May 26th, 2014
Built like Beyonce – Pyramid shaped from midriff to buxom derriere – Iggy Azalea continues to seduce “Azaleans”, and douse detractors, the world over
Red fox jacket, camel wool biker coat and black crepe de Chine blouse all by Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, black denim jeans by J Brand at Selfridges and pink gold ring with pave diamonds by Bulgari
Beats, bars, and a butt that you don’t forget about: Iggy Azalea is rap-game’s blonde beacon. Her debut album The New Classic, out now on Virgin EMI, is the summer 2014’s only essential pre-drinks soundtrack. Tracks like “Work,” her lushly orchestral breakthrough single and its follow-up, skippy bitch beat “Fancy” featuring London’s bubblegum rave girl Charli XCX – are as strut-worthy as they are darkly autobiographical. Here’s to the YouTube parties the latter has soundtracked - its Clueless-inspired video has amassed 14 million views (and counting). “I didn’t deserve a record deal before this,” she tells Wonderland, proud, and ready to show her new baby to the world.
Now an LA resident having migrated from Miami, Azalea (born Amethyst Amelia Kelly) lived in Mullumbimby, New South Wales, colloquially known as “The Biggest Little Town in Australia.” When her father left the family when she was nine, Azalea was forced into near-solitude. Bored and questioning her emotional stability (she wondered if she had bipolar), Azalea’s music career kickstarted after her mum bought $200’s worth of studio time. “I used to hitch-hike to Sydney when I was a kid. There was nowhere to go to learn how to record, or make a beat, or be creative,” she says of her nomadic youth.
“My World,” the single from her debut mixtape – October 2011’s Ignorant Art – introduced her brand of mid-range chola rap. Trapgold, its follow-up tape released the proceeding month and produced by Diplo, was a much more refined and accessible moment. The aptly titled “Flexin’ and Finessin,’” featuring Juicy J, was the year’s biggest trap-pop moment. Elsewhere, Azalea gets confessional on the balladeering “Slo” (“Not many regrets I wish I could rewind,” she drawls).
“There’s a song I wrote called ‘Timepiece’ where I question whether I want to give too much of myself away,” she says, alluding to her now broken relationship with East Coast rap lord A$AP Rocky. Azalea can hardly escape the memories – his name is indelibly etched on her finger (though it has since been struck through). “I’m on social media a lot, sure, but I still feel very private. I’d never Instagram a picture of the inside of my house, for instance. I probably share about 20% of my life with the public.” Suffice to say, she moved on – these days, find her arm locked with LA Lakers’ swing man Nick Young.
When she’s not locked in a recording booth, she’s busy imbibing the world’s runway shows – Chloe’s A/W14 show in Paris was a recent spot, as was a performance at Alexander Wang’s Coachella party. “I’m visually conscious, because it matters,” she says. “Am I fashion conscious? It depends on what you mean by that. Do I care about seasonal fashion? No. Am I bothered about being fabulous in my own way? Yes.”
Words: Shane Hawkins
Hair: Sami Knight Kiehl’s KSince 1851;
Makeup: Daniel Sallstrom using Bobbi Brown;
Manicurist: Ami Streets at LMC Worldwide using Chanel S 2014 and Body Excellence Hand Cream;
Photographic Assistance: Sam Wilson;
Fashion Assistance: Toni-Blaze Ibekwe and Georgina Thomas;
Makeup Assistance: Thuy Le.