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13 Questions: LadyHawke

by Emma Tracey

Pip Brown, AKA LadyHawke, is a 28 year old New Zealander living in London. She is a singer songwriter and musician with Aspergers syndrome and is rocketing to fame as we speak with her self-titled debut album. Ouch met up with Pip during a hectic promotion schedule to ask her 13 probing questions.

I want to ban ...

Smoking. It makes me feel so ill and I hate it when I go home at night and fall asleep and all I can smell is cigarette smoke in my hair.

I struggle with ...

Flying. Being on a plane with a bunch of strangers, it's just torturous. Strangers are unpredictable. I worry and I think what if they do this, what if they do that, what if the person next to me needs to get up and I'm in the way.

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I excel at ...

Having good conversations with friends. I love sitting down and talking about interesting things like history, culture and news. I also love photography.

Not a lot of people know that I ...

Cook a really good burrito. I make an amazing guacamole as well. I used to make a home cooked meal every night but I don't have time anymore.

My ideal dinner guest is ...

Andy Warhol. I want to know what inspired his ideas. I would ask him what he was like at school and what his friends were like, because I think a lot of things you do at school affect the way you are when you're older. I was a bit shy, quiet, stared out the window a lot. I was always that kid who was painting and doing stupid arty things.

I couldn't live without ...

Music and video games. My favourite is Mario Kart. I can't stop playing it. I don't think I'm free until about 11 tonight but then I'm going to go straight home and play Mario Kart to wind down.

Where do you spend most of your time?

In the back of a tour bus. There is a PlayStation hooked up to these little TV monitors, so you can watch DVDs or play video games. But I always just end up playing my own hand held games, listening to my Ipod, or sitting up front and talking to my tour manager because he is really interesting. It also takes my mind off driving because I get car sick.

My first job was ...

In a Chinese takeaway when I was 14. I cleaned out the vats and the ovens. They always told me I did everything too slowly. I earned 3 New Zealand Dollars 40 per hour.

When I come home in the evenings, I ...

Watch the Crime Channel. I'm obsessed with it. There's this series called Women Behind Bars.

My favourite drink is ...

Coke or a beer. Maybe the advertising and branding as a child really got implanted in my brain. I can't see a coca cola sign without wanting one. A can or a glass bottle are best. Not a plastic bottle.

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Being an aspie in the music business is ...

I don't really have anything else to compare it to. The music business expects you to be almost like an actor. A crazy, out there, vivacious, happy person. That's just not the case with me. I'm shy and I don't like most of the things which are associated with being a musician. I know they come hand in hand, I have an understanding of that. I have routines I need to do before going on stage to chill out. I think the music industry is full of Aspergers people and they just don't realise it. A lot of true musicians have really shy, weird tendencies.

Music to me is ...

One of the only ways that I've ever been able to express myself properly. Not through the lyrics, I'm talking about the actual music itself. When you listen to certain songs, whether it's David Bowie, or Bob Dylan or the Beatles, they make you feel funny in your stomach, they kind of tug at your heart strings a wee bit. If I can create the sound that does that for me, then I hope it will do it for other people.

My advice for young people with Aspergers would be ...

Give yourself time. You don't need to hurry anything. What you are is awesome. I'm glad I'm not like everybody else. I like having a more sensitive approach to life.

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