May 2, 2020
Culture & Music
Allie X is the Canadian singer/songwriter subverting pop territory as she flows through the many evolutions of herself, and her sound. With her recently dropped album, ‘Cape God,’ she jumps to a place in the past, where a melange of memories branch into an off-beat fantasy. Here, Allie chats with us about the importance of personal power, and finding her way through pop culture’s ‘avant-garde.’
Coat by Olivier Theyskens, jewellery by Ursa Major
JG: What is Regular? Is it something you strive towards?
A: This is actually a question that the song asks. In my mind I see 9-5 business people in their suits hanging off a skyscraper, humble folks sitting at a bar night after night and of course my self wandering through life trying to find where I fit in. Not sure if any of us are regular. But we’re all trying to find our place.
JG: Confidence and authenticity are often linked to success – though not always, and not to everyone. How does success appear to you?
A: Success to me is some combination of happiness, peacefulness, financial comfort, and boldness. The most successful people in my eyes, are the ones that have taken risks and been rewarded but also not compromised who they are so I think I agree with the confidence and authenticity theory.
JG: ’Avant-garde’ and ’goth-pop’ are two categories that often come up in discussion of your work. Do they resonate with you? How do you feel about labels?
A: I never get too upset about labels. It’s just for context, and this is a business that moves a mile a minute with a short attention span. Avant-garde and goth pop do resonate with me. Though, I believe if we really look at all the art in the world, I’m only avant-garde and goth in the context of pop. I think real goth fans would spit on me lol. that said, I think I am special though, and like labels that set me apart from the empty, meaningless crap pop that’s out there haha.
Shoes and coat by Margiela
JG: Experimentation seems to be a big part of both your sound and image. How does experimentation influence your musical and personal styles?
A: Well it’s a big question. By nature, this project has always been about finding myself, the X in “Allie X” represents the unknown. So, I always allow myself to evolve with no judgement. The sound, from the beginning of this project in 2014, to now, has changed a lot. But for the better I believe. I feel more mature and me than ever before. Ultimately people get into songwriting because they have something to express. So I never feel bad about expressing how I am feeling in whatever way I want at a given time in my life. As long as it’s real.
JG: Your last album Super Sunset definitely has an LA aura. Do you think Cape God will speak of Sweden in a similar way? In what way does your environment influence your sound? And your emotion?
A: Cape God is an East Coast liminal space in my mind that represents a few “real” places. Toronto, where I grew up, Cape Cod where I visited, Michigan, where I attended 2 years of high school and Sweden where the record was made. All places have a winter/fall dark vibe in my mind. To answer your question, environment does influence my sound. But this was an interesting record in that, I sort of went back in time to my teenage years and what I felt then, to write this record, so it’s all a bit of a trippy combination of real places, reflection, Gregory Crewdson photos and fantasy.
JG: Empowerment is a theme that’s extremely prevalent today, especially in terms of striving towards it. What empowers you?
A: I empower myself. That has been my biggest lesson in life perhaps. I empower myself. When I was sick, I made myself healthy. When no one listened to my music, I made myself heard. When people treated me poorly for a long time, I learned how to stand up for myself.
Coat by Olivier Theyskens
Dress by Dolce and Gabbana, jewellery by Ursa Major + Blanca Monros Gomez and WWAKE
Top, stylist’s own, earrings by WWAKE, rings by Ursa Major + Blanca Monros Gomez and WWAKE