Acclaimed indie electro pop artist Grimes has expressed her disdain towards much of the music industry as her world tour on the back of her hugely successful debut LP Visions comes to an end.
In a post entitled “I don’t want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living” Grimes – real name Claire Boucher – hits out at so-called fans, friends, critics and musicians, taking issue with a number of things that she has been subjected to in the past couple of years.
Sexism is at the crux of Boucher’s issues, saying she is tired of the molestation she is subjected to “at shows or on the street”.
“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 dont want to live in a world where im gonna have to start employing body guards because this kind of behavior is so commonplace and accepted and I’m pissed that when I express concern over my own safety it’s often ignored until people see firsthand what happens and then they apologize for not taking me seriously after the fact…”
Later she extends that to people talking about her online and those who harrass the dancers who tour and perform alongside her.
“I’m tired of creeps on message boards discussing whether or not they’d “fuck” me
“I’m tired of people harassing my dancers and treating them like they aren’t human beings
“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)”
As far as those working inside the industry, Boucher has taken issue with people who believe she needs help in order to operate, that she is unable to exist as a solo entity without assistance.
“I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if i did this by accident and i’m gonna flounder without them. or as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology. I have never seen this kind of thing happen to any of my male peers
“I’m tired of the weird insistence that i need a band or i need to work with outside producers (and I’m eternally grateful to the people who don’t do this)”
Speaking with theMusic.com.au last year, Boucher was very open about what she was trying to achieve with her music and public persona. Admitting that she didn’t much like being photographed, she accepted that she was going to have to do it anyway.
“As much as it bothers me, it’s also part of what I’m trying to do. Which is sell a brand. A really strong, cohesive thing that is Grimes,” she said.
The notion of celebrity is something she has been grappling with for some time and she told us in that interview her thoughts on what she called “indie pop stardom”.
“As Grimes became more of a thing, I realised that I did have the power to create this musical identity like that. Then I started hanging out, in Montréal, with people like Doldrums, and they think about and talk about that stuff so much; about music-as-branding, about indie-pop stardom, about creating this super-maximalist over-exposed idea of what art is, and what their art is. That was a dialogue they were really into having: the future as indie-branding; taking this concept of celebrity and doing it from the bottom up… It’s this incredibly postmodern way of approaching the idea of being a musician.”
At the time she said that she was trying to stay away from the public’s perception of her, even though she was trying to shape this very perception at the same time.
“I don’t read any of my press, because I’m totally terrified of people saying mean things about me,” Boucher admitted. “So I don’t really know how exactly [Visions] has been received, but I know it’s been received well. I only really talk with my mom and my friends about it. In a weird way, I care about the branding a lot. But I don’t want to care about the press; I don’t want to be a part of that, because I don’t want to be too aware of myself. I want to be able to change and evolve and grow the project, and not feel confined about the public idea of who I am. Even though I really care about building that concept.”
It's clear that her plan for stardom hasn't included being referred to as cute or a waif...
im tired of being referred to as ‘cute,’ as a ‘waif’ etc., even when the author, fan, friend, family member etc. is being positive
1 a homeless and helpless person, esp. a neglected or abandoned child: she is foster-mother to various waifs and strays .
• an abandoned pet animal.
1 attractive in a pretty or endearing way: a cute kitten.
• informal sexually attractive.
She quickly posted a follow-up saying that she would still be happily meeting fans at shows and that she will be working on a new record now rather than continuing her tour.