The Boy With Knives_
Every Artist is subject to transformation whether it mental or physical, but the slow motion transition of DirtyPrettyThin from Poet to Songwriter has been the most colourful. Fitting perhaps is that his Art has constantly reinvented itself and eschewed many of it’s own traditions. Every new release saw a new angle, a new lick of paint, a new theme and most of all a new meaning. After spending a hefty time in gestation, this June saw DirtyPrettyThin reinvent himself in the boldest iteration yet.
Re-launching in a blaze of gunfire (and a flurry of knives) DirtyPrettyThin delivered his biggest shock yet. This coming from the guy who successfully managed to blur gender and has heavily experimented with his perceived image over the years. “The Boy Who Played With Knives” was billed as a “rebirth” by the Artist himself and critics have sure agreed. It evoked all genres and paying lover-letter homages to theatre, all while telling a rather sober story of the true anti-hero, the album blew everything else away. He was right, it did “change everything”…
Q: Where do you think the most inspiration for “The Boy Who Played With Knives” came from?
I couldn’t really say, I look at the album and I see influences from so many things. Whether it be my past, or Shakespeare. It is a product of many years playing all manners of influences upon it.
Q: When you debuted the album, you appeared very modest and nervous, was you scared of backlash?
Yes. I openly admit I was petrified. My ego is a very fragile piece of me, it doesn’t take a lot of smash it and floor me. And, I think, the hardest part was taking a step outside of the box I was in. I’ve waded into the “music scene” with no knowledge at all, I’m playing it all by ear! And the last thing I wanted was to be laughed at.
Q: And do you think you was?
Probably by someone, but there’s always some keyboard warrior or “troll” out there isn’t there. I think I’ve still got a lot of skin to thicken up! (laughs) But on the whole, the response has been amazingly positive. I am so grateful because I was so scared!
Q: You left the album artwork with a “to be continued” does that mean a sequel is in the works?
Right now, it’s a definitive NO! I don’t want to spend another three years on a sequel. (laughs) I don’t feel inspired to return to the story, I’ve done a lot of work that has spanned multiple albums and the returns on it are just s**t. In a world where we have micro-transactions, news updates in 30 seconds, status updates - the attention span is just not there, having a larger theme is lost. Maybe when my fan base expands, it might be worth returning to the idea of larger themes and larger stories, but for now it’s just not worth it.
Q: You’ve had a rough time of it all the last year or so, you even stated you were prepared to bow out the art scene. Have you come out the other end?
In some ways, yes. In others, no. It’s a subject I often muse on, but never find some definitive answer. I have decided to change my focus, I’ve adopted a more organic release pattern and so far it’s working. I have had to re-identify who I am as an artist. I’m not really an artist anymore, I have transitioned and come full circle back to my love of words. Only now I sing them, now I create music for them, I create artworks to promote them. The art used to be a vehicle for my words, then it became hybridised and now I think it’s been bastardised. I’ve basically decided that I as an artist have to change and adapt. It’s always been about the words, I’ve stubbornly clung to my “art-lit” hybrid for a long time, debuting to failing enthusiasm and response. But now with songs, I can actually get my words out there and in people’s ears! I stand a higher chance with their ears than their eyes! And I think a big thing was turning 25, it made me realise that maybe it’s time to stop trying to change the world’s attitude, I should just conform and stop fighting the wrong battles.
Q: What of all you do makes you the happiest?
The actual creating part, whether it’s writing a song and feeling giddy because you absolutely nailed it, or creating a piece of art that just looks slick. The music side, drove me up the wall when I first started, but now I enjoy it - especially when it starts coming together.
Q: You’re a bit quiet on your social media side of things, only rarely offering some random titbit of information, do you not want to engage with your fan base?
It’s a bit hard to engage when people keep disappearing! (laughs) It’s a dual edged subject, I don’t engage because there’s no-one to engage with. But because I don’t engage, no-one engages! (laughs) I’d happily answer anyone, I’m always on the lookout for interesting individuals! I just can’t be one of those pretentious people who tweet about their dinner or other naff things. I was called pretentious, well a “high horse riding pretentious prick” to be exact, by someone a very long time and it’s stuck ever since! Everything I do I question if I’m being pretentious, so I need people to open the dialogue and I’ll be quite happy to wax lyrical about anything!
Q: The talented individuals-
-You mean Pablo? Oh yes, very talented. He’s the second person I’ve collaborated with behind everyone’s back! We just seem to click, I mean we live in different countries and we have a language barrier - but his music has that dirty edge I love. It just works, and his working title of “Dress In Black” just works!
Q: Rumour abounds you and him have been up to secret projects?
It’s no rumour, it’s truth. We’ve recorded two songs together, I’m just waiting on him to put some “finishing touches” to them and then I’m sure we’ll be releasing them! They are exciting, two very different creations.
Q: So where are you going from here?
Well, I recently licked a new album. But before I do anything with that, I’m going to release a couple of songs completely unrelated to anything else. Well, more re-release but you’ll see what I mean soon. I feel quite excited by how free I feel. It’s like having another honeymoon period.
Q: Is that the “Prince Charming” LP you announced after your break up?
No. Nothing to do with that, I’m gestating with that album at the moment. No, the next album is going to be a big departure in style from “The Boy Who…”, it’s got a lot of crazy elements in it and I’m very excited with it!
But in regards the break up, well you might want to keep an eye out. Maybe I’ll be releasing something I had to say about all that soon!
DirtyPrettyThin is an independent singer/songwriter/artist/model.
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