I'm delighted to bring the series "We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used To It" after an extended hiatus and am thrilled to be able to bring to you an interview with a lady who's music I adore. Alice Mary is a musician living in East London who makes sumptuous, shimmering indie pop music. She has a new single coming out on 27th September 'Surgeon' and I caught up with her ahead of its release.
So if you were describing your music to someone who hadn’t heard you, how would you describe it?
I make indie pop that combines retro sounds with pristine modern production, airy angular vocals and lyrics that twist around and hit you in the gut.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
I started out as a guitar player, so Jimi Hendrix!
This feature for Dreaminisfree is highlighting LGBTQIA+ artists to help inspire people in our community that their sexuality or gender identity doesn’t need to prevent them from being successful. As a trans female I understand all too well the lack of representation we have as a community. Do you think that it’s important to highlight these experiences and identities and if so why?
Yes I think it is, because when you see someone describe or live a similar experience to you it makes you feel less alone and feel less weird. It's affirming. Also TV, music, films, culture would be so boring if was only about cis-straight people, I can barely watch a TV programme if it doesn't have some kind of queerness in it cos I just get bored!
Mainstream media seems intent (as well as some authors who shall not be named) as making trans people’s lives as difficult as possible. Has any of this impacted any of you at all? Can you share how you’ve overcome any challenges you’ve faced due to your identity?
Sometimes I get misgendered in public, people then get very embarrassed and think that they've said something terrible, and that used to make me think I should be offended. I realised over time that I am not offended, I make specific choices about how I look that make me feel good and I really couldn't care less what gender strangers think I am! But this has lead me to feel unsafe in certain circumstances because you never really know how someone will react when they realise you're not the gender they assumed. It's also just annoying having to deal with other people's reactions to you when you just want to use a public toilet! So the impacts on me are minimal, but it really makes me angry that trans and gender nonconforming people are policed ostensibly to “protect women” and really it just makes lots of people unsafe and cut out from public life.
I also think we all deal with internalised homophobia but people don't talk about it that much. Its like 'come out, love yourself, bam, easy', and something that really helped me with that was reading personal essays by queer writers and talking to my friends about it and finding out that other people struggle with it too, and it doesn't make you a bad queer if you're having to work through your internalised biases towards yourself, and (importantly) others.
Your debut EP ‘I Am Here’ was so well received and you’ve released the singles ‘Too Much’ and ‘Mystery’ in 2021 so far. When can we expect to hear more new music and will there be an album in the offing?
I have another single Surgeon coming out on the 27th September, a re-release of an old track coming out for Bandcamp Friday on 5th November, and another song coming out at the end of November. I would love to make an album but I simply can't afford to make one to the standard that I would want at the moment, one day!
Events in the last 18 months in Hungary, Ukraine and Poland have seen rights for LGBTQIA+ people reversed. We’ve also seen an increase in homophobic attacks and the anti-trans rhetoric here in the UK in the last 18 months. Its as if trans and queer peoples identities are becoming weaponised in an attempt to prevent any progress for our community. What’s your views on this?
Its awful and sad. I don't think it just limits progress in our community but also across all of society. I think we live with an oppressive government here in the UK that only cares about corporate interests and doesn't care about people. Its been hard to live under a government that doesn't seem to care about anything that I care about and it must be even worse in the countries you have mentioned. What does give me hope is that I work with children and teenagers and it really seems that they are much more open, informed and compassionate about LGBTQIA+ issues than even people of my age.
What’s been your proudest moments since coming out?
Coming out is a process and I don't see it as ever really done, so I don't see my life as a before and after. I would say what I'm proudest of in my day to day life is the friendships I've formed as an adult and the work I put in to being my authentic self everyday with the people around me. Also I'm proud to finish, promote and release music that I've worked really hard on!
If you had a message for any of your LGBTQIA+ fans what would it be?
You're really cool, good job you! Realising who you are and what you desire is hard and many people are too scared to do it, the self awareness it takes to live authentically and follow a less obvious path will serve you well in all aspects of your life. Any ideas about who you are and what you want right now might change, and that's great! Be excited for what changes life might bring rather than stressed that you have to find a perfect label now and stick to it the rest of your life.
You can pre-save Alice's new single 'Surgeon' via this link
Dreaminisfree always has and always will be free - Any artists looking to collaborate in this feature then please email using the subject We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used To It to email@example.com