KATE NASH & DANNIELLE OWENS-REID

Best friends Kate Nash and Dannielle Owens-Reid chat social media, sexuality and FIDGET spinners.

 
 
 

 

Interview Kate Nash and Dannielle Owens-Reid
Photo Charlotte Patmore

 

KATE
Really excited about this interview. Glad that we’re back in a good place emotionally for this.

DANNIELLE
You’re the one who wants to buy spinners, it’s not even my fault.

KATE
Well, fidget spinners are the new thing. Spinners are in. AirBNB, Instagram, YouTube: Out. Twitter is kind of in; kind of on it’s way out.

DANNIELLE
Twitter is on it’s way out for sure.

KATE
You have to reply to yourself for people to see a stream of tweets, and I’m just sick of being ruled by corporations, so fuck you. Anyway. Go on!

DANNIELLE
(Laughs.)

KATE
I do enjoy having a platform to express myself, I’m just saddened that it’s all becoming more and more corporate and controlled. Us cool kids wanted the internet in the first place as an escape from that.

DANNIELLE
That’s true.

KATE
Just back to books I guess.

DANNIELLE
That will be nice.

KATE
Books and CD players and forums: In. Instagram, Twitter, AirBNB, YouTube: Out.

DANNIELLE
I want to talk to you about why you decided it was time to tweet about your sexuality.

KATE
Because Donald Tr*mp is the president of the United States of America, I decided that I needed to tweet about my sexuality…

DANNIELLE
Why had you never talked about it before?

KATE
It wasn’t something I felt like I needed to talk about because I wasn’t in a relationship with a girl in the public eye.

DANNIELLE
People probably assume you’re just a straight girl all the time. Does that feel weird to you or does that feel fine?

KATE
It doesn’t feel part of my identity to proclaim my sexuality. I have always felt like I could fall in love with someone because of who they are. I’m attracted to people in general, and some dogs. Just kidding! (Laughs.) I’m attracted to people. Growing up I had a really free household; I was literally told that I could be whoever I want. My parents are very accepting of all people always. Our house is—I mean you know, you’ve been living there for like a month. The door is always open. Living in London allowed me so much freedom as well. I’m very outspoken and opinionated, but I’m quite private about my love life. But, now that I’m older and more comfortable with myself, I don’t feel so defensive.

DANNIELLE
My career has been focused on gay stuff because that’s where I started, so I don’t think anyone was surprised by it. Were people surprised about you?

KATE
No, I don’t think it was a shock to people. When I did theater at school, people knew me as “the actress,” and then I started MySpace music and people were like, “Did you hear, Kate is doing music? What the hell!” And now, to some people, me being in a Netflix show is weird because they know me as “Kate Nash the musician.” People want you to be what they boxed you as and stay that way.

DANNIELLE
Yeah. I had a really hard time when I came out because immediately everyone called me a lesbian, and I just don’t identify that way at all. I’m not exclusively attracted to women and I don’t identify with lesbian culture. I came out when I was 19 in a small town in South Carolina and there were like, five other gay people. So I tried being in the lesbian world, but it didn’t resonate with me at all—also I’ve been attracted to dudes this whole time. Figuring out the word “queer” a few years ago felt really good to me.

KATE
Yeah. When I found the word “fluid,” it felt really comfortable.

DANNIELLE
So much of me is androgynous and more masculine than feminine. So I think “lesbian” has a bigger effect on me than it does a lot of people.

KATE
And growing up in a place where that’s not accepted makes you really need to claim who you are.

DANNIELLE
Growing up in South Carolina, I didn’t even see a gay person until I went to college. I didn’t know any gay people. And it wasn’t ok to just be whoever you wanted to be, it was only okay to go to college and get a job and get a husband.

KATE
That is so different. I always appreciate being in London so much. But after I tweeted all of that stuff, I felt like I needed to tell my Mum, which is really weird. And I got a little bit nervous.

DANNIELLE
Really?

KATE
Yeah! Talking to your parents about sexuality is kind of a weird thing anyway. I said “Mum, I tweeted all of this stuff and I just need to tell you. Because of the political times that we are in, I think it is really important for me to be open about exactly who I am, and to be loud if you can be.” And she just said, “Me and your Dad don’t care who you bring home as long as the person loves you and makes you happy.” She was obviously fine, which was great, but there was a little bit of me being like, “Oh I’m a bit nervous.”  

DANNIELLE
Yeah, the other day when we were going to do the photo-shoot and you said, “Danielle, tell her what it’s about.” And I said, “We’re gonna talk about sexuality?”

KATE
My mum’s like, “I’m a nurse, I’ve seen so many dicks and vaginas I literally cannot be shocked.” She has worked on every kind of ward from children to psychiatric to like, burn units and cancer units. She always tells this story about when she worked on a unit where she had to look at loads of men’s penises. Like all day. It was really intense.

DANNIELLE
The penis ward  (Laughs).

KATE
And it was her first job nursing. She was a bit nervous at the beginning, but at the end of day she was like, “I have seen so many dicks, what the hell.” And then a flasher came up to her and opened his trench coat and she was just like, “I’ve really seen like so many of those today. Just go away.” And she said that he just went flaccid straight away.

DANNIELLE
God, that such a good response. “Seen it, what are you trying to do.”

(Both laughing)

KATE
“I’m off duty. just need to go home and not see a penis.” So yeah, I’d say my Mum’s un-shockable. Anyway, should I interview you as well? So, “Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber.”

DANNIELLE
God you’ve been waiting for this interview your whole life.

KATE
I love that website.

DANNIELLE
The other day I updated Lesbians Who Look like Justin Bieber and Kate gave me a talking to about how I needed to take it more seriously.

KATE
I just love it so much [Both laughing] I think it can never die. No—I should ask you about your new clothing brand...Tell us what it is and why you decided to do that.

DANNIELLE
Fashion was always something that interested me but I never understood it. And I think it was because I just didn’t identify with women’s fashion at all. Now I’m obsessed with fashion. But when I was younger, I was trying to place myself in a specific style or look and it just didn’t make sense. I tried so many different things. When I came out I was like, “ Since I’m gay now, I should be wearing button-ups.”

KATE
Yeah, yeah.

DANNIELLE
It’s complicated because if I were to go to a wedding, I would definitely not want to wear a dress and I would definitely not want to wear a suit. And there is no other option.

KATE
Weddings are really the worst.

DANNIELLE
Weddings are so hard—formal events—anything like that. Stores are divided by women’s and men’s clothes but really if you can find things that fit you in any of those categories, you can make your own look. I realized I already had a following, and people were asking me how to find clothes that fit them, they have no idea where to go. There are a few androgynous YouTubers or Bloggers, but usually their style is very specific too and a lot of androgynous clothes are really expensive. And I was just like, “There has to be a way.” ASOS was one of the first places where they had men’s x-small, but a lot of people still don’t know about ASOS because it’s British.

KATE
Right, that’s funny I didn’t even realize that.

DANNIELLE
Some of my best friends are Plus Size fashion girls and they introduced me to ASOS. And I started to slowly find other brands. Outplay is a swimwear brand that does androgynous stuff and I’m designing a swimsuit with them.

KATE
Cool, that’s so fun.   

DANNIELLE
Yeah! It is fun. And I really like TomboyX.

KATE
Now that’s the underwear that you really like.

DANNIELLE
I never thought about my underwear until I got some that I like. Walking around my house in my underwear is one of my favorite things to do now.

KATE
It’s hard with underwear. It’s supposed to be so “every-day” but it’s so expensive to get nice underwear.

DANNIELLE
It’s really expensive.

KATE
And so you end up wearing shitty underwear and feeling kind of shitty because of it.

DANNIELLE
Yeah and the time you want to feel the hottest is when you’re not wearing any clothes with someone. And yet you’re wearing—

KATE
Tape.

DANNIELLE
—underwear that doesn’t feel good and it’s cheap [Laughing].

KATE
Because you’re saving your expensive underwear for a special time and then you just never wear it. Or like in a movie—“I’m going to slip into something more expensive. Just give me a minute while I take these granny fucking cheap pairs off.”

DANNIELLE
Yeah exactly.

KATE
“Things are heating up.”

DANNIELLE
And that’s how it was! I only had two pairs of the TomboyX underwear and I never wore them because I would be like, “I wanna wear these on good days” And I would never end up wearing them.

KATE
So Radimo is going to sell them.

DANNIELLE
No, TomboyX is not one of the brands.

KATE
Oh damnit. They should be.

DANNIELLE
I know, right! They were one of the first brands that I emailed, but the brands I have right now are—Tomboy Toes which is men’s dress shoes for tiny feet.

KATE
Teeny tiny feet. (Laughs)

DANNIELLE
Teeny tiny little feet – for women’s feet basically. And then Outplay, the swimwear brand, is sick. And then Kiddbell, which is a feminist clothing brand. And then I have a friend in Brooklyn that makes Bolo ties.

KATE
And also some of your own collection.

DANNIELLE
Yeah, and a bunch of vintage stuff that I’ve pulled. Also my friend Max has a wellness brand called Roots and Crowns. She’s a witch in Portland who goes into the forest and gathers things and then makes heart tonics that will save your life.

KATE
Perfect life she’s living. And you did a photo-shoot with all your friends.

DANNIELLE
I’m pretty excited about it. Thanks for being in the photo-shoot.

KATE
You’re always trying to get me in one.

DANNIELLE
I am constantly – I have eleven thousand pictures of you on my phone. And only some of them were saved from the Internet.

KATE
Yeah only some of them are for memories too.

DANNIELLE
Yeah. Very few of them are just for memories honestly. (Laughs) Maybe the picture I just took of you and the coffee–

KATE
Yeah the coffee was a memory.

DANNIELLE
Maybe that will be for a memory. I might put it on Instagram though.

KATE
Don’t sell out.

DANNIELLE
[Laughing] Is Instagram out, or in?

KATE
It’s out, it’s way out.

DANNIELLE
Oh Instagram, YouTube, Airbnb. Out-

KATE
-Out [in unison]. Spinners. In –

DANNIELLE
In [Laughing].