SPELLLING is a music artist, producer, performance and multimedia visual artist based in Berkeley, California. Drawing heavily from messages in her dreams, her compositions spiral through clarity and obscurity searching through landscapes of psychic space. Empress Vintage recently styled a sweet shoot for her and did an interview ~ see below!
What does the concept of Empress mean to you?
I think the idea of manifesting yourself as an Empress is about understanding your greatest strengths and talents and being fearless in your faith, whatever that faith is.
How do you channel the divine feminine in your work ?
I always channel my divine feminine icons when I craft my sound. Amy Winehouse, Sade, Phoebe Snow, Minnie Riperton and Billie Holliday are my everything. I try to channel the vulnerability purity and power they could channel with just their voice. My childhood hero was Fefe Dobson. She was my only woman of color rock idol at the time and showed me that it was possible for a black woman to make rock music.
Style is integral to your music performance and persona. What inspires you in the fashion realm?
My big style icons of all time are Selena, 90s Gwen Stefani and Morticia Adams from the Addams Family lol. Most of my wardrobe is black. I love witchy black bell sleeves and just how elegant and powerful I feel when I wear all black. The rest of my wardrobe is crazy eccentric colorful pieces. I have like no in between. I love cheetah print, checkerboard, cherry red, crushed velvet, and jewel toned anything! Although the mood of my sound is often heavy and dark, I do channel a lot of my curiosity and wonder of the world into my sound so I like my style to reflect the combination of this.
Dresses from Empress Vintage. Photography by Kristin Cofer.
SPELLLING frequently performs and has displayed visual work around the bay area including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, SOMArts, Brava Theater and the UC Berkeley Multicultural Center. Her work has been covered locally and internationally by AfroPunk, Pitchfork, Bandcamp, East Bay Express and many more. SPELLLING is currently working on a new EP and album as well as composing sound and acting in Topsy Turvy Queer Circus, a multidisciplinary circus arts production that narrates queer stories. Go see her perform ~ she's amazing!