You first dropped your album ‘utopia’ in April this year, and six months later, we are mesmerized, singing on repeat with your latest EP ‘sweatshop’ released on November 14th. How do you feel about it?
I was very anxious the day before the release, which… I am usually not. I think it was because, for me, ‘sweatshop’ is a very personal view on intimacy and physical relationships. In the lyrics, I’m talking specifically about gay and queer experiences in the world of sex, including fetishism and sexualization. So I guess I was very nervous, but I’m so happy that it’s finally out.
We can certainly hear that, and it’s hot. For the people who haven’t listened to ‘sweatshop’ yet, how would you introduce this EP?
My album ‘utopia’, released earlier this year, was about love, connection, support, and hope. After that, I wanted to explore all of the nuances of my experiences. For example, I really enjoy sexual songs, hip hop, and urban music with vulgar lyrics too. I think it’s strong, especially nowadays, where it feels like many things are again considered taboo. But I struggle using that language for myself, and I wonder why.
So I took half a year to think about all the ways I’ve experienced sex in this world and realized that probably the reason I struggle is that I haven’t had only good experiences. I’ve had quite terrible experiences as a black and queer person. There are stigmas and preconceived notions of how I am supposed to act as a sexual person, so I wanted to fit these feelings and experiences into an EP that also explores new sounds.
That’s very refreshing, especially when navigating the multiple layers of intimacy that we can definitely hear in your new work. I actually chose ‘wow’ as one of my favorite tracks because it has raw and empowering moments but also very soothing ones. What can you tell us about this song?
Well, the song is about consent. But I didn’t want to be literal saying “hey, we need to be consensual”, but rather show how sexy it is to ask for consent. I wanted to recreate the feeling of a physical encounter in music. Also, because words are super limiting, so saying ‘we could be wow wow’, means we can be anything, for anyone. It’s very expansive and beautiful, with moments saying that “if you say no, that’s fine. We can stop any time, it still makes me hot”.