Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Bad Milk
Bad Milk, the polymath of entertainment, defies categorization as her career seamlessly spans across singing, songwriting, rapping, hosting TV shows, acting, and even the realm of reality TV. But what truly sets her apart is the kaleidoscope of authenticity that infuses every facet of her artistry. Her work is not just a product of creativity; it's a vivid reflection of her eccentric and unpredictable personality. Bad Milk's mantra is to be comfortable in her own skin, and this ethos permeates her creations, resulting in a unique blend of visual allure and emotional depth.
For Bad Milk (who's name is a contextual translation of Amasi (in Ndebele, Zulu and Xhosa), maas (in Afrikaans), or mafi (in Sesotho), a fermented milk product that is similar to cottage cheese or plain yogurt. It is a popular snack in South Africa and Lesotho) art is the ultimate means of self-expression. Her motivation to create isn't bound by a rigid process; instead, it's an ever-fluid journey. She revels in the freedom to birth projects spontaneously, whether they commence at the beginning, middle, or end. What guides her is the energy that envelops her at the moment of creation, a visceral force that fuels her artistic endeavors.
In her formative years, the Disney era of 2003-2010 left an indelible mark, shaping her personality and artistic sensibilities. The lessons learned during her first project were transformative, teaching her the art of handling pressure, managing disappointments, and the wisdom of not prematurely unveiling artistic endeavors. Bad Milk's journey is far from over; in fact, it's just beginning. As she continues to evolve, her impact on the entertainment industry is poised to grow. Her story serves as an inspiration to others, urging them to embrace their authentic selves and pursue their creative passions with unbridled courage.
In this edition of On The Spot, we've unraveled the threads of authenticity, self-expression, resilience, and adaptability that compose the rich tapestry of Bad Milk's artistic odyssey. Her journey is a testament to the power of staying true to oneself, navigating the challenges of the creative realm, and evolving in pursuit of artistic excellence.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Overall, my artistic style is a reflection of my personality. I am eccentric and unpredictable, and I care about comfort. These qualities come through in my work; I hope people find it visually appealing and emotionally resonant.
What inspires you to create art?
The freedom that comes with expressing myself inspires me to create art. I may not always feel inspired, but when I do, I ensure I milk the hell out of that moment. Also, the satisfaction of having a complete project made by me. It's like having multiple babies without the actual process of birthing them.
What is your creative process like?
I really don't have a specific process whereby there are steps that I follow. Sometimes, I start at the end, the middle or the beginning really goes with where I am and who I'm with. However, the basis for my process to flow depends on the energy surrounding me before creating. If the vibes are reasonable, we can go on for days, and if not, it'll be hard to get anything out of me.
Which cinematic period do you find most inspiring?
Has to be The New Millennial Era.
What film or television show has influenced your artistry?
I have a few in mind, but RuPaul's Drag Race reigns supreme over any other show I've seen. I love what he does for creatives who have what it takes but the platform. That show encourages me to express myself explicitly and have fun while doing it, a significant contribution to society if you ask me.
Tell us about your last binge-watch...Have you recently watched something that's a must-see?
I last binged Gossip Girl, and wow, I did myself justice by watching it in my adulthood because I wouldn't have gotten the essence of the many lessons they teach on it had I watched it as a teen. I also recently watched They Cloned Tyrone. It made me look at the matrix from a different perspective, and my trust issues have escalated to a point I never saw them coming to.
In your opinion, how do you think the film industry influences society?
The film industry is a powerful force that can influence society in many ways. It can reflect, change, educate, inform, entertain, and escape. It can also promote social change. The film industry has the potential to positively impact the world, and I am excited to see how it will continue to evolve.
Who's in your thespian Hall of Fame?
The era of Disney was between 2003 and 2010. That era shaped me and my personality as a whole.
Take us back to your first project; how did that moment prepare you for where you're currently in your career?
It taught me how to deal with pressure and disappointments and only announce things with final confirmation that they'll come to fruition. Those three lessons have shaped me as an artist because I am more cautious and more intentional with what I want to put out. I no longer do things for the sake of them having to be done.
How do you approach the technicality of your work, both from yourself and others?
Technicality is essential for any musician, but it's important to remember that it's just one part of the equation. You can be technically proficient and still need to be a better musician. Ultimately, it's about creating music that is expressive and meaningful. I approach the technicality of my work from a few different angles. First, I want to be able to create what I want without limitations. This means practicing regularly and working on my technique.
Second, I want to be open to feedback from others. I'm always looking for ways to improve my sound and willing to take criticism. However, I also want to keep my technique from getting into the form of my creativity. I want to be able to take risks and experiment, even if it means making mistakes. Ultimately, I want to create technically proficient and expressive music. The best way to do that is to balance the two. You don't want to be so focused on technique that you lose sight of the music, but you also don't want to neglect your technique to the point where you can't play what you want to play. So it's about finding the balance of it all.
Are you a bit of an overthinker, or do you like to let the art take the reins?
I'm not much of an overthinker; that often spoils the initial outcome. What I've learned about art is to trust myself with and within it, even though it may not feel like I should at times.
What's the body of work you're most proud of?
My song is Kodak. Even I set the bar high for myself regarding the song, the video, and the rollout.
Embracing criticism and negative feedback is an essential part of growth and improvement. How do you handle criticism or negative feedback on your work?
I always receive it in a less harmful light than expected. At first, I couldn't face criticism at all until I realized that it's a vital part of growth.
How do you feel the Internet and social media have impacted cinema?
They've impacted it both negatively, in a way that you can find an entire movie on TikTok now, and positively, in a way we've just seen with the Barbie rollout.
Finding the perfect harmony between your artistic style and the collaborating teams' preferences is an art in itself. How do you find the balance?
Fortunately, and unfortunately, I don't have a team at the moment, so I'm really enjoying having control and direction of everything.
Can you tell us about a particularly difficult project you've worked on and what you learned from it?
So, I founded a movement called Future Female. It's a sisterhood in the industry that I felt was needed because we all know that "women hate women." I came to realize that the stigma isn't necessarily true. It just depends on who you come across. We managed to work on a sync album last year, which was a breeze, and when we attempted to do a second one, it was a complete disaster. I wasn't around to delegate it as I usually would; otherwise, I know we are competent.
It's the most unforgettable line from a movie. What's that one quote that lives in your mind rent-free?
"How do you handle rejection or not getting chosen for a project or opportunity?"
I won't lie. It does sting, but I eventually lick my wounds and convince myself that it wasn't my time; the way is for me will come my way without delay.
We all face those pesky creative blocks and moments of self-doubt from time to time. How do you effectively navigate creative blocks and moments of self-doubt?
I embrace it, journal about it, and use it as a reference point once I've snapped out of it.
Managing the entrepreneurial aspects of being an artist is crucial for success. How do you handle the business side of the industry?
I handle it as politely as possible, so I make it a point that it is my livelihood, which I've also invested many years and much more. I'm simply looking for a return on my investment, nothing personal.
What do you envision for the future of cinema? And where do you place yourself in the conversation?
I've grown an interest in being behind the scenes lately; it's something I'm yet to figure out myself, so I'll be comfortable fully answering this question once I know.
Connect with Bad Milk
Instagram - @badmilk.za
Twitter - @BadMilk_za
YouTube - @badmilk_za
Tik Tok - @badmilk_za