Every couple of years, an artist makes massive waves in the industry for being none other than completely themselves. Whether it be through their music, their art, their relentless political views, or everything in between. Luckily for us, with the help of the world wide web and complete access to the world’s eye because of social media, we have a lot of those artists now. People who refuse to be put into a category, people who have genuine interests and ideas, people who make some of the coolest music to date.
Enter Grimes: a true amalgamation of everything artistic. Claire Boucher, producer extraordinaire, vocal hero, political maven and multi-cultural appreciative artist. If you were to hear Grimes for the first time, or watch one of her ultra colorful exotic videos, you would never be able to put her in a box. She’s not fully pop, but she’s also not fully indie. And she also doesn’t want to be fully one genre over the other. She’s perfectly content not fitting into a genre; she just wants to make music that’s good. And she does. And she does the best when she’s 100% behind the production. Although she’s had some killer collaborations, there’s something rare and exciting about being able to connect with a song that’s the product of one single person’s thought, talent and energy. She’s got beats that make you want to set a club on fire, and vocals that make you want to cry in the shower. Her style is other-worldly, and she sort of looks like some kind of Japanese-Russian futuristic superhero. Her musical productions range from fear-inducing downtempo space raves to heavy bass and synth laden airy harmonies. Most of the time her music sounds like it could score a film about a dark forest where fairies were plotting to end all of humankind. There is no one word to describe this Canadian angel other than “unexplainable”.
Aside from her perfect productions, she also has a deep interest in all things political. Recently she’s been on a massive kick to get the conservative party out of Canada, and she’s taken to twitter and free ticket sales to educate the Canadian youth about voting. She’s passionate, fierce, fiery, and representative of just about everything we need in this industry. She speaks up for women's rights and doesn’t let anyone get away with misogynistic actions. About a year ago, she wrote a tumblr post explaining and representing a way that women are treated in this industry, and was vocal about the bullshit she constantly has to deal with. Some examples:
“I dont want my words to be taken out of context
I dont want to be infantilized because i refuse to be sexualized
I dont want to be molested at shows or on the street by people who perceive me as an object that exists for their personal satisfaction
I’m tired of being considered vapid for liking pop music or caring about fashion as if these things inherently lack substance or as if the things i enjoy somehow make me a lesser person
I’m tired of being congratulated for being thin because i can more easily fit into sample sizes from the runway
I’m sad that my desire to be treated as an equal and as a human being is interpreted as hatred of men, rather than a request to be included and respected (I have four brothers and many male best friends and a dad and i promise i do not hate men at all, nor do i believe that all men are sexist or that all men behave in the ways described above)”
She’s a hero in a lot of ways. Not only is she an incredible role model for aspiring musicians, she’s also not concerned with the “type” of music that make an artist top 40. She makes the music she deems fit and people gravitate towards it like crazy. In November, she’s playing at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and tickets are selling for $300. She’s someone to take very, very seriously, because she’s a very serious artist.
Her newest album Art Angels is much anticipated, and not only is she behind the production of the entirety of the album, she’s also the artist behind the album art. She is a walking music and art gallery that constantly surprises us. She's one person we should be so glad exists in the world.