RA Exchange

RA EX.672 Dorian Electra

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Episode notes

"Fandom is the new religion of our capitalist society." The genderqueer pop star discusses economic philosophy, queer aesthetics and the internet ahead of their new album. Avant-pop star Dorian Electra wasn't your average American student. As an 18-year-old, they were interested in exploring philosophy and political radicalisation through music, making their debut in 2010 with the song "I'm In Love With Friedrich Hayek"—a ballad to the economist who influenced Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher’s free-market ideology. Electra was simultaneously working as a stripper, channeling their exploration of gender into an early career series of pop videos that told the history of feminism, drag and vibrators. More than a decade later, the artist has brought these seemingly contradictory facets of their interests into a bizarre and beautiful symbiosis, and is now celebrating the release of their third album. On this week's RA Exchange, Electra speaks with moderator Gunseli Yalcinkaya about the underpinnings of Fanfare, which lands on October 6th. The first single, "Sodom & Gomorrah," explores the album's central conceit: the meaning of fandom and online culture in 2023. "I've been experiencing hyper-online everything," they said. "The past few years have solidified the idea in my head that as we've grown increasingly secular, people still want something to give their life greater meaning, and they've found that in connecting with others online in a way that's largely replaced religion." They also discuss their proclivity for ultra-synthetic, cartoonishly masculine pop; their take on the internet zeitgeist; ADHD; musical performance as an expression of the extremities of human experience and more. Listen to the episode in full. This edition of the RA Exchange was recorded in collaboration with The Qube, London's first members' studio for music and content creators. If you're a music producer, songwriter, artist, photographer or podcaster and would like to apply for a membership, head over to theqube.com.