Updated: Mar 15, 2021
For my second interview, I scheduled to pick up StarStatus in Ajax where she lived. I liked the whole idea of having the interview in the car and taking pictures before or afterwards. Sort of reminded me of Seinfeld interviewing comedians in fancy cars. Without the glamour of it all.
Once I got there, the house looked busy. Dudes walking about, rap music loud coming from the garage and a big ass dog that made me feel like I had to keep my ass in the car.
While I waited however, one of those gentlemen started looking in my direction pointing at others. My guess… They were trying to figure who was parked in front of their house. He came to my window and asked me, “Can I help you?”
I said, “I’m here for Bianca.”
He shouted back at the dude who stayed by the garage, “He’s here for Bianca.”
He then went back without exchanging any more words with me. I decided to move my car across the street. I didn’t know what was going on, but I had felt like that was needed to alleviate these folks.
I figured that she was a rapper and that all these people were all part of her entourage or some aspiring rappers there to collaborate with her. Finally, she came out and made her way to the car. And as we made our way to Kensington Market, we started the interview.
Your stage name is Star Status. What inspired you to use that name?
Growing up, everyone used to call me Star. I was performing for a very long time and acting like the star that I am and they were also treated me like one. So it was like I had a star status at a young age.
Your energy exuded that.
So I have been told.
So you’ve been told? I’ve watched your Facebook videos, Tik Tok videos, Snapchat videos and Instagram videos. Everytime I have watched you, you are entertaining on a level that makes me ask, Why does she not have a show?
Everyone keeps telling about getting a show, but believe it or not, I have come across some folks that want to get me a show. I just need to figure out what I want to do and the one thing that makes sense is a reality show. Something to follow my natural life because that’s enough. We’ll just have to wait and see.
That makes sense because then people would see you taking your rightful place in the celebrity world.
Yeah, so they can watch the Hustle. That’s how it works.
I’ve been listening to your Summer Vibes. And I’m a fan.
My question now is how you got started? What was the first step towards where you are now?
I believe my first would have been… Huh! Actually I started performing very young. So I think it’s where I got my stardom level beginnings. A lot of people do music but not a lot people perform.
And you do perform!
And I perform like crazy! There’s enough celebrities that don’t perform. And that’s something that I want to take pride in. I don’t want to just be an artist. I’m a performer. And that’s why Michael Jackson is my favorite cause he puts on a real show.
So when people brought up the question, Michael Jackson vs Beyonce, after her Homecoming video on Netflix…?
You can’t do that! First of, Michael’s the King. Beyonce came afterwards. Beyonce is the Michael Jackson of our time, if anything. But you can’t pit them against each other. You can never dethrone Michael Jackson. I’ll give Beyonce her props, but you can’t dethrone the man who did this shit.
So you say Michael is your favorite?
Yeah, he’s up there. Beyonce right after. She’s the female version of him.
I hear you. But now, going back to your beginnings.
Yes, so I bought myself a little microphone and I started recording myself at first. From Grade 7-8, I started writing my own original songs and recording them. By high school, I started performing my own music. By Grade 9 for sure. My first performance was at a lounge at a big Youth Day event at Yonge & Dundas square. I performed for an event that was promoting Youth Day. And then performed at Youth Day. My first performance pushed me into something bigger because Youth Day had thousands of people attending.
That’s awesome. Can you remember the song you performed?
Umm… I think it was some track called Baby Boy. I don’t remember where I got the beat though. I think it was a YouTube beat.
And it basically kicked off from there.
Yeah and it never stopped. I was obsessed with the stage. And everyone keep asking, How you get on the stage so much? You got to look dammit! Do your research! You know how many people I put on bare shows throughout my career? I can find these things, so can you! Now, I don’t have to search for shows anymore. People pick me up and send me links. And I’ll be asked to performed.
Rightfully so. I’ve seen you at fashion shows. You’ve done parties. I’ve seen you’ve done interviews.
Yeah, I’ve performed in the States as well.
Exactly! I remember the first time I saw you, it was when you shared a video in a Facebook group. And at first, I thought you were an R&B singer.
Yeah it was an R&B song. Trippin! The sexy song.
Yeah! That one and to be honest, I thought that you didn’t have a typical Toronto sound. You were unique with it. And it got me to look through some of your other songs. Now with regards, to your come up, I see that a lot of artists go to the US to get their push. What has been your experience with regards to that?
Well since I have had the opportunity to perform in the States, the energy is different. They support you when they don’t even know you. If you’re sick, they love you. And they’ll act like they been a fan from time. I prefer the energy way more over there. Not to say that I don’t like my city’s energy. I been here performing for years and I can’t say that I have not had shows where the crowd made me feel like a celebrity. But that took a loooong time! I’ve been doing this shit for 12 years and I know that if I had been in the States, I would’ve been long gone.
For sure! Even Kardinal, he was well known in the city until he signed to Akon. But he’s still not as poppin as he would have been…
Exactly, he’s stayed out here for too long! He’s still a Toronto legend though. He could have been like Drake. But we just don’t have the scenery for it.
How has it been with Covid and music for you?
I’m not going to lie. It pushed me back a little bit. I did a couple of online festivals. They even promoted it on CP24. And Covid definitely took away my influences because I write from my experiences. During Covid, I was not experiencing anything except for being locked up. So my lyrics started sounded like I was in jail or something so I decided to put the pen down a little bit.
I mean, a prison bar here or there has not hurt anyone.
Trust me! I started to sound like a hood gyal.
How has the support been from your parents with regards to your career?
My mom has always been supportive. My dad on the other hand it took him some time, especially when I was younger. He was being a parent because he did music too. He was reggae DJ. He wrote lyrics and still does. So I guess he didn’t want me to experience what some of them women experience in the game. And he also didn’t want me to have disappointment considering how many people have a dream for stardom and it didn’t work out for them. I never let that discourage me. I just kind of didn’t involve him when it came to my music stuff. But as I got older now, he’s more supportive now. He’s seen that I’ve really tried. I’m not only doing music either. I still go to school. I’ve been working since I was 14. He saw me chasing my dream and hustling at the same time.
You’ve got that desire to accomplish that thing that is a part of you while having family go against it, might it be from protection or…
And it works for a lot of people. A lot of people are easily discouraged and just give up. I’m grateful that I’ve had the strength to never give up. It would feel like I have would have wasted my life.
Let’s change pace now. Who would be a dream collab for you?
It would have to be Beyonce. It would be a big dream come true.
Let’s do male/female. Who would it be for the men?
It’d be cool to have Drake on it. Cause I feel like Drake is a hit maker.
Who would you consider to be an influence for you?
Michael as a performer, but I don’t get my musicality from him. I want to be able to put an amazing show like him. I want to fly, I want fire, explosions… I want it all. And the only person who does that now is Beyonce.
And even her videos are not just videos, it’s movies.
A whole production! Right! She’s a workaholic! She’s everything!
Yeah and dieting for that Homecoming documentary. There’s no excuse when you want to lose weight after watching that.
Yeah and you can always tell that she’s up and down with her weight. She lives like a normal person and nyams her good up food and she gets it done… Why can’t I get it done?
What do you mean you can’t get it done?
I suck at dieting and working out. When it comes to fitness, I am the worse. The absolute worse. I need to change it because I want to be like Beyonce. I don’t to buy no boobs. I don’t want to buy no ass. I want a naturally fit body. But right I’m naturally chunky, but I’m working on it.
You said chunky?
I have meat!
Yeah, you do, but chunky though?
Is that a big word?
It’s the wrong word!
No! No! No!
Hell no! This word is overused, but I’m going to use it regardless because it’s appropriate.
Yeah! Even though people use the term slim thick…
They don’t use the word properly and that’s why I don’t use it. There are girls who are a size 2 and call themselves thick and I’m not a size 2 so how can I be thick and you’re thick too?
Size 2 girls who calls themselves thick is because they hang out with white boys who have not seen that much meat on a woman.
For the real definition of it, I would consider myself thick.
Yeah, but you called yourself chunky.
There’s chunk there that needs to go, ok! I got rolls
I’m far from Beyonce!
Beyonce would have my reaction too.
Whatever! Tired of fighting people. I’m chunky, ok! You don’t see what I see, but I see it.
Ok, are you your biggest critic?
Probably. Every time I say something about myself, everyone yells at me.
I read this book called the Four Agreements. It basically speaks of negative agreements we made ourselves during our childhood. It helps in reversing by getting us to take on new agreements. To not speak negatively about ourselves, not to take things too seriously, not taking assumptions and to do the best to apply all these agreements.
Two of those are hard for me. Sometimes I take things too serious because of my anxiety. That’s something that I have to work on. And my assumptions… Listen, I’m smart, ok? So my assumptions are often correct, ok? But I do understand that I could have my inner assumptions, but they are not fact.
Now, going back to you and your career. There’s a double standard. Especially in hip hop. Women speaking about sexuality and how they become bad influences for the next generation of young girls coming up. Meanwhile, you have songs like Get Low, It Ain’t No Fun or Put It In Your Mouth getting praised and no one speaks of…
Guy! Do you want to get started on this conversation? Because I don’t get it! Guys’ lyrics have been the raunchiest lyrics for so long and no one said anything about it. But the minute a woman basically agrees with you guys?
A woman owning her sexuality.
Owning her sexuality and owning stuff that we do whether you believe it or not. We do these things. We are these ways. And just because we’re saying it’s a problem, but it’s ok for you to say it? It does not make sense. You’re telling us to slob on your knob like a corn on a cob. But we can’t tell you that we want to sit on your face? That doesn’t make sense!
The idea is don’t tell us, but do it.
Do it, but don’t talk about it.
What would you say is the future of artists like Rhapsody? Because a lot of these men claim these are the lyrics they want to hear.
They claim they want to hear, but they don’t listen to them. They don’t. Real lyrics don’t get recognition like the raunchy stuff. And that’s just a fact. Guys want to complain when girls do the raunchy stuff but who are the ones getting the play? It’s not people like Rhapsody. Conscious rappers don’t get the same love.
I found that a lot people were talking negatively of the whole beef between Remy Ma and Nicky Minaj wishing for unity among them, but when Meek Mill and Drake were going through their own thing, they claim that this was the kind of hip hop they desired because of the competition.
It’s a huge double standard in the music. It’s the biggest conflict for women when it came to music. It’s tricky.
How do you deal with it when it comes to the double standard? Like, have you experienced this type of criticism?
Weirdly enough… Actually, I think I’ve been lucky enough to find a good balance. When you listen to my lyrics, it doesn’t sound too raunchy or hood?
No, it doesn’t.
It’s like a good balance. I could get a little freaky on a track and it’s still tasteful. And I can get gully on a track and it don’t sound like some gun shit when I’m not poppin nothing. I’ve learned to find a good balance. But I’ve also heard that I have to be more sexy. I need to skin out myself more. So sex sells when it comes to women. That’s the only thing that I’ve been told, that I needed to be more of a hoe.
You know? Just talking about sucking a little more dick here.
So people are telling you to be more sexy. If you see Jhene Aiko. She started off sort of meek, but then there’s a surge to her career when she talks about eating booties like groceries. Do you feel the pressure to do that at times?
Of course! I feel like I have to at times, but it’s just that I don’t want that to be my focal point. That’s not the artist I want to be. I want to be an artist that can get freaky. Like Beyonce is an R&B singer, but she can get savage. She can get ratchet. So that’s my goal. Someone who can tap into things, but not a sex object.
You don’t want to be pigeon held.
No. Cause if I start doing the whole sexy stuff, I’ll be expected to do that all the time. And that’s not me.
Maybe a little Jill Scott performance.
Mind you, I love Jill Scott!
Let’s switch gears for a minute. I’d like to ask about your accident. There’s was a point and time when you felt like you would not perform again. For those who don’t know, what happened?
Well, I went to Jamaica to live my best life. And my best life ended when I got in a motorcyle accident. I was sitting at the back of the bike. We were turning a corner and a truck was blocking the whole road. By the time we noticed it, there was not enough time to stop so we ran right into the truck. My femur snapped right in half and I lost all the bones in my knee. I didn’t have travel insurance and now I make sure I educate people by telling them to pay that likkle extra $50-$60 for travel insurance, cause if I had it, I would have been air lifted to Canada immediately. And probably wouldn’t have had so much issues. Because I didn’t, I had to stay there for a whole month with my leg completely shattered. And they were going to chop it off because they couldn’t fix it. I was declined by the airlines twice. Drove 4 hours with my leg shattered on bouncy roads in Jamaica and drove 4 hours back. Did that twice.
I cried the whole time because I was in excruciating pain. Had to lie saying that it was a fracture instead of full break. And that’s how I came back. They had to extend my leg with metal rods cause I lost 2 inches off of it.
Then I got donated bones put in with a bunch of screws. Then I was recovering for a whole year. And then I accidently slipped on ice and rebroke it.
Oh no! no! no! no!
Had to get the plate reconstructed. Had to put a rod with wires this time. Back to recovery, physio and all. And then 6 months later, I was living my best life on a boat. I ended up bumping into something that was grounded on the floor and fractured my tibia bone in the same leg. Was out for a couple months. The first accident was in 2015, the next in 2016 and the last one at the end of 2017. 2018 was the first year where I didn’t suffer an injury.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Yeah! Crazy, crazy, crazy experience!
What was it like going back on stage for the first time after those accidents?
Believe it or not, 6 months in, I was back on stage. I went back with my crutches.
On stage with your crutches?
Yo! That’s the heart of a performer right there!
I loved the stage too much. I was not going to let that stop me. Leg or no leg, I was going to be on a fucking stage. If I had to be the one legged rapper, I will.
I gotta respect that. Because, as ugly as quitting is, it is such an attractive action to take. Because seeing that you were at…
Basically, at the lowest of lowest.
Yeah! You were at your lowest, but you said fuck it! I’m not quitting!
Because what made it worst that year was that my buzz was actually buzzing. I was doing 2 shows a week and I was starting to travel. I was planning to go to Atlanta. That year was a year where I felt things started to progress. And I could have been like most people and quit and said F it and go through a depression. But I surprised the shit out of myself. I don’t know how I did it. I was the most positive person ever. I almost forget sometimes that the scars are even there. And people tell me that they’re proud to see that I won’t hide them and still where my shorts. But it’s part of me. What am I going to do? Die of heat?
No thanks! And it’s funny because when people are staring at me, I forget. Sometimes I have a moment and I’m like, “What the fuck are you looking at?”
Meanwhile, not a hood gyal!
Not a hood gyal! I’m just looking and like “What the fuck yo!”
Listen, it could be something!
That’s why I can get gully on a track. I’m not a hood gyal, but I can be a likkle hood!
So what’s next?
I have a video coming out. We finished shooting it, editing. He’s sending me his cuts and stuff. My focus right now is content. I videos. I don’t have too many.
Yeah, music videos.
Cause when you mention videos, I’m thinking acting. I see you acting. And to be perfectly honest…
I mean, I have a few ideas. I see you performing on some stuff.
Yeah, I have scripts.
You want to know something?
A few weeks ago, I went to my first acting audition.
And you booked it!
I was so nervous. What was different was that it was a serious role.
But I think you’re capable of doing it.
Clearly I am! (She laughed)
It’s like watching an Eddie Murphy or even an Issa Rae. They’re meant to be where they are. And you exude that. And folks would say that I’m boosting when I mention those names, but before they reached where they are, they were where you are. But the thing is that you’re already further than most people.
Yeah, Tik Tok let me dabble into my acting.
Speaking of Tik Tok, you still have not done that Mrs. Huxtable.
Yo, you know how many requests I have gotten on Tik Tok? I have gotten a whole list. Plus with this whole George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I could not get myself to bust jokes and do this whole scene. It was too hard.
What did you do to cope from it?
I got off social media. Took some time to myself.
All right. Last question. What would be your advice to someone coming up in the game?
I would say, own your craft. Don’t focus on anyone else. You have to come into you. I don’t study other artists, because I know once I started that the more I listened to others, the more I sounded like them. So I focused on my own sound and my own voice which is why you can say I don’t sound like other people. And please! Please! Learn how to perform. I can’t stand when an artist can’t perform. Anybody can go to the studio.
We ended the interview there and went into Kensington Market and got some food.