Words: Thomas Stichbury
Bang Bang Romeo’s Anastasia “Stars” Walker is taking no prisoners as she celebrates sexuality, self-love and body positivity.
Pop-rock’s most exciting – and outspoken – new voice learned about the importance of using your platform for good after recently touring with superstar P!nk.
“They say never meet your heroes, but whoever said that had a shite hero,” she says in an exclusive interview with Attitude's December issue - out to order globally and download to any device from November 7.
“I said [to P!nk], ‘Look, if there’s any advice you could give me what would it be?’
"She replied: ‘Don’t take any shit, and only give it when you have to.’ I’m going to get that tattooed on my face.”
In the interview, Stars opens up about growing up gay in a small mining town in South Yorkshire.
“I came out to my friends when I was 16, to my parents when I was 18, but I knew when I was 13 or 14. It was a massive head fuck.
"Not only was I from a mining town, where there weren’t any gay role models to look up to or learn from, but my parents had just got divorced and it was still pretty nasty,” she recalls.
“I’m also a big girl, so I probably did get a bit of hate in school, but you know I just broke someone’s nose and I didn’t get it again!”
Now 26, Star – who is engaged to her childhood sweetheart Charlotte – embraces both her queerness, and her swerves and curves on song.
“You’re throwing yourself to the lions as a big woman talking about self-love and self-care, [but] I’m more than happy to be thrown to the lions – I’ll punch the lion in its fucking throat!” she laughs.
The 'Love Yourself' singer adds that she has overcome misogyny and homophobic attitudes in the music business.
“You know, when you walk in holding your guitar, and it’s like: ‘Is that your boyfriend’s guitar?’ or ‘Are you here to see your friend [play]?’ No, I’m on at 8pm, you prick!”
“In terms of experiencing homophobia in the industry, I’ve been very lucky not to butt heads with that too much.
"I’ve had the odd slurs from people, ‘What you playing Pride for?’ Just fuck off, I’m not even going to entertain that conversation,” she says.
Name-checking the rise of fellow queer singers Christine and the Queens, Hayley Kiyoko and St Vincent – “Such a wonderful thing” – Stars vows to be the LGBTQ role model she never had.
“I get a lot of messages from young women coming to terms with their sexuality, and I try to give as much time as I can,” she reveals.
“I feel it’s my obligation and I am more than happy with that. I don’t want another 14 year old Stars not being inspired by anyone, not having anyone to look up to or talk to.”
Bang Bang Romeo – completed by guitarist Ross Cameron, 30, and drummer Rich Gartland, 26 – release their debut album A Heartbreaker’s Guide to the Galaxy today (1 November).
Read the full interview in the December issue of Attitude magazine, out November 7.