“At first, I guess, there was just Grimes. I don’t technically have control over her narrative anymore. You know, she very much exists in pop culture now. Grimes as one person cannot represent more than a couple ideas,” the musician says at the start of a new short documentary produced by Fader. That loss of control over who she really is, Claire Boucher aka Grimes explains, is what led her to invent her alter-ego characters.

“That’s why I started developing some of the other characters, like really abstract from who I am or what I am,” she continues. “You can start being an actor and, like, start adding in more voices and start realizing that not everything has to fully reflect you. The art angels are the face of it.”

The documentary, which is the newest installment in the magazine’s video documentary series, follows Grimes on the road, from her Fader cover shoot to her performance at Terminal 5, building up to the release of her fourth album, also entitled Art Angels, which she describes as a full transition into the “contemporary version of Grimes.”

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Grimes cites aggression as one of the main characteristics of her music—without it, it’s hard to maintain creative control.

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“I’d constantly be getting emails from producers and stuff being like, ‘I’d love to, like, work on some tracks on your album,’ and it’s just like, that’s like me saying to you guys, ‘Hey, can I film this interview for you?’” she says. “It’s like, people offering to do your job all the time, and it’s just infuriating.”

Watch the documentary below to learn more about each individual art angel, hear from Aristophanes, the Taiwanese MC featured on the new album, and how her experience is enabling her to make music she was previously incapable of.


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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Image via Fader.