WOMAN WEDNESDAY with Chrissy Bahadri ♉♉♉
Chrissy is from Illinois, and currently lives in Chicago within the neighborhood of Logan Square. Chrissy is 20 years old and is incredibly mature and true to herself. It's ever-blatant in her being. I’m not going to say she has a voice of an angel, but she has a voice of an angel. You can find Chrissy’s latest music on Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. Chrissy is looking to release an EP before April, and her first ALBUM soon after on all platforms. You can follow her process and music on instagram: @chr.issy :)
Here's our chat with her:
1. Where’d you grow up and where do you live now?
I have always lived in Illinois. I was born in Joliet, lived in Romeoville for a small part of my childhood, then I grew up in the same house my parents live in to this day--it’s in Roselle, a Western suburb about 40 minutes outside of the city. I currently live in Logan Square, where I’ve lived for almost two years now. I’ve been living in the city for around 3 years though, and I think I’ll stay in Logan for a while, but who knows!
2. What is your definition of strength?
I have a somewhat general, universal idea of strength and a personal one. I think on a wider scale, strength comes in many forms--being able to recognize needing help, finding healthy coping mechanisms whether it’s art or some other hobby, actively trying to dismantle and fight against systems and ideas that may have always been against and targeted you or others, and honestly, just existing and being present through difficult times. For me, strength has been a difficult concept to grasp. I have felt the most power when I learned it was okay to ask for help. For a while, that made me feel weak, but I found my strength once I stopped evading problems that were burdening me—mental illness, eating disorders, an addictive personality, whatever it was, once I learned there was a problem and I was going to try and work on it, I felt stronger than I ever had.
3. What is something that’s important to you now that never used to be?
Everything regarding the self. Self love, confidence, routine. I have always cared about others more than I cared about myself. I thought I would only be fulfilled if I put all of my energy into others, but as I began to get more and more burned out and break the bonds I held so close for so long, I realized you’re unable to be there for people if you aren’t there for yourself. Finding the balance between being there for people and putting equal energy into your own growth is so fucking important. It also taught me to be grateful when it comes to the little things, like, “I took this morning to make a coffee, sit and read for a while, and write some songs. I deserve that!” I now take pride in doing the small things because I have learned the importance of having patience and love for myself, and in return it allows me to be someone I strive to be.
4. How would you describe your style?
My style is absolute chaos, I have never had a specific aesthetic. In my art, my clothes, my tattoos, decorating my apartment--I feel different everyday and I fall in love with too many styles to stick to one. Sustainability is also a huge passion of mine, 95% of my closet is thrifted or secondhand. Within a week, I will go from wearing vintage dresses and looking like a pin-up girl, to baggy jeans and a Beastie Boys t-shirt, to grandma-making-you-tea-in-a-cottage, to sleep-deprived art student. One of my favorite things to do is buy something objectively ugly and incorporate it into an outfit I think is really cool. That’s the beauty of style, you can put whatever the fuck you want together and it works. I will proudly wear track pants with an abstract, bright makeup look, and change my hair impulsively on a weekly/monthly basis. I don’t like standing still, I am ever-changing and I want that to reflect through my own personal style.
5. Favorite food to cook at home?
I go through phases of making elaborate meals or eating nothing but toast, tofu and other vegan staples. I have been vegan for almost 5 years I believe, and I’m learning something new about cruelty-free cooking everyday! Recently I’ve become attached to Just Egg, they have this single-serving version that comes in a small square package so you just put that in a pan, add some veggies and throw it on an english muffin for breakfast. I tend to put more effort into breakfast because it’s my favorite meal of the day. Scrambled tofu, smoothies, pancakes--I enjoy making it all. My favorite snack to make is hummus because I feel like mine is probably the best that exists, and it’s easy. Being Middle Eastern means a majority of your snacks are hummus and pita or veggies, so my mom taught me how to make it on my own properly. Here’s the secret though: I started adding za’atar on top of it, which is a spice mix of sesame, oregano, thyme and some other things. Very Arab, super good. I also love a charcuterie board, what can I say, I’m a Taurus.
6. What are 3 books on your bookshelf?
Well, I have this infamous Book Box which is just a white wooden crate with rotating books inside of it as well as a stack on top. I read too many books at once while I continue to build my collection, so that’s the story behind that. The rest of my collection sits in my living room on actual shelves. I guess I’ll give you one book I’m reading currently, and two that I adore from what I’ve already read. First of all, Maggie Nelson. She’s absolutely brilliant, everything I’ve read by her is golden, and Bluets has to be my favorite book of all time. It’s essentially an essay on the color blue. I actually wrote a song called Blue which will be on my upcoming EP, and the first line was inspired by that book. The Waves by Virginia Woolf is another favorite, a more recent read. I love Virginia Woolf, it’s become an ongoing joke on social media, like, if I haven’t said something about her for a few days it’s safe to assume I will soon. She’s a genius, sometimes I sit and imagine I’m living inside her lines. One I haven’t finished yet is White Noise by Don DeLillo. I am about a third of the way in and I am super into it.
7. What’s something you want to accomplish in the next year?
I want to have my album, Sad Clown, out on all platforms within the next year. My dream is to have my EP out before my 21st birthday, and my album out sometime soon after. Most of my goals are surrounding music, I’m beyond excited to officially release songs I’ve been sitting on for some time now.
8. Tell us something people would find surprising about you.
I find I’ve become somewhat of an open book. I guess if you don’t know me at all, something surprising is that I’m 1st gen American. My parents are both from Iraq, and I grew up in an Arabic speaking household. From a first glance, I don’t know if you’d be able to tell that I’m Middle Eastern, but I am fully Assyrian! I hold my culture very close to me. 9. Favorite movie?
I clearly struggle with giving a quick, solid answer especially when it comes to art, so I’ll give you an animated favorite as well. My favorite movie, in short, is Frances Ha. The first time I ever watched that film, I couldn’t even explain why I felt so fondly of it. I was drawing about half way through, and I sketched a little tea cup with “F. Ha” written inside of it. I ended up tattooing that on myself immediately after it was over. I just relate so strongly to Frances and seeing the parallels makes me very emotional, I have seen it so many times I’ve lost count. My favorite animated movie is Howl’s Moving Castle. I have such a special place in my heart for the Ghibli movies. As I type this, I’m sitting in my bedroom with my plush Totoro, No Face, and Haku.
10. How do you want people to remember you?
I want to be remembered as gentle, loving, but also strong as fuck. I can be soft and compassionate now, because I am tackling everything I’ve suffered from that convinced me I never could be. I want to inspire people, I want to make them feel something. In a broader sense, with my music, I want to be remembered as I remember Amy Winehouse and Elliott Smith. I am forever grateful to them for making music that got me through the worst times of my life. They were some of the artists that made me realize my potential and how impactful art can be. I will always look back on their music as something that changed me and gave me something to relate to. I hope my music sparks that sort of feeling in anyone.