Sliimy's Bright Future
Sliimy... what is it? The latest Pokemon, a new brand of chewing-gum? Sliimy is, at just 20, the bubbly new ‘made in France’ pop phenomenon who got famous on the Internet for his style ‘à la’ Mika, generated an enormous buzz on Twitter, supported Britney Spears in Paris, and is getting ready to tour the US after being signed to blogger Perez Hilton's new label.
Rockfort: What exactly is Sliimy?
S: At first glance, one can think that this is a brand of clothes. My friends in high school gave me this nickname, not because I was wearing skinny jeans (‘jeans slim’ in French), but because I am rather slim. If I had to describe myself, I would say I am a simple guy who has been into music for a long time.
Rockfort: It is surprising that someone from the small city of Saint-Etienne should have such an eccentric look ?
S: I am not really chauvinist. Coming from a small city makes you want to see what is going on in the rest of the world. For that there is the Internet : on one hand to discover artists that inspire you, like Lilly Allen or Boy George, on the other hand to get an idea of fashion and culture that emanates from vibrant cities like New York, London, Paris. I would have loved to grow up in one of these cities.
Rockfort: Always wanted to be a singer?
S: I never wanted to rush, but I always felt that my life would be linked to music in one way or another. I grew up listening to soul and pop music and was part of a choir when I was young – a great challenge for me as I’m rather secretive. I then met my guitarist Feed and we clicked. We spent years in his home studio writing, composing, reharsing tunes.
Rockfort: When did you decide to reveal your talent to the world?
S: I am quite shy and it took me time to share my music. I created a MySpace profile and a blog two years ago. I think it is perfect for getting famous without revealing to much. The feedback from the public was great, especially for my cover of Britney Spears' hit ‘Womanizer’. We started to tour in small towns in France with Feed for a year or so and I was approached by Warner Music. They signed me and my album, ‘Paint Your Face’, was mixed in the US. I then opened for Britney Spears in Paris in July.
Rockfort: How have you dealt with your sudden fame?
S: I dont want to sound arrogant but it doesn’t scare me because I always prepared myself for it. I have always wanted to be independent early and I didn’t want to finish my life in Saint-Etienne. Now that I am getting famous, I try to keep it simple, and even if things change, I stay close to my friends and my family.
Rockfort: You’ve been described as the French Mika...
S: People should come to my gigs to realise that my music is different. Of course we belong to the same playful and colourful universe, like Lily Allen. Fashion is a game for me, my childlike style is also a great part of my personality. But there is something else in store. My songs also talk about my homosexuality, about discrimination.
Rockfort: Does the future look bright?
S: I have recently been signed on Perez Hilton's label Perezcious. He helped me to get a name in the US when he asked all his friends, celebrities like Lady Gaga, to put "Who is Sliimy?" on Twitter . I was soon on everybody's lips in the US. I am going there for a three weeks to tour with Frankmusic, Ladyhawke and Ida Maria. Perez Hilton is a clever man: he started from nothing like me, and he is now famous through the world thanks to his blog. After that? I don’t really know, but that will be linked to music, as it helps me to grow.
Interview by Fabien Mazzola