AUDREY NUNA portrait Dazed 100
AUDREY NUNACourtesy of AUDREY NUNA
“I want to create an Instagram Live show called ‘Eats N Beats’, raising money for kids who rely on free school meals

AUDREY NUNA

Age - 21
 New York, United States
@audreynuna
AUDREY NUNA
“I want to create an Instagram Live show called ‘Eats N Beats’, raising money for kids who rely on free school meals

AUDREY NUNA got her start singing the national anthem at sporting events aged 10 and never looked back. “I sang all my life,” she reflects, “and that very organically turned into making my own songs.” Fast forward a decade of Sade appreciation, Yeezus epiphanies, a deferred stint studying music at NYU, and a DM from Roc Nation producer Anwar Sawyer, and her songs span a broad range of genres from pop to R&B, rap, and trap. 

Having learned to navigate her own hybrid Korean-American identity, AUDREY NUNA (aka Audrey Chu) slides between these influences with magnetic ease. “Feel like Comic Sans / Overused for that paper by the gram,” she raps on “Comic Sans”, while the cry “I can’t even save,” forms the refrain leading into the chorus of “Paper”, a song about how money makes people act – truly, music for our generation.

The fresh visuals for her tracks add to their surreal appeal through warped fish-eye lenses, silver padded rooms, mannequin dinner parties, and dissolving people. Having co-directed a couple so far, she’s looking forward to developing her videos more, alongside releasing her new project – and finding time to create a new ice cream flavour while she’s at it. 

How is your work unique to you, or informed by your perspective, experiences, or identity?

AUDREY NUNA: 
It’s something I couldn’t stop if I tried. Growing up, I would cover the kimbap lunches my mom packed me with a napkin so my friends wouldn’t ask about the smell, but at some point I started to realise that strolling seamlessly in and out of two worlds, two cultures, is a fucking superpower and gift. Whether in my identity (as a Korean-American female) or sound, I am comfortable combining things that don’t traditionally go together.  

When it comes to your work, what are you most proud of?

AUDREY NUNA: 
The circle I’ve found myself in. Outside of working hard, I only think I’ve made good shit so far because I work with people I actually enjoy, people who inspire me. (And cook me food, ha.) That energy is sacred and I plan to protect it for the entirety of my career.

“At some point I started to realise that strolling seamlessly in and out of two worlds, two cultures, is a fucking superpower and gift” – Audrey Nuna

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and/or your community?

AUDREY NUNA: Needless to say, this pandemic is unprecedented and has affected almost every industry. Personally, it affects me because my dad lives in Myanmar and for the first time, he can’t leave even if he wants to. On a work-level, all shows and a tour I was scheduled to open for have been postponed until further notice. No one’s sure how or when the live-music industry is going to bounce back. Streaming is down across the board because people aren’t commuting or driving. The virus is stifling the music industry as it is to many others. It feels like a hard time to be creative when so many people around you are suffering – whether it be health, finance, mental health. Art is more important than ever in times like these. Creating is more important than ever in times like these. Finding other ways to connect and express is crucial at this time. It’ll keep us sane and it’ll keep us human. 

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

AUDREY NUNA: I’d like to host a weekly Instagram Live segment called ‘Eats N Beats’ to raise money for Feeding America, and kids who usually rely on free school meals. It’d be a virtual broadcast experience that focuses on the intersection of food and music. We would feature artists, producers, songwriters, industry executives, in non-traditional video content that has to do with food – whether it be Barefoot Contessa-style ‘How To Make My Favorite Quarantine Meal,’ or two artists from different genres doing a Q&A over FaceTime, snacking and sharing some music they’ve been working on during the lockdown. 

Vanessa Hsieh

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