Bet you didn’t know we were going to have a live DJ at the Feminist Zine Fest this year! Kyara Andrade, a.k.a. DJ Troy Frost is an amazing artist and currently works at the Barnard Zine Library with one of our organizers, Jenna Freedman. Check out what she has to say in this special interview:
1. Give us a short description of yourself and the work you do (including any zine samples if you have them!)
My name is DJ Troy Frost. I identify as a prata*, DJ, oil painter, Hip Hop enthusiast, and a feminist supastar. When creating and engaging with art, my intention is to heal.
2. How did you come to make music and art? Do you have the same process for every type of media?
My mother and I would go to an art class offered at my high school every Wednesday and in that space I engaged with visual art in a comfortable, accessible way. Painting has been a way for me to process my feelings and experiences, while expressing things I don’t want to put words to. I was raised on hip hop music. I talk about it, critique it, and listen to it all the time. DJing is allowing me to contribute to the culture in a way that’s new, challenging, and fun for me! A part of my artistic process that is consistent is approaching each medium with humility, commitment and a willingness to connect with the people and the things around me.
3. What does it mean to do “feminist art/music-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Doing what you love in the face of doubt, systems of oppression that actively work against you and your people, and just your everyday haters is feminist as fuck because you are writing your own narrative and sending the message to those around you that they can too.
As a black woman living below the poverty line, being financially secure is important to me. Sometime I doubt that I can fulfill that need and be an artist. Creating anyway, believing in myself anyway, fueling what I love anyway is a way that feminism appears in my life, having family and friends that love, encourage, and invest in me is a way that feminism appears in my life, and knowing that my and my peoples’ identities and unrefined narratives (pleasant or traumatic) deserve to be at the center rather than the margins is a way that feminism appears in my work. I hope that living my life this way will encourage those around me to invest in what they love, be apart of supportive communities, and explore the depth of their identity.
4. What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Did you have a seminal “zine moment”?
As of now my favorite zine is “Shotgun Seamstress” by Osa Atoe. The content is empowering and meaningful. I know very little about punk rock music/culture and SS has been an awesome starting point for me. Aesthetically, it’s AMAZING; I love the cut-and-paste element, the layouts, and the images. SS is the inspiration for a zine I’m currently working on that will explore the intersection of Hip Hop, Identity and Feminism (be on the look out <3). SS has made me think more critically about capitalism, consumerism, and blackness without leaving me lost in theory or ideas far-removed from my lived experience.
5. If you could sum up your creative life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
Uh, wow this is hard. I would sum up my creative life in a pilon, which is a little bowl with a stick used to crush herbs, seasonings and other tasty ingredient that add the flavor, texture, excitement to my grandma’s dishes in the way that I add the flavor, excitement and style to the art forms that I explore and engage with. Hopefully that wasn’t too corny.
Ps: I am ecstatic about DJing for all the dope people that will be present on Saturday. See ya there!
* Prata means black girl in Cape Verdean Creole