Cool Girl On The Internet: Sabrina Fuentes
Riot grrrl and Instagram cutie Sabrina Fuentes is the the chillest teen in New York. The young musician won VFiles' Intern Files series, has modelled for LRS, and taken wild selfies with Queen Riri — and she's only 16. We caught up with her to discuss Avril Lavigne tie stylez, loving soda pop, and her experience punching on in a mosh pit.
Ava Nirui: Tell me about yourself.
Sabrina Fuentes: I'm 16-years-old and I'm a musician. I am the lead singer of band Pretty Sick and I play bass. I'm a sophomore in a Catholic high school. It's chill and there's not any drama that I know of, so it's cool!
Is it weird being a high school kid when you're in the industry like you are?
Definitely. Especially immediately after fashion week — going to castings non-stop and then going back to class is kinda weird. I don't feel like I'm being productive, but it's just something I have to do.
Are people surprised by your age?
Yeah, I've been in some funny situations centred around my age. People will be like, "This is my friend Sabrina, she's 15..." That's always the introduction. People are surprised sometimes like, "Really? I thought you were 20," and I'm like, "Ha, no, I'm a teen".
What was your favourite show you modelled for at NYFW fashion week?
I liked doing LRS and obviously always the VFiles show, because at this point I've been doing stuff for VFiles for so long that it feels like I'm just hanging out with friends.
What do you do for fun?
I hang with friends mostly. I play music. I'm starting a new project with my friend Olivia, we're called "Nina". It's softer than Pretty Sick. Pretty Sick is my "hardcore" band and Nina is an acoustic-y, two piece. We are a little more experimental, I think.
We're you into music as a kid?
Yeah! But I didn't really start learning music till I was like 11-years-old. I went to this place called Willy Mae Rock Camp which is an all girls program that Mac Demarco just donated a bunch of cash to. It's a music camp that exclusively teaches girls music. It helps you find other girl musicians. It's cool!
How was the Intern Files experience?
Intern Files was funny, it was mostly scripted and kinda goofy. It was so cool to meet the people I met while doing it and it's cool to get experience on video stuff. I really like working on video.
We're they all legit interns?
Not all of them were interns. Big was an intern, Yulu was an intern, Joseph was an intern, I'm an intern. Marina wasn't, she's a model. And Dr. Pink was not an intern. His graffiti is amazing, he has graffiti that's about being a gynaecologist to the stars. It's intense.
Did you learn a lot interning at VFiles?
Yes and no. I learned a lot about casting from Preston and Kevin Amato, and definitely fashion from Chelsea Fairless who was my boss for a long time. But at the same time, I worked there for a long time so when I stopped working there it was because I wasn't really learning anything anymore.
Tell me about your Riri experience?
She was really nice. She came into the [VFiles] store to shop and I happened to be in there and Roxy was like, "Come chill with us while she shops." So I'm like, "Um, OK!" She was really sweet, she liked my eyeshadow.
What are some things that annoy you about New York?
The weather has been so annoying. Also, some of the people. There's a general social climb-y air in New York City, but I've found this pretty easy to avoid. I think when people meet me, they can tell that I'm a genuine person, and I can tell when people are social climbers. It's never been a problem for me, but it's annoying to have to encounter on a daily basis.
What are your fave foods and drink?
I like soda and spaghetti. I love spaghetti!
What kind of shit were you into as a kid?
I loved Spice Girls, I had Spice World on VHS. I loved Avril Lavigne too. She was big.
Did you wear a tie?
Yeah, and a wifebeater! She is the look. I liked Ren & Stimpy and cartoons. I still like cartoons a lot. I wanted to be a diva when I grew up.
Do you feel like you're an adult yet? Or are you transitioning from childhood into adulthood?
I think hanging out with my friends who are adults has helped me grow a lot as a person because I watch them grow and learn from the conversations that are being had around me about things you have to deal with growing up.
What type of girls are you inspired by?
I'm inspired by all my friends and those who are artists or into creating. I love Björk, she's the coolest. I like Kim Gordon, Courtney Love, Beyoncé and Missy Elliot.
Do you have any funny stories from your live shows?
The last show I played was at The Marlin Room with this band Shunklings, and during their set me and my friends tried to start a mosh pit and no one was into it. There was a huge circle that started where the mosh had been and I walked through it, and a friend came at me and had a fist fight in the middle of the pit. It was a good time. I think everyone thought it was funny.
Is it hard being a young girl in the music industry?
Yeah, I do feel like people do underestimate you sometimes. We're one of two or three girl bands in the city that gig regularly. The others are in college so they can't gig regularly.
Photos and text: Ava Nirui