KEXP's Sound & Vision airs every Saturday morning from 7-9 AM PT, featuring interviews, artistry, commentary, insight, and conversation to that tell broader stories through music, and illustrate why music and art matter. You can also hear more stories in the new Sound & Vision Podcast. New episodes are out every Tuesday and Thursday. Subscribe now.
Anjimile Chithambo, who performs under their first name, Anjimile, says the circumstances leading up to writing their latest album, Giver Taker, was a “cluster fudge.”
“Right before I wrote this record, I was not healthy in any sense of the word emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually,” says Anjimile. Throughout the writing of the album, Anjimile was discovering their own identity as a trans and non-binary person. They were also in rehab for almost a year, trying to get sober.
Anjimile spoke with Sound & Vision host Emily Fox about Giver Taker and some of the songs on the album.
It was written at a time when I was feeling super hopeful. I was like, wow, I've been sober for this many months and I feel like I'm learning so much about myself and this has been such a painful experience, but also so illuminating and healthy and wonderful. And I was just feeling like a lot of hope and a lot of just pure joy for the first time in a long time.
“Maker” was written before I got sober. It was written maybe three to six months before I got sober and around that time I had been learning more about my queer identity and learning about different trans identities and the concept of non-binary, the concept of gender queer. And I was exploring these things for myself and figuring out what I identified as in terms of gender and sexuality. And that song became an inadvertent rallying cry. And the wildest thing to me is that when I wrote it, I didn't identify as trans or as trans masculine or as a trans guy. All of the things that I identify as today. And yet, I said I was a “boy,” “man,” “God,” “maker.” I feel like that song revealed to me things that I was not yet aware of about myself, which is often the case when I write.
The first song on the record is called “Your Tree.” And I feel like my family tree is something that means a lot to me, or to think that I could be a part of my family tree is not something that was always guaranteed for me, especially as a queer and trans person in a conservative traditional Malawian household. And so, it's something that I think about a lot. And I think the song also touched on that.
It looks like recognizing and feeling comfortable using the term trans to describe myself and using the term non binary to describe myself and using pronouns that I feel representative to describe myself, such as they/them and he/him. Both two sets of pronouns that I'm totally cool with and feel very comfortable to me. And then a lot of it just had to do with, like, coming out to close friends and family. But yeah, I just came out to my friends as non-binary, trans and then I started coming out to my family as non-binary trans. And I recently came out to my parents about a month ago. It was so much better than I ever could have thought it would be.
The executive director of MusiCares spoke with Sound & Vision host Emily Fox about the non-profit’s COVID-19 relief effort for people in the music industry.
The conceptual artist spoke with Sound & Vision host Emily Fox about asking other Black artists about their origin stories, how they heal themselves and to describe a world where they're loved, safe and valued.
The poet, artist and educator spoke with Sound & Vision host Emily Fox about some of their poems. Their forthcoming book, Insubordinate, is out on August 27th.