Balkan babe Ana Rab, stage name of GNUČČI, emigrated to Sweden from the former Yugoslavia at the age of five. Carefree and eccentric, she gives as many fucks as there are punctuation marks in her debut album, ‘You Good I’m Good Let’s Be Great.’
DISORDER: What is your elevator pitch?
GNUČČI: Let the work do the talking. [She points to her YouTube video for You Good I’m Good Let’s Be Great].
What people, places or things inspire you?
My friends and family. I love getting to know a person, loving a person. To see my loved ones grow and prosper is my hobby.
What artists turn you on?
Ice Cube and Shakira turn me on so much. I dunno why, I just feel desire.
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to become and be the grown-up I fantasised about when I was a kid. I want to make the kid me very pleased, cause I spent so much time fantasising. I don’t want to waste that time.
What got you started?
A pep talk, and an invitation to feature on a song from Spoek Mathambo. Because [of this], I understand the importance and beauty of being collaborative, not competitive. It’s a mentality I look up to. I also think it has been extremely beneficial having my own definition of success. That way there is no-one to compare myself with. I’m in a field on my own where I can invite and evict as I please.
What has been the biggest surprise along the way?
I want every gig of mine to feel like it’s everyone’s birthday, so I like to see myself as a surprise. I like that about being an unknown artist, feeling like a live, lit jack-in-the-box, you know?
Who was your first crush?
Both Will and Ashley from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Who are your favourite fictional heroes?
I made up a posse of Dawn Wiener from Welcome to the Dollhouse and Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Blossom when I was a kid. They are my super-special-squad.
What/where do you like to eat or drink?
My favourite dish is a (vegetarian) buffet cause my taste buds are a mood board, and I love eating in the bath. It feels so good it’s almost perverse, being naked, hugged by water, chewing.
Where/when do you feel most yourself?
I feel calm on stage, when I perform, and when I am by myself staring at the ceiling. A balance that drives me crazy and keeps me sane.
What would you most like to change in the world?
I despise the current Western world vibe. We have so much potential and access to information and yet here we are, pathetic and fake and violent and shallow and dumb and numb to it all. If a woman blew this world up, I would be like, “I feel you, girl.” It’s overwhelming to understand the current world vibe, but I also think that’s a humongous problem. The pace. The fast-food pace of producing and consuming information.
What talent do you wish you had?
To be able to nap anywhere. I love to sleep but I have difficulties falling asleep, I’ve been tired for a long time.
What is your dominant characteristic?
That I’m strong and sensitive.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
Their balance between being caring and being carefree. It’s beautiful. Their generosity and integrity is so genuine and well-balanced.
What invention do you love most?
Boring answer, but the laptop. I love a little thing that can do so much; it keeps giving.
Unpaid endorsement: what can you recommend?
The app Clue for people who have periods. A granny on an airplane put me onto support socks, so I’m into those. Functional fashion.
What is your idea of happiness?
First, that it is moments [of happiness], not a constant state. I try not to look for the damn needle, but instead be happy in the haystack, know what I mean? Chill out, look at horses, they love hay. I find the “always,” “never,” “forever” stressful and impossible. No, you do not have to be like you have “always” been if that means you’ve “always” been miserable. Take the time to figure out what kind of person you are and what kind of a person you want to be, what kind of friend you are and want to be, what kind of partner you want to be, consumer, neighbour, child, sister, cousin. Take some responsibility for your energy and with that you’ll develop a better understanding and standard for what kind of vibe you have. The world needs more people who know themselves and their own definition of happiness. You are special, just like everybody else.
What would you do if you were not doing this?
I would be a teacher.