Waking up to REALiti

Picture of Grimes next to two keyboards
The music artist Grimes

By Valeria Ramirez

Grimes is an underappreciated synth pop rocker who uses a bizarre but unique style to push the music scene forward into neon enlightenment. I came across Grimes when I was looking for new music to add to my playlist, and during that time I’ve been seeing her album Art Angels almost everywhere. Upon first listening to her album, I absolutely disliked her music. I just found it a little too different for my taste, since I mostly listen to the Rock and Indie genres. So I left it in my playlist, never to return again. Until last year, I was playing whatever was on my Spotify and one of Grimes’ song caught my attention. Kill v. Maim was addictive and refreshing to hear. The upbeat electro sound and the clashing of the snare drum is mixed with a pop fairy-like voice that leaves her audience in a fighting, dreamlike mood. Ever since then, I’ve been a huge fan of her music.

Grimes, also known by her family as Clair Elise Boucher, is a Canadian self-taught musician who produced music before becoming an artist. Grimes has always worked in the underground music scene where she built her following. Being a self-taught musician and producer allowed her to create everything that she sings. Even the album artwork is all her own—she is an inspired producer and artist who takes her craft and skill to its limits.

Although being a producer has its perks, being a female producer has many downsides. Grimes has experienced the harsh reality of sexism in the music industry. In an interview with Gigwise, she described her experience thus:

“Going into studios, there’s all these engineers there, and they don’t let you touch the equipment. I was like, ‘Well, can I just edit my vocals?’ And they’d be like ‘No, just tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.’ And then a male producer would come in, and he’d be allowed to do it. It was so sexist. I was, like, aghast. It made me really disillusioned with the music industry. It made me realize what I was doing is important.”

Honestly, this behavior is so unfair—for so many artists to want to express themselves and to face gender bias and be treated differently because of who they are. Not only has Grimes faced workplace sexism, but her male fans apparently also believe that it’s okay to sexually assault her. Grimes has experienced multiple incidents of sexual assault, to the point where she needs a bodyguard wherever she goes. Many artists have gone through the same experiences as Grimes, and have spoken out. These fans have no right to sexually assault artists just because they’re famous.  It’s disgusting and should never be condoned by the public. It’s sickening to hear that this type of behavior happens in the music business in this day and age.

Since those experiences, Grimes has been openly expressing her views, even though the media backlash on everything she says was so severe that she had to take down her Tumblr. She and other artists exposed this type of behavior and made it public to show

Picture of Grimes's Art Angels album that has a monster with three eyes and a person with pink hair.
Grimes’s Art Angels album cover

the dark side of the music industry. Even though the media takes her words out of context, she uses her music to diss those who disrespect her and her creative outlet—which allowed her to create her inventive masterpiece, Art Angels. Art Angels reached No.1 in Billboard’s Alternative section and was nominated for multiple awards for her work in directing her music video and producing them. Grimes deserves each and every one of those awards because her album is worth listening to.

Grimes’ whole album is weird, unique, and the visuals are like something out of a colorful horror movie.  Many of her projects send you to another world in a dreamlike state, and you can tell that music is her passion. She does whatever it takes to be heard and is not afraid to be herself. She is empowering and creates statements with her music and fashion sense. Her music is the crown jewel of expression and innovation and should be heard by everyone. As the music scene is pushing forward, Grimes will be the underdog of creating visionary beats that we will continue to hear, loud and proud, just like herself.

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