Need To Know: Sliimy
By Rae Votta
When you talk to Sliimy it's hard to concentrate on anything but the French singer's voice -- it's almost like a sun shower. His soft, joyful exuberance carries over into his music as well, garnering him favorable comparisons to Prince and Mika. Sliimy just released his debut album, Paint Your Face, on Perez Hilton's Perezcious Music label ' which means along with the praise comes a substantial heaping of skepticism and backlash simply from being associated with the controversial gossip king.
We caught up with Sliimy in the middle of Paris Fashion Week to chat about how he deals with the backlash, his distinct style, and how he feels about people who focus on how gay they think he is instead of his music.
Out: You just finished the Perez Hilton tour with Ladyhawke and Semi Precious Weapons. How did that go?
Sliimy: That was amazing. It was my first time in the U.S. and it was so great to share my music with people. The people were so generous. All of the people from the U.S., from the U.K., from anywhere -- I find that music is universal.
When you played New York City you were wearing an amazing gold sequined jacket that I wanted to steal from you. How do you formulate your look? Are you always stylish or do you take the occasional day off?
When I tour I like to find secondhand shops. Clothes have a story. I think there's a big link between the visuals and the music -- it's a kind of a language -- so I feel like dressing is part of my performance. On an off day I'm maybe not dressed in sequins, but I was at Paris Fashion Week this week with Katy Perry and Dita Von Tease, so I had to dress up.
Justin Tranter (from Semi Precious Weapons) has his own brand of out-there style. How did you two get along on tour?
I met Justin in L.A. and he is really talented -- the entire band is great. One night my manager and I went out in the audience to watch them and we were like groupies, we were screaming for them. But it was hard to make time to hang out; we were all working so hard and traveling so much.
Did you get to watch the MTV Video Music Awards this year? Perez Hilton, who runs your label, was definitely giving you a shout-out with his look.
I watched the VMAs in France and translated it into French in my voice, so that was very fun. I saw Perez had his hand painted yellow, like he was -- I don't know how to say it in English? But it was very flattering. We're running a YouTube contest now for Paint Your Face where people can paint their face and hands and sing the song. It's very fun, I'm excited to see all the people doing it.
Speaking of Perez, do you ever worry being associated with Perez could hurt your career just as much as it could help it?
I am aware there's Perez backlash. Perez is a human being -- he's a very generous guy. We are all different. Some people like me but they don't like Perez, some people love Perez and don't like me. It's impossible to be loved by everyone. But I don't want to be -- it's better.
How do you respond to reviews of your record that ignore your music and instead focus on you acting 'feminine' or 'girly'?
Stupid. Stupid people. That's all. I think the music is more than that. You don't have to judge me by who I am, you should judge my music. David Bowie was different at the beginning, all the people were laughing at him, but I think now people are open-minded.
What do you want listeners to take away from a Sliimy record?
I want people to imagine the life of any of the songs. I want them to create their own world in my songs. Just appreciate the music.
What does the future hold for Sliimy?
Lots of concerts. I'm thinking about the future and new creations, but right now I want to tour. I think it's important to tour so people see my real personality on stage. If you think I'm too gay, come to a concert and then maybe you can have an opinion. But don't just have an opinion from a review or a picture. Come see me and then decide.