Swiss alternative singer flèche love
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Flèche Love
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December 14, 2022
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Flèche Love: A world full of light and mystic

We met up with the swiss singer and performer; Flèche Love. A discussion around working with the right people, toxic masculinity and a healing journey. Enjoy!

Dany Niederhauser - How was the Paleo? Was it your first time here?
Flèche Love - It was the first time I performed at the Paleo as Flèche love. It was very emotional because I still fear presenting a show with masks and all my world, which people are usually not very used to seeing in festivals. But I was very touched by the kindness of people and listening to them. I was a little stressed out to play in front of people I know, I saw the sister of a childhood friend I had not seen for twenty years in the audience, and that was a bit intimidating.
DN - Fleche love is a mystical creature; what is your evolving process as this being?
FL - My desire and need are to heal myself first. And I thought to myself that by working on this individual healing path, it could vibrate back with other people. I try to talk about spirituality because that’s what touches me. I want people to realize their potential, realize that we deserve this unconditional love. The whole narrative of love, I find pretty toxic sometimes. Flèche Love is a space of freedom and creation in which I can create what I want. Accompanied by a hyper-benevolent team, it is both musical and visual. It's a space of exploration and freedom, and there's no one saying, “You have to do this hit for the radio”; I think you can hear it (laughter).
DN - How do you feel about your place in the industry?
FL - Often as a woman and especially in music, people talk a lot about your physique and have things to say about your physical appearance: if you are beautiful if you are ugly if you are thin…And the chance I had is that I managed to get out of it and have the opportunity to exist beyond my gender. People don't really talk about my looks And for me, it's essential, because I want people to talk about my music. What I like about the word queer, which initially meant «strange», is the possibility of removing the borders of gender and being vaguer. For someone like me, that is touched by the mythology where you find goddesses, gods that are endosex, have three sexes, are shifters, etc. I like this notion. But, at the end of the day, I’m cis-gendered and heterosexual. On paper, it's still super classic. However, I'm really moved by their freedom and their strength. The queer community and LGBTQ+ people have a lot of courage in stating; I am this. And despite the hatred and the stupidity, continuing to say, “Well, I want to be who I really am.” For me, there is something quite spiritual to it.
DN - You take a stand for minorities, assuming that your art is political. And in today’s landscape, could we say that any artistic object can be political?
FL - Well, that’s the question I’m asking myself, so I don’t know, I couldn’t really assume it for everyone, but I still feel like from the moment you're in a public space, and you're seen, you are in a way political. You have the opportunity to support social movements and people. And it’s super important for me to be able, on my scale, to highlight minorities.
For example, on Sisters, I had a 100% women’s team. Unfortunately, it was super hard to organize an entirely female crew. It's funny because the technicians told me this was the first time that no one had questioned their work. For example, the boom op always got comments like: Oh, are you going to be able to lift your thing?
Afterward, I had the chance to work with a transgender man on the last Femina photo shoot called Chaïm Vischel. I don't know if you know 195CC? In short, an amazing artist. When Femina contacted me, I thought to myself: «wait, I have to put forward people who are good at what they do but are not visible enough.» I then contacted Chaïm and Olivia Schenker, who is a photographer. And so here I am, trying on my scale to always incorporate people who are not sufficiently recognized while they have a lot of talent; because the industry is still quite racist, sexist, transphobic, and all that. I try, you know, we try.
DN - So, we loved the album NAGA part 2, especially the last music video of MITOTE that was released in May, which is just incredible. Can you tell us about the song and the visuals?
FL - So MITOTE is precisely linked to the Matrix. I think that the Wachowski sisters have read books on shamanism because I find that they were so inspired in Matrix by the whole question of shamanism and this awakening. And the MITOTE is a dance, a round, and a trance; it is this veil between reality and dream.
And, as in Matrix, the goal is to wake up so that you can interact with others and not just with yourself. That's as well what Lacan stated when he said that most of our interactions are mirrors. Most of the time, we don't interact with other people, we mostly interact with ourselves.
For example, if you tell me a whole problem about yourself and my reaction is harsh, it's probably Because your problem would reactivate something inside of me, maybe a past pain, that has nothing to do with you. You'll sadly only be a mirror made of flesh. And I think, that by the way, all the transphobia and homophobia is a lot that. It is what’s sent to other people, it’s this freedom to truly be who you are and love whom you want, but it's a complicated subject and it's more complex than that.
This song, for me, is a quest. In the beginning, I say: «the walls of your skin are gradually decomposing, the wind rids you of the useless soon, you will be back, and I will be at your side, my love. ».
It is someone who goes and tries to meet themselves and me, who tells them, I will be there by your side. And that’s a bit of what happened for this music video. I usually have the role of co-directing the visuals. But here, I did the art direction. I first sent a mood board to the Quiffs team because I had no clear ideas about what I wanted this video to expres . I told them about this idea of transhumanism, augmented human beings, and dance. I wanted to work with Alexandre Fandard, a great dancer, and they came up with this idea of getting out of the rock, etc. I thought it was great. We worked like hell on the artistic direction. Finding a new team; putting talents forward that I don't see visible enough. They worked their asses off. I don't know how to say that, but 3D modeling is a crazy job. They did it with the heart; they didn’t do it for the money because there wasn’t that much of it. And I was touched as they said, “The piece is too beautiful. We’ll do it with you”. They worked with Balmain. They’re people who work on the big stuff. And having it done with the heart is so touching.

I am proud and have a lot of gratitude for the whole team at the Quiffs, and many people, including Leila Nour Johnson, on the stylism and so many others. It would be best if you went to watch the end of the video; all the names of the people are there, because there were a lot of talented people who worked on it.
DN - This is the biggest team you've worked with on a music video; what’s essential to put in place to create inclusivity and a safe space in a large group?
FL - So, how I see things it’s still pyramidal. Quiffs are hypersensitive to these issues; one of the two is in the LGBTQIA community, and we talked a lot about those things; how to be more inclusive... Typically, the question of dancing with a racialized dancer was fundamental. Because, in general, when you are black and Arab, you have fewer opportunities in dance, especially when you specialize in contemporary or classical dance; it is simply more complicated. In addition to this, I believe in intuition.
Alexandre Fandard had contacted me super long ago, and I thought it would be great to work with him. So the key is for the original team to be hyper-conscious, or in that energy and vibe. We talked about these subjects, and then we found people who are in that vibration, and then we tried to hold everyone accountable. You see, for example, when we worked with Femina, I immediately emailed Femina’s team to explain that Chaïm is a transgender man and that they had to respect his pronouns, etc. Sometimes, we make mistakes, and sometimes he was misunderstood, but immediately, I said, “Oh no, don’t say her.” You put the team forward, establish a framework, and then I see how to respect it. I can’t ask people to be something I wouldn’t actually embody; it doesn’t make sense. I must build a framework that I respect.

Then a big part of the crew was in special effects, so there were some people we haven’t seen on set. There were supposed to be ten of us, and it was already a lot for me. They were all sensitive people, but also, I think that before working on a clip where you’re not paid a lot, you watch video clips, and interviews, and you get a taste of the ethics of the artist you might work with. And if that someone was to be profoundly homophobic, transphobic, sexist, or racist, there are not too many reasons to say: “nice, I’m going to work on this project!”.
DN - To have values and advocate for them is dividing the music industry. What is your experience with this?
FL - I have the impression, that most mainstream labels are looking for the next marketable artist. They don't care about the artistry, they don't have time to waste, they want their money back and as quickly as possible. They might be scared that a politically engaged woman, who talks about feminism, and racism, could split the audience. The most important thing to me is to stay true to myself and collaborate with people who share the same values as me, they do exist. Everyone has a tribe.
DN - In your piece Festa Tocandira in which you address the deconstruction of masculinity, can you tell us how you approached the process of creating this piece?
FL - I studied ethnology at university and was always very touched by the different rituals and tribes. And so, I came across a documentary about an Amazonian tribe in Ecuador that forces young boys who are, from 11 years old, to go through rituals to prove that they are a man. The first step is to put your hands in cashew leaves filled with a hundred ants per hand. And the sting these ants make is equivalent to a gunshot in terms of pain. And there’s a guy named; I think, Justin Schmidt; He’s crazy, and he’s been bitten by I don’t know how many bugs. He’s made a list of the most painful bugs stings. And being bitten by this ant is one of the worst on his list.Those young boys start to have a fever, delirous, and are not allowed to cry or scream, or the whole ritual is considered worthless. And they must do it many times in their lives. And I’m thinking,” God, it’s sadism, a form of mutilation”.
What happens if you don’t want to? What happens if you need to cry? What happens if you want to connect?

We create boys who become monstrous because we amputate some of their emotions. They have the right to express anger but not the entire spectrum of emotions. So, it made me empathize, I was super sad, and I thought: “wow, this is really a thing.” You see, for me, all issues of feminism are also related to these toxic visions of masculinity. It hit me pretty hard, and then I thought, go ahead and write this song about it. And at the song’s end, I say, “Yeah, men, you cry too, men cry.” What is this sick thing, forbidding this to little boys to tell them don’t cry like a girl? The damage it causes creates monsters that become sometimes the people who rule a country, who have power.
And I think to myself, a man who isn’t emotional freaks me out. An example in my personal life is my current partner, who’s great, and often cries. The first time I saw him
cry, it made me feel good because I realized that he was connected to his emotional world. He did it in front of me without hiding it.
We cry all the time together in front of Queer Eye (laughs). Why does Queer Eye always make you want to cry?? (Laughter). So many emotions and empathy following the path of these people who discover themselves. Sometimes, they’re homophobic, and then, in the end, they’re their best friends. It touches me, so we cry at the same time, and that made me think he’s a good guy. (Laughter).
DN - Today you are a luminous being of light; you radiate. You’re here to share the benevolence of your healing journey as well. What helped you become this bright light?
FL - So, I like to say that I’m always on the path. And that I have a lot of moments when I collapse and suddenly, I’m in sadness and am not able to keep going…
If we all had this ability to see ourselves from afar, if you told me what you went through, people would say: «wow, your path, it’s incredible.».
But we mostly forget, to honor our own path and I’m no different from that. It’s imperative to say this because even if Flèche Love has a magical side and there is a
mythological aesthetic to it, I remain human. I need to say this because I am not above anyone, and I share a healing path that sometimes makes me collapse like everyone else. Besides, before going on stage, I have to do tapping. It’s EFT. It’s a cell reprogramming thing where you repeat sentences. I do this at every show and always do the same sequence: “to value what I have to offer the world.” Because before I go on stage, I say to myself: “fuck, people will tell themselves that the show’s too weird. No one will understand”. I also have harmful programs inside me. So I have to reprogram myself. What was vital for me to get was the fact that healing is a path and that sometimes, I would step back a hundred steps and suddenly advance one. Sometimes you must give yourself peace, too. To accept my darkness is something I make more and more peace with; we’re in this Ying and Yang.
Also, just leaving myself be. In addition, I feel that it helps me to honor what I’ve already done, to have kindness for myself and my inner child; that’s a key for me.
Surrounding myself with people who love me, and I love back, you know, there are plenty of keys out there, and it depends on everyone. What works for me might not work for you; there’s a kind of toolbox that you fill in as you go along with things that do you good or not. I’m doing heart consistency that’s going well. I did it today before I went on stage, too (laughs).
DN - One last question: can you tell us a little about the Sheroes project?
FL - Oh yeah, so I started this because I was tired of talking about myself. I was tired of the social networks I thought it might be good to highlight cisgender or transgender women that people know little about in history. I found an application called reface and where you could make images talk. And I thought giving them a second life would be so beautiful. It was so interesting to dive deep into the history of cisgender and transgender women who have been forgotten, from diverse backgrounds and diverse gender identities. I wanted to make them in small formats, all in a minute. It’s super short to tell a life story, and I actually kind of stopped there because it took me so long. I have to get back to it, but it’s a crazy job. And at the same time, I was wondering if people care and everything, but some people told me they found it interesting! (Laughter). But I will go back and talk about it; it motivates me. The talk was so good, thank you! Frankly, next time I’m in Geneva, we can take a moment to take an hour we can have fun, and we’ll have time to talk more.

Photography courtesy of Noor Datis


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