coming of Biggie’. Your new album, since being deported in 2015, though, showcases a wide variety of influences from jungle, trance, gabba, and techno, for example. It feels more influenced by dance genres that are often perceived as European. Do you think that since being deported, you have identified more with scenes and genres that have a wider base outside of the US?
OMG, I don’t even know why VICE said that, I guess it was a joke. I have always listened to dance music from around the world. If you listen to the Money Dance 101 EP it is very dance music influenced. Travelling Europe and Asia more and not being able to tour America though has definitely impacted my music taste though. I feel much more inspired out of America.
Do you feel disillusioned by more distinctly American (i.e., the USA, not the continents) styles and conventions in music? Do you feel nostalgic for its culture, or have you found a greater haven in other styles?
I don’t even know what American culture is? Hamburgers and beer? I’m not nostalgic for that. I’ve never felt at home in America. I miss my family and my friends, but nothing about the “culture” resonates with me. The raves we used to throw in Brooklyn and LA were counter-culture and against the grain. I’ve been playing and throwing queer raves since 2012, the community is global, that’s all I need.
You are very active on Twitter, Instagram, and even Tik Tok. The eccentric and ecstatic music certainly recalls the explosion in Hyperpop and PC Music that’s been happening over the last few years. Do you think this has introduced a whole new generation of (probably younger) fans to your music? Do you find that interacting with and building a fanbase in this way has felt natural to you?
Yeah, I grew up online. I was on Myspace aggressively, I was on Tumblr , I would go in chat rooms and talk to strangers all day. I feel like for some people who are in my generation it’s hard for them to be online as much, but for me it’s just what I have done and continue to do. I’m not trying to reach anyone specifically, I just do what I do and whoever wants to fuck with me can. I don’t feel pressure to get a younger fanbase or anything I just do what feels right to me and hope people are feeling it.
Do you think many of your fans from the Moneydance days are still with you?
I feel like there are some loyal ones in there still. The real ones know.
From what I gather, the elusive dj genderfluid is based in Toronto, while you’re currently based in Mexico. Has your collaboration been purely via the internet? If so, how has the experience been compared to the days of always working with collaborators in-person?
We worked in person. ;) I'm back in Toronto now.
You are a key part of Intersessions, a ‘sound initiative that addresses the gender disparity in music’. How did you first get involved, and what has your experience been?
I started the workshop series with 3 friends in Vancouver. I love hosting and teaching these workshops and I love the community it has created.
Since you have experience as both a rapper and DJ-producer in different countries, what obstacles have you faced as a brown woman in music? Are there any experiences that have been common across the board, or particular to a specific scene or country?
I feel like as a brown person people wanna pigeonhole you to a specific genre of “world-music’ or something “exotic” just because you are brown. I have always and will continue to deal with being fetishised for being “exotic” and sometimes questions about where I’m from because Indian people aren’t usually “cool” enough to make the music I do, for some reason.
Have you found that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Intersessions workshops and events have made you feel more connected to others and their experiences? How does it make you feel to see the alumni progress?
I mean it’s hard to see. Some of the people who have come to the workshops feel lost and feel like they can’t play any shows or live out their dreams and even though I am one of their mentors, I am in the same position. So it’s hard to be there for everyone.
Many of the workshops have been at max capacity, and you also recently held a workshop with VANS. Your album is eclectic yet coherent. I’m personally addicted. What does the future hold for Intersessions and for Chippy Nonstop? Will Chippy ever stop?
I’m already working on 2 new projects !!!! Nonstop for real.