Self-Portrait: Half Waif | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, June 17th, 2024  

Self-Portrait: Half Waif

Breathe, Ananda, Breathe

Apr 07, 2020 Half Waif Photography by Nandi Rose Bookmark and Share

For our recurring Self-Portrait feature we ask a musician to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by Half Waif (aka Nandi Rose).

Half Waif released a new album, The Caretaker, last month via ANTI-, her first album for the label. Of The Caretaker’s album title, Rose had this to say in a press release announcing the album: “I kind of created a character. She’s someone who has been entrusted with taking care of this estate, taking care of the land, and she’s not doing a very good job. The weeds are growing everywhere, and she’s not taking care of herself.”

The Caretaker is the follow-up to 2018’s Lavender. Rose is currently based in the Hudson Valley area of Upstate New York.

Read on as Rose writes about recurring dreams, her early entrepreneurial spirit, and the thing that most annoys friends about her.

1. I have a recurring dream of wild animals chasing me. Sometimes it’s a shark that comes up out of the water and pursues me on land. Sometimes it’s an eagle that swoops down and attacks. It’s been grizzly bears and snakes with jeweled eyes and bright blue crocodiles—even, once, a very mean badger. I keep a dream journal note on my phone and it’s amazing to scroll back and see how many times this motif repeats. It’s been like this for years.

2. Like many kids, I loved having lemonade stands with friends in the summer. I grew up in a small town on a quiet street, across from a cemetery, so we didn’t get much traffic. Still, you couldn’t beat the thrill of a car slowing down and someone handing you a few coins. One day, when my friends weren’t there, I decided to switch things up. I think I was always trying to find ways to be unique, to assert my self-ness. So that day, I decided I wasn’t selling lemonade. I was going to have a Potato Salad Stand. I don’t even like potato salad, but this was my big scheme. I set up at the end of the driveway, and every time a lone car passed like a shining beacon, I would yell “potato salad!!!!” To no one’s surprise, I didn’t get any money that day.

3. I used to grind my teeth in my sleep really badly—probably from stress. It led to nearly flat molars and a jaw that clicks constantly. Now I wear a pink plastic night guard every night. It’s very strange looking, like a little tongue sticking out. I call it Nubs. Somehow, through all the touring and sleeping in different places, Nubs has not yet been lost.

4. I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. I was told that it’s an auspicious sign, like a garland. I wasn’t breathing at first, so apparently the doctor was tapping my foot, chanting: “Breathe, Ananda, breathe.” (Ananda is my full name.) And then I started wailing. I remember that mantra and repeat it to myself whenever I’m overcome with fear and anxiety.

5. My ultimate comfort drink is black tea with milk and sugar. My mom grew up in a British boarding school and passed the tea habit down to me. I like to have a cup in the late afternoon now, but as a kid, I drank two cups a day—one in the morning, one after school—and always with a plastic straw. I have no idea how that tradition got started, or why I was able to tolerate a hot liquid sucked through a tube, but I wouldn’t drink it any other way.

6. I’ve been told by friends and my partner that their biggest pet peeve with me is that I rush them. If we’re going out somewhere, I’m always waiting by the door with my shoes and coat on, hand twisting the door handle, while they’re not even close to being ready yet. And I don’t even realize I’m doing it! I’ve always been speedy—in first grade, my teacher called me the Speed Demon because I’d turn in my assignments so quickly. I can also type really fast.

Also check out our recent Why Not Both? podcast interview with Half Waif.

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