If you had a sound that could be described as “Enya going to Berghain” you would have the non-binary Swedish pop artist known as Lizette Lizette (they/them). Their music would be quite comfortable nestled between 90’s dance masterpieces like Sonique’s “It Feels So Good” and SNAP!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer.” Their new song, “Cuts,” follows their warehouse pop album Non, which came out early this spring. Being an independent artist can be trying, but Lizette Lizette has a solid fanbase across countries like Sweden, Germany and the United States, counting celebrities like New York City nightlife doyenne Susanne Bartsch as fans. Their clubby banger “Non” has been adapted as an anthem of sorts by the nonbinary community. I recently sat down for a chat with Lizette Lizette about her club kid inspirations and influences, how she describes her sound, & her new single “Cuts”.
Michael Cook: Why did you write “Cuts”?
Lizette Lizette: I’ve been struggling with self-harm and suicidal thoughts since I was a very young teenager. A lot of my songs are very personal. Music has always been my way to express very personal thoughts – ones that I very rarely talk about with friends and family. “Cuts” just fell out of me overnight; I wrote it all on one afternoon and it was so easy. It felt like it had been inside of me for years and was ready to come out, all written and done from the very start. I don’t want to trigger and promote cutting and self-harm, but I want to be relatable for those who do and be here for them. I know how they are feeling and I want them to feel like somebody in this world understands what they are going trough.
MC: What were your visual inspirations for the music video?
LL: I had this video in my head the second I wrote the song. It’s often like that – music and visuals goes hand in hand for me. They intensify each other and I love that. I need both, at the same time.
My biggest inspiration unconsciously is a small independent movie from 1995 called The Doom Generation. It’s a very colorful and cool movie with Rose McGowan that I love very much. I have to confess, the other inspiration shows that I’m secretly into some very cheesy music from the ’90s: I love Simply Red, and their video for “Stars” is also a very big inspiration. I wanted that same blue sky ands stars.
MC: So having a myriad of inspiration to you in extremely important I guess…
LL: I really love mixing unexpected sources of inspiration. I see it as a sport: finding the most unexpected stuff, cheesy or not, mix it all together, filter it trough my creative tastes and then see what happens. It has worked very well for me so far and I love creating something that no one else has done before. I’m allergic to being mainstream and compared to others. I strive to be as unique as I possibly can be.
MC: The club kids are a very important part of both your life and your overall aesthetic as an artist it seems, correct?
LL: It was obvious for me to also have my clubkid possé in the video, I love having them express their own creativity in my videos and it’s an honor for me to have them being a part of my art. Gabriel Wagnberg is also my producer and livedrummer, we work very closely and he is a musical genius. I really wanted him to be in the video, cause he has become a very important and big part of my music. Butcher Queen is one of my oldest and best friends, he has been in almost every one of my videos and I never stop being impressed of his creativity and artistic skills. Leffe Crumlove is also a dear friend of mine and I love having her in my videos too, I really admire her work so it’s sunch an honor for me having her in my videos. The video is directed and made by Carl Stenlöv and Klara Sandberg. They have been amazing, so professional and have really listened to my ideas and directions.
MC: How would you describe your sound?
LL: Like if Enya went to Berghain. I love dance music, especially from Britain in the ’90s, like Underworld, Orbital, Opus III, Prodigy, etc. I also have a background in New Wave and goth/synth. I’ve always been drawn to the darkness. So all that becomes some dark pop packaged in a clubby Enya-suit. There is one song by Opus III called “It’s A Fine Day” – that is my ultimate song that I wished I’d written and produced. When I write music, I always am unconsciously striving to write that song in my own way. It’s my constant inspiration.
MC: What is your purpose as an artist?
LL: To go against the masses in all ways or forms I can. I want to show the world that you never need to conform – to gender norms or any norms at all. I want to give people the strength, in what ever situation they’re in, to be brave. That’s simply it.
Art By Jimmy Olhiv