Lyrisme, émotion, guitares sèches, garage et trap surpuissant : l'essence du style made in queer.
Canadian artist Katie Selmanis, the frontwoman of the band Austra, rubbed shoulders with classical music and opera choruses throughout her youth. As a teenager, she used to spend hours at the piano, breaking her back to achieve her goal of becoming an opera singer, under the caring but skeptical gaze of her parents, who were big fans of Dylan and Zappa. And then, just when her dream was coming true, Katie discovered that ultimately, she prefers electro, punk, new wave, synth and girls to boys and Puccini.
She then took advantage of her coming out to start composing, declared that the music she makes is queer music, developed a raspy voice, and in 2011 came out with a sublime first single The Beat and the Pulse, which was followed by the album Feel it break, a jewel of dark dramatic pop that was a hit with critics around the world. In 2013, the album Olympia took the exploration of the contrast between the coldness of the compositions and the intense and passionate, almost gothic voice of Katie Selmanis to new heights.
Since 2010, Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, originally from Seattle, has been composing and performing beautiful and desperate songs that speak with grace and modesty of how hard it is to love and how violent the world is for people who are different.
At his piano, in a voice as strong as it is vulnerable and to the tune of weightless melodies that capture the very essence of melancholy, he urges us to find courage and hope as he bares his soul to us. As with Learning and Put your back N 2 It, Perfume Genius successfully demonstrates with his third album Too Bright and the single Queen that vulnerability can become a strength. "I will take the dark hand of your heart in my heart," he promises a molested lover in the song Dark Parts. It's a promise he's also making to his audience.
Zebra Katz is the fabulous and frightening creation of Ojay Morgan, a 27-year-old rapper originally from Brooklyn. In 2012, this former art student performed a duet with Njena Redd Foxx, the minimalistic and disturbing hit "Ima read" - which designer Rick Owens immediately chose for his autumn fashion show in Paris. A title that pays homage to ball culture as much as it pokes fun at education and revisits 87 times and à la drag the misogynistic "bitch," that ubiquitous term that's been mucking up mainstream rap rhymes for decades.
In three years and two mixtapes, Champagne and DRKLNG, with his menacing beats, his toxic loops, his suave, zombie-on-MDMA timbre and performances that fall somewhere between S&M and psychiatry, Zebra Katz has become the queer and powerful "dark villain" that was missing from the underground music scene.
It's been six years already since Paris musician Tatiana Mladenovitch, aka Fyodor Dream Dog, has been charming our lumberjack souls with her intimate, powerful and sensitive folk-pop inspired by Elliott Smith. In 2014, her heady Jenny Kissed Me track, drawn from a poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt, reminded us that melancholy is a genre in itself.
A drummer by training, she has extensive experience in dance and theater and has worked with Claude Violante, Theo Hakola, The Aikiu and Bertrand Belin, a longtime friend who helped her on the composition of Best, her third album, which came out in April 2015. An organic album that mixes pop and dance and confirms her inexpressible talent.
London queer trio Shopping produces wonderfully refreshing post-punk music inspired by ESG, Delta 5, The Slits and The Au Pairs. Their incisive and unpretentious style was first discovered with their single "In Other Words" and their 2013 album "Consumer Complaints." What is the customer complaining about? Absolutely nothing, he's already dancing around the office of the after-sales department.
loud & proud
a four-day celebration of queer culture
The LOUD & PROUD festival explores the way sexual minorities are represented on the French cultural scene and proposes to give back priority to bodies and identities that have been neglected and made invisible by the music industry, by programming a series of concerts and performances by queer artists over a period of four days. Between July 2 and 5, la Gaîté is proud to host its first festival of queer music and culture.