Checking out the Sled Island musical acts and their openers, it came as no surprise to see Hood Joplin gracing the same line up as curator Flying Lotus. Like Flying Lotus, Hood Joplin is a true renaissance woman, producing, performing and organizing parties. Her sets, like her talents, are varied and you can expect her to skip easily from rap to 160 BPM.

With her Sled Island performance and newest release Hazard on the horizon, we sat down with Hood Joplin to discuss her music and her art.

What were your thoughts when you were asked to open for Flying Lotus at Sled Island?

I was really shocked and surprised – I had to call the festival to make sure they didn’t make a mistake. I found out about him through my love of stoner TV (read: Adult Swim) and I fucked with his sound. He seems to care just as much about the creation process as he does with the output; that in it self can be inspiration to artists in any field. All in all I’m super stoked for this opportunity. Been putting in a lot of work for this set.

Tell us a bit about your new LP Hazard being released this month?

All of my work is a product of the environment (physical and mental) that I am in at that point in time. This album is a lot less sad than my last project, #75FFA1. It’s weird and complicated. Hazard will be dropping on the 23rd via OWAKE Records.

So you just dropped a new video for the first track off of the LP “My Chain B” tell us a little bit about how your vision for the video and how that played out?

I gotta’ give all the credit to the OWAKE fam, they all put this vision together over the course of 2 days. I was trapped in Edmonton as I usually am, and everyone was out in Van. Sam Lucia and Steve Kim conceptualized it (he gave me a call a few days prior sayin’ “we doing this on Friday!”). Steve filmed and directed, Chrome Destroyer on the VFX. Our team is really strong. We do pretty much everything in-house.

As a strong female and a person of colour (POC) how important is it for your music to rep these sides of yourself? Do you see a gender gap in the genres that you rep?

I tried for a long time to separate myself from my art (at least from the audience) in any physical way. I wanted it to be a mental connection and I was also very shy about my art. I wanted “Sarah” to be as separate from HJ as possible. The further I dive into my music career the more I feel confident in representing all parts. I’m trying to rep myself for who I am, a female POC, without being gimmicky.

The local hip-hop scene is a family; going to weekly block parties in Churchill Square is a great example of women killing it. You’ll see 13-year-old girls with better bars than their male counterparts with ten years on ‘em. Even if someone fumbles the whole block is literally behind them with mad love and support. Similar things can be said in the footwork scene, there is definitely a gender disparity but there are a lot of strong women are at the top of the second generation (go check out JLin, Anna Morgan and A. Fruit).

Electronic music is still a boys club. There are a lot of women who are out there making music, but how many of them are at the top of the list, or even on the list? Lots of dudes don’t take women seriously or understand our angle. We ain’t doin’ this for your visual pleasure. I see this sort of classism that I don’t get from footwork or hip-hop within the electronic music blanket.

If you weren’t making music, how would you be expressing yourself artistically?

Writing, cooking, visual art (in that order)! I write every day, pen to paper. I’m really shy about most of my art, but I think writing is the most personal and vulnerable art form.

Tune into CJSW to catch a preview of Hood Joplin’s set Friday at 9 PM before she opens for Sled Island curator, Flying Lotus, Saturday, June 24 @ 9 PM at the Palace Theatre. If you like what you hear, make sure to grab her new LP Hazard HERE.

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