Claire Boucher has created an entire world behind her musical persona, Grimes. Her fantastic new album, Art Angels, sees Boucher birthing a whole new cast of characters to compliment and expand this story. In a new mini-documentary for FADER, she talks about how these Art Angels have freed her creatively, and what it means for the definition of Grimes.
“At first, I guess, there was just Grimes,” Boucher says in the opening of the doc. “I don’t technically have control of her narrative anymore—she very much exists in pop culture now. Grimes as one person cannot represent more than a couple of ideas. That’s why I started developing some of the other characters, like really abstract from who I am and how I am.” She says the Angels are “more like superheroes, more like villains,” performers who act out what she has written and produced.
Part of the reason she created the Angel personas was to fight back against industry forces trying to control her. “I’d constantly be getting emails from producers and stuff being like, ‘I’d love to work on some tracks on your album,'” she explains. “That’s like me saying to you guys, ‘Hey can I film this interview for you?’… People just offering to do your job all the time. It’s infuriating.”
Elsewhere in the doc, she interviews Aristophanes, the Taiwanese rapper who features on “SCREAM”. They discuss how Boucher became aware of Aristophanes, and how their work is similar in various ways. In all, the six-minute film gives first-hand insight into what it took, both artistically and personally, to make Art Angels happen. Check it out below.