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Slayyyter Is Ready to Elevate

Slayyyter Is Ready to Elevate

Slayyyter Is Ready to Elevate
Alex Wallbaum & Evan Sheehan of Breakfast For Dinner; AJ Incammicia

The hyperpop icon talked to Out about her new album STARF*CKER and how she's taking everything — from her looks to her sound — to the next level.

Slayyyter is here to stay.

The bisexual 27-year-old singer-songwriter has been making a name for herself over the past few years as an icon in the Y2K-loving hyperpop scene, but with the release of her latest EP — entitled STARFUCKER — she proves she's ready to move into the upper echelon of pop.

Out got the chance to speak to Slayyyter about her new direction, her forver love for Y2K, the influence queer club music has had on her, and taking her look and sound to the next level.

Fader Label

Out: This new era of yours is very polished and elevated. You're bringing the looks, you're bringing the concepts, and I love every single second of it. Can you talk about the genesis of this new era? What inspired you and how does it feel to take everything, from your look to your music, to the next level?

Slayyyter: Honestly, my past work, I myself would say it was a little unpolished. I feel like I kind of grew up very much an internet baby. I loved online aesthetics, and I started with this super kind of Y2K visual vibe. I was 22 and I dressed really crazy and wasn't always very interested in fashion. I just wanted to wear stuff that was like Juicy Couture and like Paris Hilton vibes.

My last record was very much a pandemic album and I had to do a bunch of stuff myself and shoot things on an iPhone. With this new era, I wanted to make an album that felt really elevated and felt really expensive and touched on a lot of different references and movies that inspired me. I got really obsessed with '90s Mugler runway and I feel like that kind of really strong, feminine silhouettes with the waist and really, really over-the-top hair and lipstick... I feel like it all kind of shaped the sounds and the music.

And I would go into the studio being like, 'How can we make a runway catwalk song?' or 'How can I make a song that sounds like it would be like in Basic Instinct?' You know, '80s erotic thriller vibes. It kind of just was inspired by movies and Brian de Palma and all these different things. It led to this kind of cinematic universe for this album that was like Old Hollywood and New Hollywood and retro, but still kind of timeless. And I feel I'm really proud about how it all pieced together. But yeah, people kind of are looking at me now as more in the fashion space, which I feel like I hadn't been in before.

Can you talk a little about the title, STARFUCKER? I'm based in Los Angeles, and when you go around town and you're at these events and stuff, when people say like "starfucker," that's kind of a negative thing. Someone who sleeps with someone just for the sake of being famous. But I feel like you reclaim this in your album title, obviously. Can you talk me through that and what that's all about?

I wanted it to be something that was really provocative and I feel like, as an album title, it's so like vulgar in a way just because of the word "fuck" and everything. And I feel like it kind of captures the whole essence of this project in terms of my life in LA and songs about fame and Hollywood and vanity and all those things. I feel like for the level of artists that I am like, I feel like sometimes I'm the starfucker or sometimes I'm the one getting star-fucked by people.

It's kind of weird. I'm not super famous or anything, but I feel like people will have more interest in you when they know that you have an audience or followers or that you make music and all that stuff. But at the same time, I feel like I've been so inspired by the parties I go to in LA where there are celebrities in the room and I'm just like, 'Whoa like I'm just like a small-town girl! How did I end up here? This is so crazy!' Then I feel kind of like the starfucker. But I feel like everyone has a bit of that to them in nature. Everyone is really infatuated with fame and celebrity and all of that, even people who don't want to admit it. There's something sparkly about that world and all of it. So, yeah, I feel like it just fit the music really well and I feel like I would name an album this. It feels very neat.

You're one of the first artists people think of when they think of the whole Y2K hyperpop sound, especially since that sound and that aesthetic have been resurging over the past years. I know this album is more elevated than that and it's kind of a different sound direction for you. Do you still like that association? And how does it feel being linked to, you know, that nostalgia?

I don't mind it. I honestly love visuals. I love aesthetics. I feel like for my mixtape, even though I was so new and it was so me at a lower budget, I'm so proud of it, my mixtape cover and the tanning bed photo.

People sometimes discount me as an artist, but I do think that mixtape and that era with my other collaborators like Ayesha Erotica and That Kid, we really did influence and inspire something. When we were all doing the MCBling stuff and when I did my tanning bed cover and released that, I wasn't seeing other people really touch on those aesthetics in that way. Like it all kind of became a thing after me and all my friends were kind of doing it. Not to be like, 'Oh, we invented it,' because obviously we were inspired by the early 2000s and all of that.

So it's cool to be associated with it. I love it. I think that definitely in the future, I would love to kind of like touch on my mixtape aesthetics again. I'm very much like a Tumblr nut. I love cyberpunk and vaporwave and Y2K and aesthetics with "-core" after it. I love all of that. So I would love to revisit it one day.

I've watched interviews you've done before and you've talked extensively about your love for club music, especially queer club music, and how instrumental it was to you growing up. SO can you talk about continuing that legacy?

Growing up, I didn't have like a lot of friends in middle school. I was kind of weird, and what kept me going through it and what kept me happy and in my own little world was things like discovering like The Fame by Lady Gaga for the first time or getting into MySpace music and hearing Space Cowboy and all this stuff.

I was too young to even go to clubs, but I was digesting all this music off of MySpace that was really inspiring to me.And I feel like I always have loved pop stars and you know, pop stars and queer club spaces kind of go hand-in-hand.I feel like at the beginning of my career, I knew that that was the music I wanted to make.And that's always what's interested me.

So it was kind of natural to make music that I always loved. I always loved Marina and the Diamonds and loved Lady Gaga and loved all that kind of music that's like championed gay stan Twitter.So I feel like it just kind of made sense for me to, you know, kind of emulate like the things that I grew up loving.

What do you think it is that people, especially gay people, are attracted to in your music?

I think in general, pop music offers escapism. I think that when you are queer and you are from like the suburbs are from a small town and you don't really have a huge sense of community and you're not like growing up in New York City, you're not growing up in Los Angeles, it's music and forums and Twitter that give you that kind of escape and that sense of community and friendship and all these things.And I think it's a really powerful thing.

It's funny because I think to the outside world, pop music, people think it's like silly. But I feel like it has so much impact. It's not a joke to say that there are certain Lady Gaga songs that saved my life.

At my most depressed, certain songs can really transport you and keep you going and make you feel less alone. Pop music is just like an escape and I think that's why my fans, when they listen to my music, it kind of transports them to a different universe and makes them feel more confident and makes them feel more comfortable in their skin and they don't have to feel so shy, because my lyrics are like, you know, 'I feel daddy as fuck!'

AJ Incammicia

It's been four years since your debut mixtape came out. In what ways have you personally grown since then? And how has your sound evolved since?

I've grown a lot as a person. You know, I started all of this when I was like 22, 23. I'm 26 now and every year I learn more and I feel like my personality develops more and I feel like my taste has developed a lot. I've digested more music and I've watched more movies and gone into different parts of cinema that inspire my taste and my music.

Overall, I would hope that I've become more well-rounded as a person. I know at the beginning I was a little unhinged and had some drinking issues and some drug problems that I've left in my past. But it made for a funny aesthetic and funny music. I was the crazy girl drinking tequila with my crazy hair extensions. But I think I've definitely come into my own as a person and even though I've like calmed down a bit, I think that my music has really elevated and I've kind of sharpened all my skills when it comes to songwriting and all these things. It's not so much like me in a bedroom, like making music off of beats anymore.

I think I've really kind of honed all my skills.

Your sound, and basically everything about you, is very fun. Like when you did "Read My Mind" with Rebecca Black and you both wore those massive breastplates on the cover and in the video. You're not afraid to take it to a stupid, silly place so can you talk a little about that? I personally think the world needs more stupidity, needs more fun, needs more Bimbo realness. So can you talk about like that aspect of your sound and your aesthetics and why you enjoy bringing more of that kind of silly, fun energy to the world?

Oh my gosh, I love that you ask that just because to me, I feel like music, good pop music, should be fun. It should be exciting and I love making things that are fun. Of course, I have songs that are more emotional and I can tap into that side too. But overall, I never want to take myself too seriously as an artist. There's nothing that needs to be proved. I know that I can write. I know that I have a good singing voice and all these things. Music should just be fun.

I get so bored sometimes with what I see in culture just because I feel like everybody wants to be so poetic and everything has to be so deep in a statement and all this stuff. It's like, I don't know... my favorite things when I was younger were (Katy Perry's) "Teenage Dream" and just like, feel-good pop music. It doesn't have to be so serious and make statements about the world.

All music has its intended audience and its time and place. I love fun music that is fun to listen to, fun to dance to, makes me feel cool, makes me feel hot. That's more powerful to me than a really depressing song.

So I know you're going on tour soon. Can you talk about how excited you are to get back on the road and bring your silly, fun brand of pop music to the world on tour.

Oh my God, I am so excited. I feel like I'm designing the show to be super theatrical and it's like nothing I've ever done before and I feel like fans are gonna really love it. It's very, very different from the tour formatting I've done in the past where it's like it's theater. It's like a show and I'm so excited. I think that it's gonna be really fun to watch. It's gonna be such a fun experience. I can't wait for people to see everything I've been planning.

STARFUCKER is available to stream on all platforms.

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.