When we talk about the Brussels queer community, we have to mention Biche de Ville. This artist defines themselves as a transfeminist non binary punk poetess.
Biche de Ville’s latest single is “Rides”, meaning wrinkles where they tackle the music industry and the reign of ageism and sexism. For them, there is not just one way to be beautiful, talented or succesful and they’re determined to let everyone know. The message Biche de Ville is putting out there is ringing a bell just few weeks after a French radio commentator said on the air that artists should be young and beautiful and that those who are not should just write for others. The queer artist Hoshi was just taken as an example saying she was frightening and that no one would hang a poster of her in their bedroom reducing in this way music only to its image. The artist received massive support on social media. At KET Magazine, we support this as well. This is why Benjamin reached out to Biche de Ville to ask some questions about “Rides” and “Kevin” the new album coming out with the help of a crowdfunding :
Biche de Ville, can you tell us about “Rides”?
RIDES evokes a burning desire to see wrinkles in the spotlight and denounces our patriarchal society where injunctions made to women (but also to minorities and men) are legion, where sexism and ageism rule. Our bodies and our lives don’t freeze at 25. Aging exists, it is natural and wonderful. These traces of our experience must be glorified and not erased by filters or surgery. We need representations of women regardless of their age in the media, in culture, on social media, everywhere! From the cult of plastic, it is time to switch to the cult of authenticity.
We saw you in the media being asked about the french Hoshi controversy. We feel your message corroborates the support to the artist. Do you agree ?
Completely! I am a non-binary transgender, I am 37 years old and my music is engaged, so I can tell you that I do not meet the standards of the music industry at all. I think that it started to go nuts from the moment we associated industry and music, demanding something authentic, political, revolutionary, creative, instinctive, passionate to become bankable, attractive, and above all to be lucrative! ! STOP to the expiration date that hangs over our heads! STOP making women and minorities invisible! STOP racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, laid back transphobia in the music industry and in the media. The revolution is underway, we need different origins, genders and ages on stage, to identify with other models.
You have an album in preparation and a crowdfunding to help launch the project. Could you tell us a bit more about it ?
“KEVIN” is my first album, an album in which I address feminism, consent, transidentity, the question of gender, ecology, racism, sexism,… It will be made by a local company and with recycled materials. It’s an album that makes sense. I chose to release it independently, which gives me the freedom to say what I want and how I want it. I really want to have a label but since the opportunity has not yet arisen, I do it anyway instead of waiting. However, if I want to do things well, it has a cost, so crowdfunding is the ideal solution to find the necessary funds especially in times of crisis like now, where I do not have the opportunity to go on stage and earn money by doing my job. It also gives my audience the chance to support me in another way and the display of love coming from it is huge.
Could you explain us your previous background as an artist ?
Oh la la, do you have the day ?! I graduated from the Brussels Royal Conservatory, so basically I am a film actress and theater actress. Searching for meaning and to be able to pay my rent, I have been doing a multiplicity of jobs such as hip-hop and philosophy teacher, lingerie model, techno MC and visual performer for the Sonore Foundation. I also directed a feature film “Veux Moi” which premiered at the Porn Film Festival in Berlin and which is now showing across California. I’ve been doing poetry ever since I learned to write and have always dreamed of singing my songs on stage. I had several small bands that never made it through the garage door. One day I got tired of waiting to find the right person to compose my music so I decided to do it myself and here I am.
We were at the Brussels demonstration to support David Polfliet killed in Beveren in March. We saw you recite a poem at the event. Could you tell us how it is important for you to be involved in the Brussels queer community ?
Wow that was an amazing moment for me! I had been trying to find my place in the community for a long time, but I did not feel legitimate. I was sometimes told that I was not queer enough to represent the community. Damn, there is more than one way to be queer !! I discovered my non-binarity last year, it was obvious for me to come out. I talk about it a lot on social media, which finally allowed me to discover a real family. When I was asked to read a text for this event, it was an honor for me. Even though I was still physically fragile from my operation, I had to be there. As I was saying my text, my song, which I had known for a long time because I had written it to support my LGBTQI + friends two years ago, all the meaning exploded in my face. I realized that I was talking about myself, I was telling my story. That day was a small birth for me and I burst into tears of joy right after.
KET Magazine is also about Brussels. Could you tell KET Magazine readers something about our city that makes it special to you (place, memory, feeling, advice, …) ?
I have been living in Brussels for almost 20 years, more than half of my life, it is my home. I have lived all my first times here. Choosing a single story or a single place would be impossible. I have lived in the city center for a long time and I have a very special feeling when I walk there. Memories of parties, of dancing, of love, of breaking up, of crappy Tinder dates, of too drunken evenings … Let yourself be carried away by Brussels, when you don’t know where you are going, she knows where she is taking you. Brussels is like this guy who you can’t seem to leave, you know that sometimes it hurts but at the same time it’s so good that you can’t do without …
Support Biche de Ville’s album release by joining the crowdfunding :
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