UNC-Chapel Hill students Audrey Walsh and Lila Richardson are members of Feminine Waste, an art, music, activism, and skate collective. Last spring, they teamed up with the art-curating class project No(w)here Collective to create Feminine Waste x No(w)here Collective Comp, an album uplifting women, minority, and LGBTQ+ artists.

What prompted the collaboration?

W: It happened as a function between the curatorial class, technically our final project. Me and a bunch of the students decided to contribute to this collective by organizing the comp album, and we called ourselves the No(w)here Collective.

It was based in identifying the Chapel Hill art community and knowing that we wanted to emphasize a community feeling. There was this overarching feeling, like, “I want this community to feel big.” It’s hard to have that happen during COVID, so that’s a feeling we all shared. 

R: Speaking on the arts community of Chapel Hill, or making music, Audrey and I have this experience of it being isolating, especially for non-cis men, or queer voices. We were trying to also identify and create a space to validate those voices.

Why release an album specifically?

W: We wanted Feminine Waste initially to be an art collective focused on all different disciplines, visual art, music, poetry, and how that all works within the community. So it was stepping into that opportunity and having the familiarity with what Feminine Waste is in terms of emphasizing different community and collective-based things. 

R: What’s so cool about the whole space is thinking about what you’re passionate about, who you know or what you want to know further, and then just making it happen. Audrey wanted to do a comp album of musicians and we thought about combining poetry within that and  creating a comp album with a twist by including some poets.

All proceeds are going to the Trans Justice Funding Project, LGBT Books To Prisoners, and For The Gworls. Why these organizations?

W: When thinking about making money off of anything at this point of my life, I’m like mutual aid, giving it away, reallocating it. It was without question that if we’re going to sell anything we should give the money to different organizations that are about the stuff that we are about.

R: The Gworls are doing good work in getting housing for trans, BIPOC individuals, and top surgery, so I feel like having a space that is prioritizing these voices, the money should go back into the community. 

How would you describe the album’s sound?

R: I would say punk, indie—spacey, too. Every time I think about the album I think of friends or community, which is really nice, because all the people who are on there know of each other or are affiliated in connected ways. It feels small in a good way. 

W: Something else that comes to mind is that it’s so comforting. Maybe it’s because the place that it comes from is based in these connections that feel really sweet. But yeah, it is like this small comfort music, comfort poetry that feels like a hug, a hug when we can’t hug very much. 

R: It also sometimes feels like a twisted wire, because the poetry contrasts very well with the music, so you’re jamming, feeling the vibes, and then the next poem is so incredible and dark.

Feminine Waste x No(w)here Collective Comp is available to stream and download at Bandcamp.

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