Scene: MXYM | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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NE solo artist, blender of Rock, Shock and Emo Glamour and crafter of synth-pop bangers, MXYM, drops the video to their recent single Private In Public.

The song deals with the “pressures, pains and suffocation of social interactions through the lens of a Cath Kidston bondage nightmare” and for its visual accompaniment sees MXYM joining forces with one-man production company TJmov to produce a “vibrant floral hellscape complete with custom fashion inspired by early 80’s Goth culture along with modern-day avant-garde couture.”

Here, the artist tells us more about the region’s queer arts scene…

The queer arts scene in the North-East is incredible, diverse and insanely exciting. I’m so lucky to be part of and around so many varied disciplines coming together to create this bubbling world of queer excellence. In a time of greater understanding and acceptance, queer art has slowly become part of mainstream culture which, of course, is amazing and something to be celebrated and enjoyed. However, this has had a side effect of queer art becoming sanitised for a mass market and heterosexual gaze. In this palatable environment, how does one re-subvert art and create something uniquely queer again? The Queer artists making waves right now in the North-East are inspirational, endlessly fascinating and I’m so honoured to be friends, collaborators and supports of them. While these artists come from different worlds and have various outputs, it’s a joy to be part of this queer scene and generation of creatives making something fresh and new, whether the world understands it or not. 

Sam Fisher – Illustrator
If you’re looking surrealist, part fashion illustration, part horrifying nightmare, Sam Fisher is the illustrator for you. The physical reaction I get from looking at his artwork is next level, I’ve never seen imagery like this, the sense of escapism and other worldly-ness could only come from a queer POV. I was so lucky to work with Sam Fisher on a project that unfortunately never got to see the light of day… but I swear when it does you’ll gag. 

Bonnie and Ben Dover Love –  Drag King + Queen Duo 
We see drag (queens) everywhere, from TV to the high street, but to me, these two represent what queer nightlife and spaces should be. Not only is this Queen and King duo a phenomenal act and drag idol 2022 winners, they are also absolute champions of young talent. This family atmosphere of lifting up others and using your platform to help give a start to those who need a foot in the door is not only wonderful to see but was a huge help for me at the start of my career. Bonnie Love is killing it across the Newcastle queer scene, a mix between a high fashion barbie and Lilly savage… for a good night out, find Bonnie. I think it’s so important for Drag artists of all kinds to be given the spotlight, the North-East is oozing with incredible drag acts that go way beyond queens and it’s about time we saw that championed equally.  

KKETT –  Music Icons
Nothing is quite as subversive as KKETT. One of the few bands that can truly subvert your expectations several times in the same song and yet as confused as you are… it just feels right. The explosive, raw and endless joy and freedom that come along with KKETT is infectious. regardless of how you feel when you arrive at a KKETT show, you’re leaving ready to party the rest of the night. I find KKETT to be a huge inspiration, it can be very hard to stick to your guns and do your own thing in a music world that is desperate to find the box you fit in and the artist you sound like, KKETT is the perfect reminder I can, should and will do whatever I feel like doing and those who understand will find it, and will love it.  

When I started doing what I do, I never expected to be perceived as different and outlandish as it often is, so it’s been amazing to find niches or people and places that get it and welcome me with open arms. The artists I’ve mentioned are just a few that have made me feel at home in the various queer art scene, and I have so much love and admiration for all the amazing artists i’ve been lucky enough to find myself around. I’ve been raised by North-East queer artists, and I hope I can do the same for the future generation of subversive creeps, but till then I can’t wait to continue to be, loud, weird and queer as hell.

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