Frances Bean Cobain has worn many hats: recipe tester and then aspiring cookbook author, Marc Jacobs model, art aficionada, graffiti artist, actual visual artist. But, for a long time, she resisted labeling herself a musician—in part, she explained during a recent interview on RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s podcast What’s the Tee, because “it’s my family business” and “there’s kind of this dirty association with musicianship in my family, just because it hasn’t ended particularly well.”
That is: Frances Bean Cobain is the daughter of Courtney Love, the frontwoman for Hole, and Kurt Cobain, the late Nirvana frontman—the “O.G. Blue Ivy,” she described on What’s the Tee. “But what I think is making me and pushing me to kind of go for it is that I don’t sound or act or am anything like my parents’ artistry,” she added. “When I sing, it’s a definitive sort of own space that I’m making for myself.” (This isn’t to say that there’s no pressure on her as the musician child of two rock legends—“How do you avoid that?” she said. “You can’t.”) It helps that their personalities are different—even though Cobain and her mother have shared struggles with addiction, “Her antics are sort of louder than mine,” Cobain explained.
This puts her in sharp contrast with what she describes as “my weird community of celebrity children,” in which “so many people are trying to replicate or redo what their parents have done.”
“It’s hard to submit yourself into that world because it’s so pretentious and shitty. It’s filled to the brim with the worst people I’ve ever met,” she said. “But when you weed out certain types of people and certain people that want to utilize where they’re from as a means to justify their own bullshit, then you can find really beautiful people.”
Perhaps part of why she’s able to stay so level-headed is because she started seeing a therapist before she was even five years old; her mother, she explained, had waited until she was five to tell her about her dad’s suicide, sending her to therapy for a year beforehand “so that I could be eased into that conversation.” Since then, therapists have frequently told her that she should be a therapist. (Elsewhere in their conversation, she cites Sharon Van Etten as a contemporary musician she’s into right now; they should talk.)
Anyways, some of her relationships with other children of astronomically famous people are actually really good. Like her friendship with Billie Lourd, daughter of Carrie Fisher, who happened to be great friends with Courtney Love. “Me and her kind of looked at each other and were like, Your mom’s crazy? Your mom’s crazy? Let’s be friends!,” she said on the podcast. Another one of those “really beautiful people”? Sean Lennon; he and Cobain “have a kind of soul connectivity” ostensibly because of their similar family traumas. “When you weed out shiitty people and you find the good ones,” she said, “that’s where it is.”