Inside the Crazy World of the Singer Perfume Genius’ Newsletter


After I posted the first story, everybody was [telling] me what kind of fan fiction it was. I didn’t even know if someone ingests you, that’s a thing and has a name. Did you know that?

I had no idea.

That’s called vore, I think.

To what extent do you reckon with the notion of believability as you write?

I just follow what makes me laugh the hardest or feel the most intensely. Knowing that a bunch of people are gonna think this is in earnest and that I’m doing this because I’m so turned on by the idea…is really funny to me. But still, it’s a portal for some serious ideas sometimes. I’ve put a lot of attention into writing it. I like all those things existing at once and being sort of confusing.

Did you think that your fans would love reading your fan fiction as much as you enjoy creating it?

Well, I had no idea. Doubling down and doing it again, I wrote another one, and it was like three times as long. I’ll probably do it again. I’m sort of like that. I almost get off on it not working. I kind of get off on it changing into something that’s embarrassing, or if people thought I was joking at first, now they’re really unsure. Maybe it’s a weird power I’m wielding.

To me, that all sounds like a natural extension of your unhinged Twitter presence.

There’s always been two main modes of me sort of processing and dealing with everything. Sometimes, I’m very serious. In my music, I’m pretty dead serious when I’m writing it. I feel smarter and kinder and more present, but other times, I’m just sort of laughing.

Sometimes, the same experience that may be seemingly tragic, I can laugh about on one day, and then the other day, I feel like I really need to process it into a long, drawn-out emotional thing. Those exist really close together for me. Sometimes, I don’t even know which is which. When I was writing the last long story, [it] was making me laugh, but every once in a while I was like, “Oh, I’m kinda showing my ass in this too, because I keep talking about the same shit over and over.”

Would you be writing these longer fan-fiction and absurdist essays if you didn’t have a public channel for them?

The public channel has always been important. When I was coming up, I had alternate Myspace accounts. In the beginning, when I first wrote the songs that ended up being my first record, I was also doing sketches where I dressed up as characters and [did] long improvisations in front of the camera. I posted those online before I posted any of my music, and then I took them down when people started listening to my music because it didn’t make sense together.

Why was now the right time to start your newsletter?

I’ve been in the same cycle for a decade now, where I make a record and I make a video for it, I make the art around it, and then I tour for a year and a half, and then when I’m done, I…do it again. It’s the same thing over and over. I couldn’t get the energy up to start a project like that in quarantine or this last year. I really missed when I would make things just to make them and share them right away and not worry too much about what it means or what it is.

Not that I wasn’t putting energy and effort into it. Sometimes, I put even more [effort in] because the pressures are different, but I just missed making things. When I [don’t] have that, I just end up cannibalizing myself. The stuff doesn’t go anywhere, and then it starts eating at me. I needed somewhere for that energy to go.



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