Not everything about growing up in Minnesota was pleasant, though. Fae remembers that growing up as a biracial woman with a white mom who took care of her meant that she was usually left to navigate the complexities of her race on her own. For example, Fae points out that she had to learn how to do her own hair, since her mother didn’t necessarily know how. She learned how to maneuver the halls of her school, usually filled with white classmates, as the kid who looked different.
“I want to say I was an outcast, but I don't wanna emphasize that too much, because I was always OK with being an outcast,” she says, hesitantly. “There's a lot of things that I'm starting to realize about my past that I'm trying to articulate better, because it is a very important thing to be biracial and to have a platform to talk about that.”
But growing up queer, according to Fae, was never an issue. “I knew I wasn't straight since daycare, dead-ass,” she says. She also never had an official “coming out,” save for a nonchalant conversation when she was a pre-teen with her mother where she told her that she liked girls. “She said, ‘OK, good for you. Tight.’”
Thanks to her experiences growing up, Fae chooses not to slap a label on herself (she identifies as “queer” thanks to its ambiguity). The singer says that because she was constantly viewed as “other,” she now chooses not to search for boxes to put herself in. “Growing up queer, of color and biracial, in Minnesota or anywhere, is not something that you can so easily categorize or place. It's something I'm still figuring out how to articulate,” she says. “If you were to ask me that question when I'm 25, you might get a completely evolved answer, and I'm okay with that.”
So when the time came for Fae to release her song “Her,” an affirming love song about falling in love with a woman for the first time, she wasn’t nervous. Fae had confidence in herself, and she knew that regardless of their sexuality, her audience would be able to connect with the song’s message. “Anyone can relate to living your truth,” she says. “A lot of people find a lot of comfort in relating, and I think that helps people grow. So why not share that authenticity? It's more fun living life that way.”
Honesty is what Fae says keeps her feet on the ground. Whether it’s in the recording booth or just on a walk around town, Fae lives in the present moment, not the past or future. On this May day, the present idea on her mind is her upcoming mixtape NO GMO, a continuation of the work she put into Free Form that’s due out this summer. This time, though, Fae approached her new project with a more clear-cut idea of the music she wanted to make -- songs you can dance to.