Grimes – A New Pop Star for a New Era
Indie pop’s cyber-manic pixie dream girl, Grimes, is actually a badass DIY pop genius and production nerd, who writes her own songs, produces her own music, directs her own videos, and does her own album art. She seamlessly integrates disparate genres that span decades and continents and distills them into strange but digestible, darkly catchy tunes.
Fans can try to flatten her out into a one-dimensional character but she’s one step ahead of them. Bouncing around in her music videos with pink hair literally singing “la la la la la” might put out the quirky airhead vibe, but she brought the image upon herself knowingly. “I engineered a pop star, but I used myself,” she states in an interview for Hunger TV. She is both the icon and mastermind. There is no wizard of Oz (i.e. a man) behind the curtain on her albums – it’s all her.
In a Documentary by The FADER, she says, “It’s infuriating, even just to get to the point where I could produce my own record and have everyone fuck off and not give me shit for it. I don’t want to be just the face of this thing that I built. I want to be the person who built it.”
I engineered a pop star, but I used myself
What results is a depth and nuance that can only come from the fusion of creator and performer. Critics can try to box her music into a genre, but she’s a butterfly they can’t pin down. Her electro-pop beats dissolve in their ears like cotton candy, a sweet but undefinable flavor. Her “genres” are as fluid as the characters she embodies with in her music videos, changing from a pink tutu into a men’s suit in a single frame, wearing angel wings while stabbing a baby doll.
As opposed to female pop stars being molded and churned out by their producers (almost always men) like sugary sweet chocolate bunny shells—empty and inevitably shattered and eaten whole by their own fans—Grimes crafts her own image and tenaciously grips all creative authority over her product.
Grimes gives us a new kind of pop. She’s an echo from the future, her music a crazy remix of a song that doesn’t yet exist.
Oh, no, it came
Higher than an aeroplane
Don’t know this song
Sweeter than a sugar cane
Why you looking for a harmony?
There is harmony in everything
It’s a butterfly who waits for the world
If you’re looking for a dream girl
I’ll never be your dream girl
-“Butterfly”, Art Angels