UAlbany alumni Awkwafina to perform at Proctors
By Julia Day
Arts & Entertainment Editor
February 3, 2015
“Awkwafina’s a genius, and her vagina is 50 times better than a penis,” raps Awkwafina in her Youtube famous hit song, “My Vag.” Originally from Queens, N.Y., Nora Lum, known more widely by her stage name Awkwafina, spent several years at the University at Albany before graduating in 2011 and earning her degree in journalism. The UAlbany alumni-turned-comedy-rapper will be returning to her college roots to perform at Proctors Theater on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Lum gained fame back in 2012 with the release of her music video titled “My Vag,” which currently holds close to one million views on Youtube. Other hits including “Queef,” “NYC Bitche$,” and “Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margaritas),” which have also gained notable attention, appear on Lum’s EP titled “Yellow Fever” which was released in early 2014.
Music and comedy have been an important part of Lum’s life growing up.
“I’ve always been a comedic person, that’s just a part of my personality, but when I was 11 I started playing the trumpet and from there I got into an art type school, so I studied music for a long time and I spent a lot of that period producing music,” said Lum. “I don’t think I was good at rapping back when I was 16, so an excusable way at first was just to blend it with comedy. Rap is actually really easy to get comedy across because there’s like a lot more room to talk about things. I just thought it was an amazing medium for comedy and it really worked out.”
With the perfect blend of comedy and rap, Lum entertains with her vulgar yet witty lyrics, rapping hilarious lines such as “I’m F. Scott Queefsgerald, Gatsby of the queef game, Wuthering queefs, cos’ I’m queefing like Bronte,” from her track “Queef.” With the help of her friends and the use of Youtube, Lum’s music career was able to take off.
“I was sitting on that track [“My Vag”] for almost four years before it became anything,” said Lum. “I played it for my suitemates and they really liked it. It was just kind of a thing that was shared among my friends. Nothing really happened with that until I was 24 and Court Dunn who did all my videos wanted to make it a music video. It was a budgetless video, it was really just me and him, and I invited a couple of my friends out to do it. That was the beauty of it, with Youtube nowadays you can just put anything out there, you don’t really need any help.”
Although her roots lie in Queens, Lum enjoyed her time spent up at school in Albany.
“I really liked Albany. I’m from New York City so I was commuting to Manhattan every day, and when you live in New York for a long time you feel kind of jaded,” said Lum. “There was something really peaceful about Albany, it was in a really nice area upstate, things were just cleaner. I felt secluded to a point where I could just focus on doing my thing. And I really liked the food, I really liked Wings Over Albany. I love DP Dough, they retweeted me one time, I was so excited.”
Majoring in journalism, Lum had the opportunity while in college to intern at the Times Union. Although she hasn’t pursued journalism as a career, it has been an invaluable opportunity for her during her life.
“The beauty about going to Albany was that I was able to work at a real newspaper. I felt like that was an opportunity I wouldn’t have been given if I went to school in New York City. Journalism really does prepare you for a lot of things.”
Lum has recently been added to the cast of the MTV Comedy Series “Girl Code” and will be starring in its third season. She is also currently working on releasing a new EP in the nearby future.
As for returning to perform in Albany this February, Lum shares nothing but excitement.
“Honestly it’s been a dream of mine to go back to Albany as Awkwafina. I haven’t been there in so long, and to play at Proctors, I would never imagine that I would ever be playing there when I was living in Albany. I’m really excited.”
Teeming with talent, wit, and creativity, Lum’s career is only just getting started, and it will be great to see what songs she’ll hit us with next. Her upcoming performance at Proctors is sure to convince audiences that Awkwafina truly is “50 times better than a penis.”