Q&A: Contessa ‘CUNTMAFIA’ Stuto
2017 launched with VFD welcoming an array of the the hottest queer talent from across the pond. Mister Wallace
and Elliot Reed
came, slayed, and eloquently reminded us that all is not completely f*cked in the USA. Now, get ready to get LIT… it’s time for the return of Contessa CUNTMAFIA Stuto. Contessa last played the basement here in 2015, and tore it a new back entrance. We’ve yet to see what’s she’s packing this time but you can rest assured she’ll leave us all in shreds. Musician / performer / record label / fashion innovator / gang leader – she is an unapologetic powerhouse of queer creativity and she’s coming for us… We grabbed 5 mins with the Mother of NYC’s underground to discuss her work, and her forthcoming takeover of VFD on Sat 11 Feb.
Q: Contessa, your music has been evolving sonically over the years from 2013’s raging banger ‘Reign in Ratchet’ – tell us a bit more about your latest cut, ‘Anarchy 4 U & Me’, and how you and Nani Castle ended up working together.
A: Yes, since my first track in 2013 Reign in Ratchet produced by Proper Villains my music has evolved in a more personal and emotional journey. As I gained confidence and experience in life my music has turned into a vivid story and since I write it, direct it and curate it, it is the definition of High Art. I hope the fans understand the difference with what I do, and take the journey with me. Reign in Ratchet – still one of the best turn up songs – paved the way for what is current around the world right now. Honestly I’m just the one who does things first, and well… it’s a lonely road but somebody’s gotta do it!
Anarchy 4 U & ME was something that happened at an important time for woman, due to being in an election year, and in a time of a hostile political climate, plus the media’s war via controlling the minds of many. We do not like people speaking for us, or telling us how to think and both come from an old school background. Nani & I’s mentalities are very similar due to our upbringing in NY, we both found solace in art and music. As independent thinkers we just freestyle’d through the song with our emotions (with a loose idea for chorus) and came out with a banger produced by a great guy and artist Udachi titled ‘Anarchy 4 U & ME’. It was made in a basement studio in Staten Island that has had people from Wu Tang etc. bless the mic. It was great vibes. Felt as if I was right in the battle lines.
Q: A few of your recent tweets have espoused your preference for fans over friends, why is that?
A: Friends don’t take you seriously. As a musician, and performance artist at times they cannot separate human flaws from the artist and always take from the mother figure. When you’re nobody, you’re “too much,” and when you’re somebody “it’s lit!.” This is me objectively observing that reality is always to be distorted and a lot of people will distort it to benefit themselves. Real friends always hold each other down, which is a big reason why men in music make it bigger in groups. These are things I am learning now; they all for the most part have self interest in NYC. I put so many people on and gave them the confidence and platform to showcase their talents. With the fans, nothing beats making the children happy and making art and music that kids will take seriously. The future of Cuntmafia and my legacy and inspiration will grow into something very special to look back upon. I am working so hard to keep the love alive! It’s hard being a nurturer, it can turn pessimistic at times!
Q: How does it feel living and working in the USA right now?
A: Having one of the most viral political videos in the world right now, there is no escape from this hyper cyberreality we live in. It is pretty horrific. it’s a rabbit hole you can’t escape. I live in NY and was born and raised so of course I already have this liberated mentality that is all-inclusive, plus it’s a city controlled by media, technology and Hollywood, so you have vested interests on all sides. I think because I’ve been always struggling out here and doing what is right and speaking my mind that nothing has changed for me personally. Just being imperfect is what needs to be embraced more in America. These days being a philosopher on social media so that I can use my platform to open people’s minds and be a mother figure to the underdogs I consider my children. My integrity has always been there. It’s just now embracing the good, the bad and the ugly and navigating through all the social media imperialism and deciphering what is your own truth. When I venture sometimes through middle America, I have no clue with what I am seeing but I do feel America needs jobs and something to believe in, which Obama mentioned similarly to the word “hope” in his exit speech. America is stupid, can’t expect much out of someone who is dumb enough to believe a billionaire is going to fight Wall Street, LOL. As someone who lives and works in NYC that can freely be herself and make sustainable income and live “the (American) dream”, every day I live taking the risks and know how to come back from failure. Failure is a privilege in itself. In Middle America failure means death. So they will attach to what may feel will save them – this stems from westernized religion of course. America should save themselves.
Q: You’ve conquered music, fashion, nightlife… is there anything you’ve not done yet that you have in your sights? Mayor of New York maybe?
A: Yes that sounds perfect. Along with finishing my album, and creating a real underground movement involving a lot of ideas I have and gathering the children for the Church of CUNTMAFIA.
Q: You’ve got quite a coterie of talent lined-up for next weekend. What can we expect from your night here on Sat 11 Feb?
A: A FUCKING SHIT SHOW!!!!!!
Sat 11 Feb, CUNTMAFIA in London
Doors 10pm, arrive early – it’s going to be chaos
Full event details here