Growing Up In Australia
Iggy Azalea: “I come from a really small town near the Gold Coast called Mullumbimby. It has a population of 3,000, but when I was there it was probably 1,500. We didn’t have a mall or a movie theater. Lots of the small towns in Australia have Aboriginal names and that’s one of them.
“My family came to Australia on the first fleet. My family’s been in that country for a long time, over 100 years. If your family’s lived in Australia for a long time, everyone has a little bit of [Aborigine blood]. I know my family does because we have an eye condition that only Aborigine people have.
“Mullumbimby is neighbors with Byron Bay, which is about thirty minutes away. It’s a cool town on the beach. It’s sub-tropical, so people like to swim and shit and it’s a tourist market. All the houses have gotten expensive over there because everyone wants to buy them for tourist rental. So people live in my town and work in Byron Bay.
“When I was a kid saving up to come to America, I used to go there and clean the holiday houses and hotels. You can make good money doing that because the tourist industry is profitable. Everyone, when they’re a young, goes and becomes a cleaner. That’s one of the best jobs you can have out there. There’s not a lot of jobs to choose from.
“My mom used to clean as well, so I got my own insurance and registered my own business. My mom and I started cleaning together. I didn’t have to go through an agency or a boss that takes a cut out, because I had my own business registered. I was a hired contractor, so I made more money. I was able to cut out the middle-man.
“My dad was a comic artist. He doesn’t draw cartoons anymore. Now he lives in the rainforest, does oil paintings, and meditates and shit. But he always made me read books and he’s a lot of the reason why I have so many people around me that I draw stuff from for inspiration.
“He made me look at [art] as a teenager. He would give me books and he would give me quizzes. We were talking the other night at dinner about [the artist] Robert Crumb. He would always tell me, ‘Look at this film,’ or ‘Look at this artist. What do you think he’s trying to say?’ As a kid, I always hated his guts. I would be like, ‘Ugh, Dad is giving me this book. He’s going to make me answer questions about it.’
“I probably connect because I was really reading that shit, I would go to his house, and he would give me shit and I would read it. I love to draw portraits and he would always tell me, ‘Your shadowing is wrong!’ [Laughs.] My dad was kind of like my art coach.”