By Ann Irvina Ravinther on Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Good or bad, Chippy Nonstop draws from every experience gone through in her life and turns it into art. Born in Dubai, she moved to Zambia and then to Canada, and then to the States: she’s the definition of a global citizen. In 2015, she got deported from the States and now resides in Toronto, Canada. Out of this adversity, something else was born. Along with Rhi Blossom, she co-founded a workshop called Intersessions which addresses gender disparity in the music industry. They curate events with talented women, femmes, LGBTQ+ people to equip attendees with the necessary skills —DJing, recording vocals and production — to make kick-ass music.
Staying true to herself, constantly pushing and exploring her talents, Chippy Nonstop is a force to be reckoned with.
WHY IS A WORKSHOP LIKE INTERSESSIONS IMPORTANT IN THE TIMES WE LIVE IN?
Seeing the #metoo stories unfold after the Weinstein abuse case is just a really mainstream example we can all be aware of. In any world where fame and power is prevalent, systematic enabling has always been overwhelmingly present. Hollywood and the music industry are really similar and sometimes overlap. Intersessions isn’t only about addressing the gender disparity but also informing the students and giving them a community to confide in and feel safe enough to come forward in cases of abuse, because they know they have a group of people who have their back, believe them, be there for them when people with “power” in the community try to use their power to manipulate us in scene to get what they want from us.
SINCE STARTING IT, WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE SCENE YOU’RE IN?
Well, I live in a bubble. So for me it seems like it has changed a lot, but it might be because now I am surrounding myself around more strong, assertive, ambitious and talented femmes, women and queer people. I don’t know if in a lot of men’s world, it has changed or if they are thinking about it, which is important, we need allies in the backend and most promoters, label heads, managers, agents are men, which also needs to change.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS A MASSIVE BOYS’ CLUB. WHAT CAN THEY DO DIFFERENTLY TO BE MORE SUPPORTIVE?
I think for bigger artists who play festivals and are headlining or do big tours, put talents, femmes, queers and women as your supporting acts and request on your riders for festivals for the line-up to be 50:50. Men with labels to release more of our music, reach out to artists to see if they need help, reach out to listen to their music. Don’t try to manipulate us, abuse us or rape us, it’s not that hard.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR MOST AMBITIOUS IDEA?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but starting an agency/label with Intersessions.
YOU’VE LIVED ALL OVER THE WORLD. HOW WOULD YOU SAY THESE PLACES HAS IMPACTED YOU MUSICALLY?
I am really influenced by African percussion. I play a lot of afro-House, zwaito, zouk, kuduro. And I also do DJ a lot of Arabic music, I have been influenced a lot by the places I’ve lived in. I currently live in Toronto, although, other than the Dancehall sound, I haven’t been very influenced by Toronto sound, as of yet.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Like the future of the world in general? I like to think I’m pretty positive, but I am also a nihilist, so I care, but also don’t give a fuck. Future of music? I am always excited about the future of music. I’m really not a nostalgic person, so the future excites me more than the past.
IN THE CONTEXT OF NETWORKING, WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE?
It’s hard now. When I started with twitter and stuff, I was one of the first people popping on there talking shit, but now everyone is on there and it’s so diluted and it is hard getting people’s attention. For me, I just try to be my authentic self and do what you think is best for the world around me and hope my message resonates with people. I don’t know, don’t be too corny and thirsty. Just meet people organically because usually those people that you meet where you are being yourself are going to understand your direction and who you are. They might genuinely want to help you because they believe in you and not something you are pretending to be.
AFTER THE DEPORTATION, YOU HAD TO START FROM SCRATCH. HOW DO YOU PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER WHEN THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED?
I like to struggle. Without these hurdles, life would be so boring. I don’t like to focus on the problem. I like to focus on the solution and where I can go from here. I make a lot of lists of goals and then I make a list of how to achieve them and then I just do it. If it’s unattainable, I alter it.
GIVE US 3 SONGS TO VIBE TO.
LASTLY, WHO’S YOUR NEXT BAE FEATURE SUGGESTION?
Omg, there is so many! I’m going to say some people from Toronto, just to rep. Toronto for a minute, even though I’ve only been there for a year, but Bambii, Nino Brown, Coco Supreme, and Katie Lavoie (Babygirl) are some of the best DJs in Toronto right now.