Wednesday, May 25

Shygirl, sexually positive pop star: ‘I want to affect your balance’ | Pop and rock

SHygirl’s tracks are, for lack of a better word, dirty. The 28-year-old musician’s lyrics detail sexual exploits and disposable partners. “I like to slide, to skate”, it is not about dancing on ice. This week he releases BDE, a collaboration with Northampton rapper Slowthai, and it’s less rap on his part, more a heady mix of cooing and growling commands about a sinister production. This is sex as a chaotic exercise, and if it ends up disturbing the listener, the artist has achieved her goal. “I love when art makes me uncomfortable, because I have to wonder where that comes from,” he says. “How can something affect my balance like that? I want to affect the balance of other people. “

His commanding musical personality is worlds away from the chatty and likable woman I meet in a bar outside Cambridge University’s Union, where he just gave a talk on his art and the accessibility of the creative industries. About a quarter of our time is spent laughing; Sharp introspections about owning one’s narrative as a public figure are as easy as tales of self-criticism about recording angry voice memos about former partners. And it’s easy to see why she’s increasingly seen as a fashion force: After a recent Burberry campaign and Thierry Mugler soundtrack clues, she stands out majestically for her orange hair, healthy babydoll dress, and eye-catching boots. Telfar Clemens, noticed by wide-eyed students. in our neighborhood.

His spirit is more philosophical than his sometimes unprintable lyrics suggest. It’s not just about enjoying sex, he explains, but about communicating power dynamics and disrupting them. “I’m talking about frustration,” he says. “Many things are that I change situations and put myself in the position of the aggressor or the user, when in reality it was I who was being used. I am claiming something that I could not claim at this moment, saying: by hook or by crook, I am going to get what I want ”.

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The lyrics are still not much different from their more mainstream sexually positive peers like Megan Thee Stallion and Lil ‘Kim, but it’s their sounds that go the extra mile. His voice sits on top of flawed, Eurotrance-tinged, alien beats made by producers like Sega Bodega and the late Sophie, and his sound is regularly categorized under the recent label of “hyperpop” (though she “distrusts new genres”). along with outliers like Charli XCX, 100 Gecs, and PC Music maverick AG Cook. “There is a fantasy that club music speaks of and a euphoria it provides, a space where anything can happen,” he says, the perfect canvas for the avant-garde erotic worlds that he builds in his songs, and his homage to the club as “ A space of pleasure ”.

Her real name is Blane Muise, the artist was born in South London and moved around the area as a child with her parents. His grandfather was periodically bassist for The Aces, reggae singer Desmond Dekker’s backing group, and his father introduced him to an eclectic range of pop music as a teenager, Craig David to Björk, by placing CDs on his bed that he had pick through. from work in a nightclub.

“Every day there are new ways the world throws things at you.” Photography: Trinity Ellis

A defining moment was seeing Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII at the Tate Modern at age 13: an ultra-minimalist installation of white bricks laid in rows on the floor. “It was very inspiring for me. Everyone was walking around these bricks, and I was like: these are some bricks! “She gets excited.” I thought, I want to do this, people think I’m shit because I put [something] there.'”

He became a professional musician at age 23, collaborating with friends he had met on the city’s club scene and DJing at venues like queer London club night PDA. She identifies as queer – “I’ll steal your girl too, not just your men,” she tweeted last year – and credits queer communities for empowering her to talk about sex as a woman. She is eager to give something back to them with her music, even to her many trans fans. “Even within the [queer] community, being trans is a very difficult position. I know many close trans friends who have been left adrift by their biological family and have found a family in us; I’m so protective of it. “

His frank lyricism is more than excitement, then: it cathartically throws stereotypes and sexualization into the world. “I have been sexualized since I was 12 years old,” he says. “By making this music, this is me finding a comfortable space where I’m already sitting. Like, why deny how they perceive you? You can’t hide from it. Instead, I have embraced and rewritten it for myself. “

She states that for Black women, “there are new ways the world is throwing things at you every day,” namely the misogynoir (a combination of racism and sexism against blacks) that informs how Black women are perceived and how they are stereotypes Limit us in the rest of the world. “How else can we walk away from those experiences if not to talk about them? If you fit into the slot they expect of you, then you are giving them what they want. I’d rather do something unexpected. “

BDE is now available on Because Music

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