Martinis and amyl. False eyelashes and sweat. Half-naked bodies, cigarettes, stilettos, latex and the fruity, woody, fleshy scent of sex. Slayyyter’s universe is deplorable, iconic and scandalous.
The 27-year-old musician’s songs – whip-fast heavy beats wrestling slutty, hot-girl melodies – are the heartbeat of the dance floor.
The LA pop princess slithered into recognition in 2019, when a 14-second snippet of “Mine”, a coy yet savagely indiscriminate earworm, circulated Twitter, and went on to reach 48 on the US iTunes pop charts just 24 hours after its full release.
Since then, Slayyyter’s brand has been attentively fashioned online. With beginnings on Soundcloud, she steadily gained a following across Twitter and Instagram. On TikTok, snippets of her songs soundtracked tens of thousands of videos before she’d even had an album out. The artist’s aura has been likened to that of the pop girlies of the early 2000s – Paris Hilton [Stars Are Blind-era], Madonna [dauntless eroticism and avant-garde hotness], Britney [a bit of a stretch] – but, as she told VICE when we met over Zoom, she’s just been doing her thing.
“Whatever space I land on is fine with me,” she said. “I just hope that people listen to my music. And it inspires them to like… live.”
“I hope that some random teenagers are like, oh, I want to watch all these movies that inspired her to make this album. I saw someone today posted – they bought these like vintage martini glasses – and I was like, that’s kind of cool… To have someone celebrate my work by getting into something that interests me. I don’t really need to occupy any space. I’m just doing my thing.”
With the release of her second album, along with the cultural cache delivered by having her entire discography non-negotiable on every queer dance floor playlist, Slayyyter has been dubbed “the future of pop”. Released last month, STARFUCKER is about the highs and lows of stardom. Importantly, Slayyyter said, it’s her first “true” album.
“I feel like Troubled Paradise still had some self-recorded moments,” Slayyyter said. “It was made during COVID, my mixtape, obviously. I was making songs in my closet. This is my truest studio album. Everything was actually made in-person.”
STARFUCKER is end-to-end doused in glamour. As on a film set, an entire world has been articulated between the music videos, artwork, and the songs themselves. Behind the masterpiece is Slayyyter’s eye for detail, love for the Golden Age, and obsession with the sleaze and the sauce of Hollywood.
From strutting through LA butt-ass naked in the music video for “Erotic Electronic”, to the jubilant tribute to the camp, cheesy and cliche excess of the boulevard in “I Love Hollywood”, everything in STARFUCKER is hot. It’s glam, lascivious, and enticing. It’s unapologetically cunt. With a forthcoming single with fellow diva Lolo Zouaï, “Makeup”, coming out this Friday, VICE asked Slayyyter all about it.
VICE: What were the main themes behind your latest studio album, STARFUCKER?
Slayyyter: The main themes and inspiration were just Hollywood… Retro-futurism, 80s deco furniture… But mostly Hollywood and celebrity culture and being famous and not being famous and everything within that.
I read a little bio of yours that called you an artist on the cusp of Hollywood fame. Is that how you feel?
I definitely wouldn’t say I’m on the cusp of Hollywood fame. But I’m definitely on the cusp as an artist. I have a bit of a career, I have people that are following me and I have shows that sell out… But at the same time I’m not some big celebrity at all. There are people who have no idea who I am, I still will go to the club and people are like we don’t know, you know what I mean? You still have those kinds of funky moments at the door, and I love that, I think that’s fine.
I feel like more people need to own being in the sweet spot… I’ll see people who are smaller than me having more of a diva attitude. That is so not the way to be in life, ever. You know what I mean? I feel like being from a random town, from the suburbs, has ingrained a humbleness inside of me, that is pretty crazy. I feel like I know my place. And I know that I’m not some big famous person but it’s fun to play dress up and walk and talk and act like one sometimes.
Have you had any crazy, woah Hollywood moments?
I’m trying to think in terms of star fuckery… I met Janet Jackson recently, which was a crazy moment. That’s like a crazy, Hollywood, bucket-list moment. I met her at Fashion Week and Christian Siriano was like, this is Slayyyter, she has an album coming out and she was like, congratulations, and I died and went to heaven. It was so great. That’s a crazy Hollywood moment.
Over the course of making this album, from the covers to the music videos, have you had a “YES, this is STARFUCKER” moment?
I think the album cover. When I die, I want that album cover as my obituary picture. Like, that is my absolute magnum opus creation. I love the album cover so much. It is my dream photo, I am obsessed with it. And I think it really captures the full vibe of this project in one picture, which is not an easy feat. Album covers are tough, you have to plan them really carefully, but I feel like I can confidently say that I have a stunning cover for this project. So that’s good.
I was curious… I know you’re quite involved with your image and creative direction. Do you have a background in film studies, or film school?
I went to a public high school that had a lot of cool extracurriculars. And I took a film class as one of my senior year classes, and I just loved it so much. I would have loved to have gone to school for film or acting or something like that. But I just couldn’t afford to, honestly, so I feel like this is a really nice avenue, creating music and doing everything that I do. It’s a really nice job to have. Maybe one day I would love to be a creative director for other things, or other artists or brands or companies… I just love creative direction. I love photoshoots, I love planning visuals. I feel like I see people who are creative directors, and they’re not really artist artists. I’m just like… I could do this better, you know what I mean? No, I don’t know… maybe that’s, like… stupid to say.
Creative direction, the ultimate “fake gay job”!! The naked city catwalk in the music video for Erotic Electronic was gut-wrenchingly iconic. Was that your concept?
I just knew that it’s like “three more seconds ‘til I get naked”, and I was like, “I think that’s what this calls for”, y’know?
Yeah, it was perfect. Was it a good experience?
Yeah, it actually was not as sketchy as I thought it would be. Hollywood is crazy, especially at night. But no one tried to touch me, no one was that crazy. Had a couple cat calls, but that is honestly to be expected when you’re fully ass-naked, so that’s okay… I will allow for it. And it was great.
My favourite YouTube comment from that was “this project is her thesis to get her master’s in cuntology with a concentration in Mother-ological studies from the University of Servington. How do you respond?
I would just respond that I do. I have my doctorate and it’s actually hung on the wall, but my background is blurry so you can’t see it. But I do have my doctorate from the School of Cuntology. I just got it, actually.
I would say… You make cunty pop music for hot people. Is cuntiness learned or innate?
I feel like it’s a little bit of both. You have to be born with the potential to get really cunty but then sometimes you go through some funky phases… and here we are. I feel like I’ve definitely blossomed into someone with like, cool taste, that is putting out cool art. But I wouldn’t say that I always was. You learn your way, in some ways, but I think it was always inside me.
I’m interested to hear your DOs and DON’Ts for being cunt…
DO: Get into home stuff. I feel that not a lot of people care about vibing up their living space. I’m very into furniture, interior design… That is a DO. If you want to be cunt you need to not just dress the part, you have to live the part.
DON’T focus on or follow trends and things that other people are wearing and doing. I feel like anytime I’ve looked back and hated something I wore, it was always because I was like, Oh, this is cool right now. I feel like my favourite looks are when it’s just me doing something because I love it. I feel like too many people follow trends in a crazy way… Don’t do that.
Are you much of an op-shopper? Or like – [remembering the American word for it] thrift-store shopper?
Oh, absolutely. I love it. These pants are vintage, the jacket is vintage and upcycled. I love vintage. I love it.
Do you have any more do’s for me? I’ll give you some thinking time…
Do listen to STARFUCKER. Don’t NOT listen to it. And do buy it on iTunes and don’t not stream it.
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