Darling Bonnie: Hip Hop Artist

Spotted at: Alameda Antiques Fair

Occupation: Hip Hop Artist

What are you up to today?

I'm just shopping around, it's my first time here. I'm excited! I'm very into vintage everything. I actually have a mix tape out called "Vintage." I also got this hat here today—I love it!

So are you visiting here from out of town?

No, I'm from Oakland. I grew up here. I attended St. Elizabeth elementary and high school so I'm from the area, and I live between here and LA now.

What's your occupation?

I'm a hip hop artist.

How did you get started with that?

I was born interested in music. It's funny, I actually found something in a scrapbook the other day that I made in kindergarten and it says, "When I grow up I want to be a singer and I want to move to Hollywood." So I've known all along! I didn't know whether or not I'd be able to really take it seriously. My mom really wanted me to get into journalism when I was younger because I was always interested in writing and poetry and everything. Eventually though, I was like, I have to to what I feel is in my heart. Some time ago I was a part of a group that got a deal but then it fell apart, so then I started my solo venture. I've been doing shows everywhere since and it's going well!

What have been your favorite venues to do shows?

I really love the Mezzanine in San Francisco and I really enjoy the Fox Theater in Oakland—I actually did a big show there for Bay Cares, which is an AIDS organization.

What else is my favorite place?

DNA Lounge in San Francisco—they have a great stage and great sound.

What items do you look for when you're vintage shopping?

Today I found a box of photos from these twin sisters that were part of a vaudevillian act in the 1920s—I just looked through all of their images. I like to get things that can inspire my stage show—so I look for wardrobe pieces or albums, former artists or whatever I can find that's pretty much music-related.

So you like to incorporate sort of a stage show into your performances?

Yeah, I like my stage show to be very elaborate and I like to wow people because no one ever thinks I'm going to rap. They always think, oh, she's going to sing! That's why my name is "Darling Bonnie"—because it's high society meets street.

What are your inspirations?

Vintage film, music of every genre, and books—literature. I read all day every day.

Read any good books lately?

Right now I'm reading The Glitter Plan. It's about the girls who started Juicy Couture. I'm also reading a book on Elsa Schiaparelli, and a Coco Chanel book.

Elsa Schiaparelli—who is she?

She was a designer. She's actually the person who came in and usurped Coco Chanel because she had a very eccentric style and she did things that other people weren't doing at the time. I think it's really funny that I have both of those books right now because they both represent two sides of my personality.

Did you know that when you got these books?

No! I have like 900 books on my Amazon wish list—no lie. My mom just happened to pick those two, and I was like, this is perfect. It was a Christmas gift.

Have you gotten any good advice lately?

I think the best advice I've gotten lately is just to stay true. Because I think a lot of people in entertainment tend to veer away from what they feel is their honest character just to make a dollar. And I think people really enjoy my authenticity. That's the main thing that people say—I just want you to stay as you are and continue to grow as you are because it's great!

I also wanted to ask you about your outfit today!

I have little Vera Wang flats and tights, and then I have a vintage sweater that I got in my grandmother's closet. I tied a little satin bow around it. I have on vintage gloves and a vintage fur hat.

You can follow along with Darling Bonnie on her Facebook page, on Youtube, or on Twitter @darlingbonnie.

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