Artists To Watch: Grimes

Words by Amber Bettis

‘Cause when you’re running by yourself, it’s hard to find someone to hold your hand. Truer words were never spoken, and British Columbia’s Claire Boucher– better known as Grimes– speaks them with a voice that’s hard not to feel comforted by. Her music fits perfectly into the club scene, but could also be put on a mix for a rainy day. It’s hard to explain, honestly. What isn’t hard to explain is her sheer magnetism. At first listen, her latest release, “Go”, is just another club anthem, but if you take the time to listen to the lyrics, delivered in her trademark style, you’ll hear a tale of lost love and dreaming of better days; something everyone can relate to.

Though she’s currently working on her fourth album, Grimes in much more than just a singer/songwriter. She’s a producer, writer, painter, and director, as well. In short, she does a bit of everything. Grimes is a gold mine. She’s an advocate for gender equality in the music industry, calling out fans that only want to sexualize her, men who think that they should “help” her– as if she stumbled upon music accidentally and needs someone to hold her hand– and people who feel as though they’re complimenting her by calling her a “waif”. She’s spoken about all this and more in a blog posted on her personal Tumblr in April 2013, ending the entry with “ I have so much love for everyone who has been cool and amazing.  I have the best job in the world but I’m done with being passive about any kind of status quo that allows anyone to suffer or to be disrespected”. She is also staunchly anti-drugs, saying in another Tumblr post “losing people to drugs and alcohol is the worst because they destroy any good memories you have of them before forcing you to deal with the empty space they leave behind” (you can read the full post here, the Tumblr post has since been deleted), and flat out refusing to answer SPIN magazine’s question about past drug use.

So if you’re looking for upbeat music with a positive message, and someone who takes no crap about– and makes no apologies about– her gender, wait for Grimes’ fourth album. Stock up on water, because you’re going to need to stay hydrated when you’re dancing your heart out.

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