Los Angeles-via-Sydney non-binary artist THE BLSSM is gearing up to release their second EP, PURE ENERGY, and judging by what we've heard so far, it's a project that you won't want to miss. Set to be released on April 29th, the EP will feature the anthemic DIZZY, as well as the recently released NOT TODAY. NOT TODAY is a track that sees THE BLSSM conveying the ups and downs of life, and they say that if they had a TV show, then this track would be the theme song. It's not hard to see why, either, as it's a song that's reminiscent of some of the most iconic TV show themes of all time.
If you've ever felt disillusioned with the paths that the world sets out for everyone, then you'll relate to NOT TODAY. To celebrate the release of their recent single, NOT TODAY, as well as the upcoming release of their new EP PURE ENERGY, we spoke to THE BLSSM about family, the music that's influenced them, and what more can be done to support LGBTQIA+ artists. The recent Fueled By Ramen signee is already having a big 2022, and PURE ENERGY is set to be their way of sharing their thoughts with the world. It's also an opportunity for people who relate to the messages in their music the chance to feel seen and heard.
Firstly, congratulations on the release of NOT TODAY! It’s a track that captures the feeling of just trying to get through the day, even when things are getting you down – I’d love to know more about how you turn a bad day into a good one?
I honestly just sink into whatever I'm feeling and allow myself to feel a bit blue for a while. I make sure I talk to my family and loved ones….listen to music really loud and get into my head to get out of my head.
The track features production from your Dad, Mark Lizotte (aka Diesel) – I’d love to get a sense of how growing up in a musical family has influenced your music, and how involved family gets when you’re writing new songs?
My Dad is a huge influence on me, he’s my biggest inspiration. He gave me the confidence to write songs and really just stick to my guns when I feel a certain way about creative decisions and intentions. He taught me that music is genre-less and to develop your own language you need to be instinctive and intuitive with how you feel and what you hear.
Listening to your music, there’s a sonic link back to the early 2000s, and you reference artists like Radiohead, N.E.R.D and Elliott Smith as influences. What is it about that era of music that resonates so strongly with you?
N.E.R.D were so ahead of their time as far as being cultural boundary-pushers, tastemakers and creating such a hybrid of all their influences. That really resonated with me to collage all of my sonic and cultural influences into my own sound and world-building.
I also wanted to ask about the visuals for your music - DIZZY features yourself meeting a clone, while NOT TODAY sees you on a journey through the city, wearing a custom outfit created in collaboration with independent fashion designer Jessica Kao. I’m interested in learning more about how your music videos form part of the universe of THE BLSSM, given there is so much love put into each visual that is released alongside your music?
All of my visuals really are just an extension of my personality… a hyper exaggeration of what I see, feel and hear. It's surreal for sure and is the maximum version of my character and who I am. Visuals for me are so crucial because they are communicative to put the music in context.
Touching on your upcoming EP, PURE ENERGY for a second (out at the end of April) - I’d love to know more about the meaning behind the title PURE ENERGY. What things in life give you the energy to take on the world?
Cliché but so true… LOVE… and any form of connection. I would say I'm heavily driven and motivated by the exchange of connection always and forever.
PURE ENERGY is the follow-up to 97 BLOSSOM – what do you think you’ve learnt about yourself since the release of that project, and how have you translated that into your newer music?
I think my songwriting has really expanded and my lyricism has grown to encapsulate a certain moment and narrative that I feel is getting stronger and more prominent within my writing. I also feel like my sound has become more definitive.
Something that stands out in your music, both to me and many others, is your ability to give a voice to those who are figuring out their gender identity/sexuality. How important is it to you to give a voice to those that might not have it – especially given that growing up, you may not have seen yourself represented in the media you were consuming?
I mean, it's everything. All I could hope for is that others feel seen and heard through my music and my songs and whatever I make becomes theirs… like it belongs to them completely. That's all I wish for.
On that note – what do you feel can be done more to support LGBTQIA+ artists in the music industry, so that more voices are being amplified and heard from all backgrounds?
Having more conversation around how we can all elevate communities' resources and hold and make space for more LGBTQIA artists… until one day it becomes so normalized it levels out to stop being a facing diversity. There's a lot of work and change that could be done with associating genres with gender.
Finally, now that the world’s opening up again – what are you looking forward to most over the next few months, both musically and personally?
I'm about to get out on the road for a couple of months and just burn through shows! I'm also really excited about spending more time in NYC… having a summer there… just living really.