Dorian Electra is packing for his or her upcoming tour beneath the watchful eyes of a number of disembodied furry heads. All the mascots, displayed on a shelf like searching trophies, are relics of the 29-year-old singer’s blooming profession. They level to 1 menacing canary-yellow head from the “My Agenda” music video. “We had all of them as a homosexual furry militia, they usually have been all in these fighter jets and in uniforms,” they inform W throughout a Zoom name from their dwelling in Los Angeles.
Electra takes pleasure in poking at taboos (like furries), and asking the viewers to interrogate why they generate a lot destructive shock worth. “The variety of those who remark, ‘Rattling, I feel I am a furry now,’ or no matter, is sort of wonderful as soon as individuals can get previous the cringe issue,” Electra says. As we speak, the furry heads are usually not solely a type of social commentary—additionally they function impromptu sound-proofing materials. Electra has spent the week main as much as the European leg of their “My Agenda” tour recording of their Los Angeles dwelling studio house, which has but to be correctly insulated. “Within the meantime, let’s simply use the rattling furry heads,” they are saying with a giggle. “It really works nice.”
Electra has taken the nontraditional path to music. Their first brush with fame got here after they labored as a contract video producer for Refinery29, tasked with making academic music movies. “I selected to do [a video] concerning the history of the clitoris, after which that one form of went viral,” they are saying. From there, Electra dove into the historical past of excessive heels, drag, and vibrators, bridging their undergraduate schooling in philosophy and the historical past of science with their ardour for music and videography. Their official foray into the music business got here in 2017 after they have been featured on Charli XCX’s “Femmebot,” which opened the door for them to concentrate on their very own initiatives. Following Electra’s debut album Flamboyant in 2019, they’ve racked up options from artists like Pussy Riot, Rebecca Black and 100 gecs. Electra is even making a splash within the vogue world, having sung a canopy of Pharrell’s “Completely happy” at Collina Strada’s spring 2022 runway present throughout New York Vogue Week.
Vogue is of nice significance to Electra, who counts Liberace and Elizabethan menswear as a few of their most formative influences. “I actually wish to remix and play with completely different eras, and purposely juxtapose issues that appeared like they would not go collectively,” they are saying. Electra not too long ago launched a group with Left Hand LA, which shares their vogue philosophy. Among the many items? A t-shirt stained with espresso and cigarette ash, and a kilt adorned with Electra’s used—although, they guarantee, washed—socks. “We have been actually within the concept of celeb and fandom and simply how ravenous individuals actually get for any little scrap, irrespective of how small,” they clarify. Electra’s penchant for the flamboyant is vital of their method to each vogue and music. “My curiosity within the historical past of vogue immediately parallels my curiosity within the historical past of music,” they are saying. Amongst their largest musical influences: metallic, Gregorian monk chants, and 2000s pop, naturally.
It was across the launch of Flamboyant that Electra started figuring out as genderfluid. They apprehensive that the world’s attachment to the hyper-femininity of pop legends that got here earlier than them, like Britney Spears and Madonna, would hamper their capability to reach the business. “I would began utilizing they/them pronouns and began feeling like I need to make this pop music, however I do not see myself as becoming into the panorama,” they are saying. However the suggestions was overwhelmingly constructive. “To see the viewers response and seeing the brand new followers come out of nowhere was so personally validating as a result of it was like, ‘Oh, they get what I am doing. They do not simply assume I am being a drag king. They perceive me,’’’ Electra says. “I felt very seen with my gender id, and I feel that positively gave me the braveness to maintain transferring ahead.”
Electra feels that had they arrived on the scene just some years earlier, they might not have the profession they’ve at present. “I really feel like typically you get actually fortunate with the timing of the tradition,” they are saying. However they be aware that some components of the world are usually not able to embrace the fluidity of gender and sexuality, particularly noting Poland, a cease on their upcoming tour that has struggled with an alarming uptick in fascism and anti-LGBT epithets.
“I am actually trying ahead to going to locations like Poland the place they’ve a extremely, actually intense anti-LGBT local weather,” Electra says. They recall their time spent within the nation in 2019 whereas touring with Charli XCX, when the 2 witnessed a parade led by far-right nationalists. “Individuals do not feel secure,” they are saying. “To me, it is probably the most essential locations to go to, as a result of individuals actually need that sort of assist proper now.” In a tense social local weather the place civil rights are regressing, having a daring and unapologetic drive like Electra to cleared the path is a present to many queer individuals, from Poland to america. Maybe they arrived on the excellent time in any case.