Tell me a bit about Glitch Princess.
The title, Glitch Princess, I think says a lot about my confrontation towards faults and flaws. In terms of the way I see my reality and my relationship with the real world. I think glitching is like a fault in a system. Because we are contextual beings. As human beings, we need context in order to create relationships between one another. I think escaping a lot from it led me to question, you know, why do I find that I’m so interested in all the faults and the wrongs of how life’s supposed to be live? I’ve lived so much of my life virtually so the album is more of a way for me to be okay with my world not being exactly where I wanted it to be. It’s kind of like being in touch with being a fault in the system.
How have you blended virtual and physical spaces throughout your life and work?
I think since I was like really, really young, I’ve always been trying to find alternatives to real-life because either it was too boring for me or I just needed to kick my mind into like overdrive, away from the noise of in the real world. Most of my relationships have been online, whether it be like friends or people I’m more intimate with. I think it’s less to do with immersing or forcing yourself to be immersed in that reality, but rather, finding and deconstructing how your reality is flawed in order to fully comprehend living both digitally and physically at the same time.
Your music references simulations, glitching, and technology a lot, but has an almost fantasy feel to it. What role do virtual and imagined realities play in your life?
Fantasy is more like a utopia I feel. Whereas this virtual space doesn’t necessarily act as a utopia, it sometimes can be a dystopia. I think deep-diving into a lot of internet subcultures,and like early 4chan, early tumblr, kind of blogging culture, created this false sense of safety. I felt like “okay, there’s always going to be this other world for me to live in.” But then suddenly you wake up and find out that that space was just a figment of your imagination. And like, even without it, it’s still going to be you in this physical body. Like, I think the glitch is kind of like, when your computer fails to work in a system that you know and was in a system that was like coded in a certain way, and you realize that there’s still going to be loopholes in this fantasy that you create.
What are some of the loopholes in your system?
I think I focus a lot on the destruction of sacred things like from the full fragmentation of identity to feeling safe in somebody as that idea of someone instead of actually being safe. Do you know what I mean? You can stare somebody in the face and not feel a thing, but then when you think about it as a concept or you think about it in a specific place or frame of time, it becomes something more.
Yeah, like it’s easier to romanticize or create a fantasy of something when you’re disconnected from the reality of it.
Yeah, like even in the song titles I focus a lot on body parts and language of the body parts. I think being generally really, like shy maybe it was difficult for me to tell when what certain body language meant. But when it comes to negative emotions, like when somebody is getting anxious or when somebody is feeling dissociated, I can pick that up more than I can look like somebody who’s comfortable. I can pick up when on the things I find familiar because I go through similar things to that.
There’s one track on glitch princess just called “Eyes.” That’s one of my favorite ones. Because I was just so obsessed with the way eyes look when you’re in different emotional states. Like, when you are faced with somebody who means a lot to you, and the way you look at them in the eyes, or like, why do tears come from the eyes? In a different universe, we could cry through our skin, you know, maybe like sweating a different colored fluid. Like why does it come from the eyes? You know, the eyes are the windows to the soul, or whatever, right? I think that’s why I wear sunglasses a lot.
A lot of your makeup looks, though, are concentrated around your eyes. Is that intentional?
Well, my makeup looks… so okay, I play around with makeup every day. It’s always been a way for me to express the way I feel. I remember the first time I put on makeup I was about, I was like nine and I stole my mom’s black eyeliner. And I just drew like, massive like white above my eyelid. That was the first look that I did that was like, kind of iconic, or like all my friends knew me because like I had these giant panda eyes. Now it just depends on what I want to express on any given day. Like, today I’m really focused on the color green. Because I find that it’s natural-looking, like when I look at deep-sea creatures and see the way they are formed biologically, oh my god, I watch those deep-sea creature documentaries. They are amazing to me.
Any in particular that you’re drawn to?
My favorite deep-sea creature. This is not a secret. It’s like a creature that I relate to on some level. It’s the axolotl. So cute. Oh my god, I met someone who actually had a couple as like pets. I’m obsessed with it. When I try to channel an energy, I want to channel the Axolotl. I’m obsessed with just the way it moves.
I’m actually very hectic as a person. Like, I’ve got ADHD straight up. I’m not on meds for it, because, I don’t know why, I just have tried taking ADHD medication before, but I don’t jive with it. How I deal with it is I just sort of meditate. But the way I am is like, I always try and find inspiration and grace. I try to find grace in different creatures.
I assume you were writing some of Glitch Princess during COVID. How have you been able to move more into the real world, as so much of the world went virtual?
I think I started writing Glitch Princess in 2019. So it was about December, October 2019, I finished my first song of Glitch Princess. I think it was fragments that I wrote first. And from that, like, I was moving around a lot from London to Singapore, and I was finishing my degree, but like, because my uni was closed, so I had to go back home and like, it was just a transient mess. It was really difficult, because I usually when I write, I imagine like, who am I singing to? Am I singing to myself? And because of so much isolation, I wrote all the songs thinking that I was singing to nothing. Being estranged from everything and out of touch made it really bad for me mentally. Because, I’ve always found that reality was too much, and then suddenly it wasn’t enough.