Hannah Diamond Is Blurring The Line Between Visual and Musical Art

Photographed by Hannah Diamond.

PC Music’s A.G. Cook talks to the artist about her sound and self-portraits

The following feature appears in the June/July issue of NYLON. Every year we scour the music scene to round up the best rising acts for our annual music issue. This time around, Charli XCX guest-edited the feature, hand-picking a crop of new musicians to be interviewed by veterans in the game who have been there and done that. To meet more up-and-coming artists on Charli’s radar, click here.

The visual artist and PC Music-signed vocalist is cleverly challenging the pop landscape and the digital age at every turn, with hyper-computerized songs and self-portraits that defy reality.

A. G. Cook: When we first released your music, the reaction was pretty extreme, and a lot of people refused to believe that you were even real. How did it feel to have to continuously deal with that?
Hannah Diamond: It’s hard because at times I feel like I am on the defense. This kind of energy can creep into my work process and I become so consumed with proving to people that it’s not how they think. Because of that, I prefer now to shut myself away to work on things so I can’t be influenced by what people want or expect of me. It was also pretty frustrating because the things I bring to the process are my feelings, emotions, and personality, and to have them denounced or rejected as nothing but a joke is a bit deflating.

I’m amazed by how specific you are about your lyrics, the meaning of each of your songs, and how you leave between sessions and reflect on the work we’ve done, then come back with new perspectives. Do you find the whole process instinctive or analytical?
Instinctive, because my ideas and the lyrics I write all have to do with things going on in my life and my real feelings. But it definitely becomes an analytical process also, because sometimes lyrics have to be adjusted to sound right with melodies. I never want to sacrifice my integrity with them, so when I leave I’m listening to the demos and analyzing them to make sure that I feel like the words are true and I relate to them—when you are working with words or language it has to mean something. I like for it to be fun, but there’s nothing worse to me than music made up of borrowed words or phrases that are there just to invoke a certain kind of coolness or aesthetic.

People constantly assume that any woman involved in a musical project is “just a face” or “just a voice,” but you’re an exception to that stereotype. Do you think perceptions are changing?
Although behind the scenes and in the way I work on my music and my visuals I destroy the stereotype, I don’t think perceptions have changed enough because people still think that I am just a face or a voice-. This is pretty evident even within some of my interactions with music industry people. I think women making music right now are very aware of these stereotyped ideas, and are very up for challenging them, so hopefully by working together and supporting each other we can change things for good.

You’ve been making self-portraits since you were a teenager. Do you feel like the context of your work has changed over the years, especially now that almost everyone constructs a version of themselves on social media?
I do feel like the context has changed, but it’s more like having the self-portraits attached to my music has enabled me to communicate a deeper meaning more effectively, which is great. Recently I’ve had more direction or purpose in my visual work. I was always referencing pop music and videos within my images, but before I didn’t really have a place for them. They were just crazy images floating around on my social media. I used to get a lot of flack from people I knew who maybe didn’t get it and thought it was some sort of vanity project. With [the photos] being attached to my music I’m able to create more of a story around them, and for someone who is looking at them they are easier to understand.

What’s the difference between a pop song and a self-portrait? I think pop music has always really been about personality, so I feel like the two are very closely related.
Pop music has always felt that way to me, too, but more in the sense of a pop star as a final package—their music, cover art, video, and performance are like a lifelong self-portrait. The difference is in the process. For me, creating a pop song is much more collaborative. I can’t make my music on my own and I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if I did, but with my self-portraits I feel the most free and expressive when I work alone. It’s really personal and is maybe more similar to how I feel about lyrics and songwriting, which I also often tuck myself away and work on by myself before coming to the studio with them.

I know you’ve been working on a lot of very interesting and intense projects. What are you most looking forward to sharing with the world?
Currently, I’m working on a lot of stuff. I feel like a phoenix at the moment, in the burn phase—not quite yet ashes and not quite yet reborn. I have to do a few more things—maybe even a self-sabotage—to catalyze this burn phase. When I come back I’m not going to be an ordinary phoenix any more, I’ll be a crystal one made of diamonds, because you have to be a diamond to break a diamond. That’s what I’m most looking forward to sharing. That and my magazine, because I’ve wanted to make it since I was in college and it’s taking a long time, but I know it will be the best thing I’ve ever made when it’s finished.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.