Le Fil is triple threat! As a model he’s been featured in Dazed & Confused, i-D and Wallpaper*, as an artist, the Camberwell College of Arts grad has created work for The Barbican, Lady Gaga and English National Ballet andas a musician he released his debut EP ‘Pop Sculpture’ in 2015.
Almost exactly a year later, he’s back with his second album, ‘Nightlife’ – produced by Frankmusik (Ellie Goulding / Sky Ferreira/ Erasure). ‘Nightlife’ launches with the first single off the album ‘Genesis’, an epic futuristic dance-pop song inspired by the notion of the singularity and transhumanism. Le Fil tells us, “the song is about letting go of the past and embracing a better future that we can create for ourselves, whether that’s through coming together as culture, or through music or technology – its an optimistic anthem!”
We sat down with Le Fil to chat about gender, his time at UAL and of course his new single Genesis.
The music industry is notoriously dominated by straight males, what’s it like navigating this space as an androgynous gay person?
I’d say it’s no different to any other industry, you have your nice guys and your bad guys – and luckily every straight male I’ve worked with has been amazing. Frankmusik, who I’ve worked with on the production for my new EP, is completely straight and totally supports queer artists like Ru Paul and me. And he still gets people calling him gay. It’s swings and roundabouts, everyone has their own challenges and I try not to have this ‘them-against-us’ mentality. We all should be judged for what creativity we bring to the table rather than by our sexual preferences. And being someone that knows how to dominate straight males anyway, its rather quite exciting- haha.
There’s been such a shift in society’s views on gender in recent years, this shift is especially visible in the fashion industry, you were even in Selfridges Agender campaign, do you think a similar shift is occurring in the music industry?
For me, music, fashion and art all fuse into each other so if there’s this seismic shift in one area, it totally has to feed into the other. The notion of a gender utopia is so colourful, that it makes sense to be inclusive. The world can’t stay monochrome with only these polarised depictions of gender within music. We have so many pretty, blonde, straight girls and hunky, straight guys with shaved heads flaunting their heterosexual, hypersexual image, that it’s time for the colourful and exciting ones in between to inject something new into that spectrum.
You’re a visual artist as well as musical artist, how do you marry/juggle these two mediums ? Why did you choose not to specialise?
I like to bring everything together, hence the title of my first EP ‘Pop Sculpture’. Even my name Le Fil was chosen because it means ‘the thread’ in French, which to me is like this connection that weaves through all the disciplines and brings them together. It’s exciting to look at the areas between things, as that’s where there’s something new and undiscovered. The art world allows me to explore my crazy ideas uninhibited, and place them into the world of music which seems like there’s much more barriers.
How has what you studied at UAL shaped your practice/who you are as an artist today?
It taught me to look at things in new ways, and gave me confidence to be unconventional in my artistic vision. I also met my core group of friends, who are all creatives and we inspire each other to be the best versions of ourselves. 100% I wouldn’t be here making music if I hadn’t had gone through this self-exploratory phase as an artist. I’ve come to music a bit later than other people, but hopefully with a lot more understanding of who I am artistically and I think that comes across in everything I do.
Genesis is an epic futuristic dance-pop song, what drew you to this genre?
When I wrote Genesis, I was on an artist residency looking at transhumanism and learning about the Singularity, which is where humans integrate with technology. I love that idea of progressing mankind and creating something that improves our world and potential. In my head, its Fifth Element mixed with Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament and channeled with a church hymn! I love an exciting big pop song and Genesis certainly feels epic, especially now that Frankmusik has added his glossiness to it. It’s going to be the first single from my forthcoming Nightlife EP. Well there we go, I just announced the EP title too!
It’s been almost exactly a year since you dropped your debut EP Pop Sculpture, what’s life been like since?
Pop Sculpture was so exciting for me. Releasing that EP led me to my eight month art residency with this massive company that supported me in making Nightlife. It was also the culmination of so many years, exhibitions and ideas that led to Pop Sculpture, so I’m very proud of the songs like ‘Black’ and ‘Future Is Now’. Especially recently, as I’ve been performing them all with a full live band at shows around London, and it’s been sounding epic.
Highlight of your career so far?
My highlight without a doubt is getting to make this new EP. Life as a new musician and artist is a constant hustle, and so many people never get to realise their ideas. It’s not like I’m signed to a label yet, so getting these new songs recorded and released independently is a massive feat for me – especially with all the talented collaborators I’ve worked with recently on the shows, photographs, videos and the music. Literally, I’m wetting myself over everything about this new EP. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.
Hopes for this year?
That everyone’s gonna be power walking to Genesis on their way to work!