Five Questions with whit3corset

by Zachary Corsa

Emily White wants you to have fun. The driving force behind Memphis noise-punk juggernaut whit3corset makes art that is an open nerve of vulnerability and rage, marrying raw pathos with beats that can whiplash from terrifying to tender at a moment’s notice. Imagine the best Xiu Xiu album you’ve never heard as remixed by Nitzer Ebb, and you’re getting warmer. White is a crucial trans voice in the Memphis scene who’s searing output is informed by the scars of trauma and isolation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t just vibe to whit3corset for the cathartic joy of it. We’re thankful she took the time to sit down with WAMM to answer five revealing questions.

A pretty common question that artists of any medium get asked is ‘who influenced you to create the work you do?’ Since so much of your music is as confrontational as it is soul-bearing, I’ll ask instead: who do you not want to be influenced by in your music?

I don’t want to be influenced by people trying to hop on a trend. Authenticity is very important to me when it comes to people, and I’d rather see someone do something unique than something formulaic.

Can you share anything about your relationship with Memphis, either the local scene or the city itself, and how that’s shaped your artistic approach?

I moved to Memphis in 2016. I spent a lot of time going to Goner Records and finding artists on the local Bandcamp tag. I eventually got into going to some shows whenever I was able. I did have an indie project and played some shows but I was more drawn to the hardcore scene and the Memphis Concrete community. Also shout out to Black Lodge, I have definitely taken influence from some of the crazy stuff they have.

What are some tangible goals you hope to achieve through your art, both short-term and long-term?

Realistically I have zero expectations for whit3corset. I was planning on doing one show and leaving it at that. My main goal at the moment is to just see where things go. I’m hoping my first tour goes well, I’m definitely excited for that. I’m planning on having my second album out by the end of August via my label, Funeral Parade Records. 

Is there a certain impression you’d prefer people to come away with, after experiencing whit3corset, or would you prefer your art be entirely open to interpretation?

I write a lot of sad music, but I definitely want people to have fun with it. Most of my lyrics are about gender dysphoria and trauma, which a lot of people deal with. If my music can help someone feel not alone then that’s enough for me.

How important is collaboration to your work? Do you prefer to have another artist to bounce off of, or is your work too personal and insular to open up to others’ opinions?

I’m a very reserved person so I tend to work alone most of the time. I’ve been in bands before but those never really went anywhere. A lot of what I write is very personal and it’s easy for me to be self-conscious about my lyrics. I definitely prefer improvising with people.

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