Rising alternative metal artist Scene Queen has released her debut EP “Bimbocore” on April 29th. L.A.-based singer-songwriter Hannah Collins creates music, unlike anything the average metalhead has ever heard. After gaining massive notoriety on TikTok, Collins has faced rampant and unrelenting sexism. “Bimbocore” serves a big F.U. to all the haters with its edgy, heavy, hyper-feminine anthems. The EP opens with hip-hop beats and scream-style vocals daring you to “Bring It On”. With the entire EP’s cohesive pink theme, the listener’s attention is drawn to this song in particular for its diversion from that. “Pink Bubblegum” is an absolute banger that shows that people can talk behind your back all they want but you can still be a badass confident person. “Pink Panther” is a story of a girl taking control of her sexuality and embracing her identity as an LGBTQ+ woman. In a TikTok posted by Hannah Collins last month she says, “thinking about all the relatives that are gonna find out I’m bi via these lyrics”. The most iconic part of this song is the use of a similar tune as the original Pink Panther theme song. Out of the whole EP, “Pink Paper” is the most traditional mainstream pop/hip-hop song. While this may be true, it still features the heavy riffs in the choruses and the breakdowns that have become a staple of Scene Queen’s sound. The EP’s second to last track titled “Pink Rover” tackles the serious problem of catcalling women face around the world. This song was written after an experience Hannah Collins had being whistled at by a group of men while walking into the recording studio. Not only in “Pink Rover”, but throughout the whole EP, she makes light of her traumatic experiences through glitter, pink and some djent riffs thrown in there. Closing out “Bimbocore” is the peak hyper-feminine, authentic, girlboss anthem that we’ve all been waiting for. Throughout the song, there are these badass dueling vocals – high, girly, whiny contrasted with growling vocals making for a unique sound. “Bimbocore” is the innovative balance of hip-hop beats and screaming vocals wrapped up with a pretty pink bow.
Hey Hannah! How are you today?
Hi Shannon! I’m doing well, how are you?
I’m good, happy to be talking to you today. So I hate to ask the question every journalist asks in every interview, but I feel like it’s actually very relevant to you because your music doesn’t conform to one genre at all. Who are some of your biggest influences that have shaped your sound?
The long answer is that when I was growing up in upstate New York, my older sister was into the early 2000s NY/NJ emo scene so My Chem, Brand New – all those bands. I heard that all growing up and then in middle school I was a total Tumblr girl – Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens but I was also into metalcore bands and scene/pop bands like The Ready Set. Once I was in college, I left the alternative scene because all those allegations were coming out around 2015 and the scene really wasn’t the place for women. So I took a break from that and went into the pop, hip-hop and latin world as a songwriter. Then once I decided to go back into the alt world, I put together the best of all my influences.
That’s great that you are so well-rounded when it comes to your influences. I read that as a kid you were very influenced by the artists on the Hopeless Records roster and you even went as far as saying you were going to move out to L.A. and work at Hopeless Records. Tell me about how you went from that kid with a dream to the badass Hopeless Records artist you are today?
It’s funny, when I was in high school I was obsessed with all the bands on Hopeless Records. I would tell every single person in high school that I was going to move to L.A. and work for Hopeless Records. Initially I thought I wanted to be part of the administrative side of the industry but then I decided it wasn’t for me. But during that time I applied two or three times for an internship at Hopeless Records and I never got a response haha. Then I worked in the songwriting world for a bit but around 2019 I started talking about doing an alternative project. All these labels started reaching out to me after I had a song do really well on TikTok but Hopeless Records was the only one to really support my vision and branding. Especially as a woman, that was very important to me. I feel like within the metal scene, you either have to lean into masculinity and hate the color pink or be this vixen. I wanted to do something where I could play into the most feminine version of myself but still go hard.
What inspired the pink theme you established with the singles and really the whole Bimbocore EP?
Pink has always been my thing. When I was younger, I was afraid to dress super girly at shows because I felt like I needed to fit in. Even though that goes against the whole point of the alternative scene, I still felt that way. Once I was in college, I was in a sorority and doing the most stereotypically feminine things and getting back into the alternative scene. I’m keeping that with me now. I’m so glad that I’m doing what comes most natural to me now.
I love that, that’s amazing. When you’re writing a song, do you have the image of the final song in your head with all the sound effects and breakdowns or does that come in during production?
I send my producer random texts all the time and he just gets it. For this EP, the producer I worked with, Zach Jones, he’s been such a monumental part of me finding my sound that I feel like now I can take that sound to every producer and explain what I want. He never stifles my weird creativity, he always encourages it.
Your whole EP has a very cool, edgy feminist attitude which you described as ‘bimbocore’. Can you talk about some of the experiences you’ve had that inspired these songs?
All of the concepts come from real life experiences. As a person, I always make jokes about my traumatic experiences. For ‘Pretty In Pink’, I was getting a ton of hate comments on TikTok tearing me down for the way I look being in the alt scene and it ruined my mental health for a period of time. The way I would talk about it is very nonchalant like in the second verse I sing ‘oh well, pink casket’. Sometimes if something is too intense, you don’t want to listen to it. So I try to make music about my experiences but that you can listen to at any time. With ‘Pink Rover’, I was getting out of the car and these guys started whistling at me. Then I walked into the studio and the guys gave me the idea of the ‘cut him’ line.
Besides writing music, how do you combat the sexism you face both in your daily life and in the music industry?
The best thing to do is get a team behind you that advocates for the same things you do. My manager knows my entire story so if he’s hiring people to work with me he does entire background checks to make sure they’ll be good to work with as a woman. Also, be as loud as possible about what you believe in.
Favorite feminist icon?
I always say this, but I call myself Elle Woods but emo. She’s not traditionally a feminist icon but she’s one of those characters that tries to win by being nice. When it comes to a real life feminist icon, I’m absolutely obsessed with Maria Brink from In This Moment. You could probably tell that in my music with all the Barbie concepts. In This Moment hasn’t stayed in the Sex Metal Barbie style but they changed the industry for women.