Grimes is fully aware that her way is not necessarily the path most people would choose. In a conversation with Julia Fox on the model’s Forbidden Fruits Spotify podcast this week, the singer dove into cancel culture and why her unique choices often get her on society’s do-not-call list.
“I think it’s fairly obvious… I’m very easy to cancel and canceled very often,” Grimes said while explaining why the traditional album promotional cycle of release-press-tour-TV/radio appearances just has never worked for her. “I’ve always been exceptionally canceled. People call me a ‘techno-fascist’… I agree a lot of things have been mishandled and we’re in this giant hiccup into a different part of civilization that is extremely unprecedented.”
In this brave new world, Grimes said it’s sometimes unclear where ethical boundaries exist, while fully admitting that she’s said some “dumb stuff” in the past. “I say a lot of dumb stuff… above average I’d say,” Grimes told Fox, who countered, “you say a lot of smart stuff too!”
“I think we need a better discourse… the way I wish people would approach me in better faith — I approach everyone in good faith — if people are being hateful on the internet those people are mad because they want a better world,” Grimes offered.
The conversation, of course, also touched on Grimes’ recent deep dive into AI on what she described as a “data collecting and spy mission” in her new hometown in the Bay Area to find out what’s happening in the space these days. “I’m pretty for it, I would say I’m fairly optimistic, I think there are some potential bad outcomes but I don’t think it’s constructive to even discuss that publicly per se,” she said, noting that too much talk could scare a potentially not super-informed public.
The tech-savvy singer then tried to explain neural nets and machine learning to Fox, lamenting that there are too much scary depictions of AI in the media these days that are freaking people out. “I think right now there is sorta a moral imperative to make more positive AI depictions because it’s literally training on the data. It will see itself on how we are seeing it right now, in many ways, and it’s a concern that is brought up often,” she said.
Grimes also delved into how she sees AI applying to the music industry at a time when she has opened up her music to the general public in an experiment in which she has promised to split profits 50/50 with anyone who uses her voice on an original AI song. “I think the engineers who create the tools that we use are often very under appreciated – all music right now is pretty much a dialogue between the engineers and the artists. We have just been given a plethora of tools that are very unprecedented,” she said of what she sees as the democritization of music.
“Over the last 15 years of music, we’ve seen a lot more regular people, not just people who’ve been christened by the labels,” she said. “You go on TikTok and you see all these kids making stuff in their bedrooms, this is the result of engineering and technology, and this has been a thing that is like really beautiful for our culture.”
The singer touched on her recent split with Columbia Records, noting that they parted on “good terms” after she realized she couldn’t be on a major label because “I can’t function normally… and the normal promo things don’t work for me.”
And, if once again you’re wondering where her long-awaited next album is, Grimes said she’s sitting on a completed LP that, frankly, she’s just “really bored” with at the moment. “It’s like two years old and I’m starting to make new things,” she said.
Listen to the interview below.