Margeaux Simms spent one season on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, and she will likely be best remembered on the show as Nikko's "secret" wife. But the Toronto-and-New York-based artist and musician, who will not be returning for season five, is proving that there is definitely life after the show. We spoke with Margeaux to discuss the release of her official video to the single "Start a War," her upcoming performance at South By Southwest in Austin, and the thing that triggered her to walk of the stage at last season's reunion.
VH1: The last time we saw you was when you walked off the stage at the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta reunion as Joseline was about to perform. Were you taking a stand or could you just not take being there anymore?
Margeaux Simms: Look, I get that there's drama on the show, but I just don’t do well with people that can’t be themselves, it’s not something that works for me. I was finding myself in a place of anger and I just like to stay really calm and cool and focused on my music and focused on my art and talk about real issues, you know? And I don’t like when people use the word "gay" like it's a slur and there was just so many things that about that that bothered me, so I said it'd probably be best for me to just leave.
Do you have regrets being on the show?
I mean, I'm not gonna be a Stacey Dash and diss the platform that was given to me. I’ve always been an artist, so it’s still awesome to have people that got a chance to hear my music that otherwise might not have. And you know also my fashion grew from that. I was able to show at Fashion Week in September, so there’s definitely positive things that have helped propel what I’ve been doing and I wanna focus on that, but do I regret it? No. I don’t regret doing the show, but there’s things that didn’t necessarily have to happen but I guess it is what it is, it comes with part of the territory. I feel like I was myself and I said as long as I can be myself and I can sleep at night. I didn’t do anything that I'm embarrassed by, I never said anything that I can't stand behind. I definitely understand what reality TV is. I really went in being myself. I just actually ended up on the show by default really, I was hearing things about myself and I was like no, I'm going to explain myself, I want them to know about me, and not the drama.
Have you stayed friends with anyone from Love & Hip Hop?
Oh, no. It's hard to really maintain friends in a place where, you know, it’s kind of like a live soap opera, so some people will do anything just to stay on TV. I don’t have friends like that in real life so it's hard to make those kinds of connections.
What's your status with Nikko?
Nikko and I are cool like, we're friendly. I don't have any ill will towards him. He’s a good person and I feel like he'll always be a friend to me.
Are you officially divorced?
Well, that’s kinds complicated but...Nikko and I are friends and we've both moved on. Those things take a little bit longer than I'd like to finish. But he’s my good friend and we both moved on with other people.
Let's talk about your music. How did you get connected with SXSW?
I've just been focusing on my music [since the show ended]. The song "Start a War" really took off while I was on the show and a lot of people wanted me to do a video. And I have so much music that’s coming out this year, there were so many requests, I decided to do a video and then someone had contacted me about doing South By Southwest, I'm doing a special showcase on March 19th, I'm really excited about it.
Tell me about how you made the video [which was released today].
I directed the video myself. It’s really simple, I feel like less is more and I didn’t wanna do too much because I it's more for the art crowd, so I just decided to do this as an art piece here in New York in some really cool abandoned building with graffiti all over the wall and I graffitied on it so it’s really just an art piece.
With David Bowie's death in the news recently, it made me wonder what inspiration you got from him, I can definitely see your art and music taking a cue from him.
Oh that’s a huge compliment. Wow. Thanks, I love him. I have to admit I didn’t really get into David Bowie until a few years ago, I was always more into Prince, and I always heard about David Bowie growing up, like, but it wasn’t until a few years ago meeting some new friends, new musicians, and really listening more to the music and getting into style and fashion, that he had definitely started to play a part in my life. When I saw "Life on Mars" and when Jessica Lange performed it on American Horror Story, I fell in love with him even more. It's such a huge compliment for me because to be compared to such a great artist...like when he passed away, every bar in New York City was playing his music and he’s the first one to cross those lines of really what androgyny and music and fashion and art were. And he could still be so masculine but not be afraid to JUST BE HIMSELF and I just hope that when I'm not here I can be looked at like that.
Who would your dream lineup be of artists you'd love to tour with?
Oh I would love to tour with Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Beyonce, I like Azealia Banks.
Oh really? She's said some pretty inflammatory stuff about gay people too though.
I like her music. For me I guess I try to focus on that. I don’t like everything she says, no, but I also love Kanye’s music and I don’t like everything he says either.