"You know I ain't straight, but Imma say it straight to you," sings Dorian Electra in the opening of their new music video, a message when can fully get behind. Electra has probably popped on on your playlists thanks to features on tracks like Charli XCX's "Femmebot," but in their new music video for "Man To Man," the artist takes center stage.
"I wanted to have fun in this video parodying 'male aggression' and redefining masculinity to mean being courageous enough to be honest, tender, straightforward, intimate, sensitive, and kind," Electra, who identifies as genderfluid, tells OUT. "So often people let out their aggression towards others--if not with fists--with words online, yet are too afraid to address people with issues face to face."
Electra says the song is about "working out your issues in a mature way and not being afraid to be loving, physical and open," a lesson that's sorely necessary in today's infuriating social and political landscape.
In their music, Electra uses their vocal performance and production as a way to play with gender. "It's funny, on a lot vocal production plug-ins there's literally a 'gender' knob with 'male' on one side and 'female' on the other." Electra modulates pitch, frequency and resonance to give their voice distinct quality and character at different moments. "I have a lot of fun constantly shifting in and out of different formats with my voice. I know it comes partly from me being so ADHD that I get easily bored of singing with one voice, so I change quickly to keep myself interested....I love how shifting my voice allows me to play with gender, character, and identity."
In the video, Electra alternates between traditional roles of traditionally aggressive masculinity -- street fighter, gladiator, knight in shining armor, boxer -- to both poke fun and prove that "real men" embrace vulnerability and intimacy.