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September 24, 2015 at 09:45 PM EDT

Beth Ditto has been fronting indie-rock trio Gossip since 1991 but is finally stepping out on her own and just began work on a solo collection. “Yep! Confirmed, baby!” Ditto says to EW. “I have a sh-tload of songs but haven’t started recording yet. I’m nervous. I feel like I’m going to a different school or something.”

As for what a Beth Ditto collection will sound like, the singer-songwriter offers little by way of detail. “I have no idea yet,” she says. “I’m not being protective or weird, I just have no idea,” she laughs.

Ditto was calling to discuss another project, equally important to her, Girls Rock Camp Foundation. The camp, which teaches young girls how to read, write, and play music is launching a brand new campaign, where campers have recreated famous album covers. (The covers, which are gorgeously shot, can be viewed and bid on at the foundation’s website.)

Discussing the campaign gets Ditto onto the larger conversation of establishing legitimacy or gravitas as a woman in music. “Sometimes I feel like there’s no right way to do it,” she begins. “It’s just such a different world for women in music — we have to go through different things. Even playing in a band, I would be getting ready for hours and then everyone else is ready in ten minutes. I like doing hair and makeup so it wasn’t bad for me, but what about the girls who aren’t into hair and makeup and all that bullsh-t?” she asks, highlighting the campaign’s subversive techniques.

“If you can come at beauty from a punk attitude, which Girls Rock Camp has, you get a completely different set of rules,” she says. “You’re taught that it’s okay to look crazy and that crazy can be beautiful and that beauty is relative. And when you learn that, you have access to something that pop culture will never teach you — that’s an underground concept. I wish I had learned that sooner. It could have taken so much less time,” she says with a laugh.

Ditto’s nine-year-old niece was shot for the Blondie cover. A behind the scenes photo with Ditto is below. More information on the non-profit is available on their website.


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