Back in November of last year, our main music interview in ICON.IC(AL), our Collection 3 print issue, was with the dazzling Christine and we’ve been fans of hers ever since. We’re very excited to premiere her brand spanking new video exclusively in Germany! Her EP “Nuit 17 à 52“ is already out, and her debut album will be released in March 2014 on Because Music.
Christine and the Queens was born in London, when she met three dragqueens who became her source of inspiration. It involves music, performance, video, drawing and photography. Christine and the Queens has been on tour in France since 2011 and has also opened for Lykke Li, The Do or Woodkid. Her first EP ”Miséricorde” was released in 2011, followed by a second one in 2012 called “Mac Abbey” including the song “Narcissus is back” and “Cripple”.
KALTBLUT: In your own words, what is the message you’re sending out with the new video?
Christine: The Loving Cup is a song I wrote just after seeing Paris is Burning for the first time. I wanted to make a power song that could allow everybody who listens to it to be fierce. It is an invitation to join Christine and to recreate yourself to become exactly who you want to be without being judged: therefore The Loving Cup works just like a Vogue Ball. And the party is opened for everybody without exception: all we need right now is love and acceptance. The boy starring in the video could be anyone: he’s mysterious and never reveals the true reason of his transformation. But the fact that he needs to escape and have fun is good enough for us.
KALTBLUT: You’ve stated before that you’re drawn to the aesthetic of the queer and that you find the image of the drag queen touching; its also the reason behind your moniker. Tell us a bit more about that.
Christine: For many reasons, both conscious and mysterious, I feel at home when I’m hanging out with drag queens, or when I dance in a Vogue Ball. I think that the ability any drag queen has to dramatically transform herself just for a night moves me, just like the difference between a pop star on- and off-stage moves me. A drag queen can have a tragic background, can be rejected by his family, or often insulted on the streets. But with makeup on, and on stage, you see all that turn into pure art, pure emotion – what burdened him became a strength, a story. I find real inspiration in this magical process. And when I wandered all alone on the streets of London in 2010, absolutely clueless about what I should do with myself, I was lucky enough to bump into a few drag queens who helped me getting back on my feet. Because they were rejected, or because they had to fight to be just who they wanted to be, they usually are generous and welcoming with those who seem lost. And I think we really need this kind of human warmth nowadays.
Buy the EP “Nuit 17 à 52“ in iTunes: HERE
KALTBLUT: Who is the boy, the main protagonist in the video?
Christine: His name is Alexis, and he’s a young actor and model. We were looking for someone versatile, who could both be this young middle-class teenager, and this beautiful androgynous creature.
KALTBLUT: I love that the video comes to a close with the boy joining his family for breakfast in the morning- the contrast is great. Why did you choose to portray that element, that aspect into the video?
Christine: With Ugo, the director, we thought it was important to show that the transformation doesn’t last, that the night had to end, just because that’s what makes it beautiful and breath-taking, keeping us (and him) wanting more. I liked the way we choose to show that a Vogue Ball and queer nights are above all a parenthesis that can allow everybody involved to go on with their everyday lives. You wait for it, you prepare yourself for it, and you enjoy every minute of it because it can’t last forever – until next time. In a way, the boy in the video is like me: I can’t be Christine forever, but it helps me face the rest of the day.
Photo by Federico Cabrera
KALTBLUT: Your real name is Heloise, your artist name’s Christine. How often do the lines between the two blur?
Christine: Christine is a way to liberate myself, a way to express myself without shame or fear. So she’s really not someone else, cause she feeds on me. If I’m sad, Christine will write a song about it. If I feel ugly, she will put glitters on. She’s a magic trick that worked every time so far. She’s kind of the equivalent of a drag queens’ persona: she’s the best AND the worst of who I am. Way too intense to be a real human being.
KALTBLUT: The debut album is coming out at the beginning of next year. What can we expect?
Christine: Hybrid sounds. Multiple languages (French, English, and more). Freedom of expression. Fierceness and extreme sadness. I want this album to be human and relatable: I want this album to live with the person who listens to it.
KALTBLUT: What’s next for Christine and The Queens? Tour lined up?
Christine: I’m opening for Gaetan Roussel in November and December and working on my album. Wait for 2014: I have a lot more in mind, and I’m already thinking about headline shows, videos, happenings and more…
Photo by Federico Cabrera
Interview by Ange Suprowicz