There's been a buttload of huffing and puffing since the general election - apathetic pop and a severe drought of political awareness in music are rife, if you believe everything you hear. There's arguments on both sides of this coin, both in the neutered chart output and the likes of Everything Everything's unabashed complexity, but you can slot Krista Papista firmly in the "wants to change the world" column.

Papista, a London-based audiovisual artist, wants to fuck up the entrenched inequality in society, and she wants to do it while you dance.

A self-professed "sordid-pop" creator, she's ready to storm the airwaves with a wicked brew of straight-up hooks, Euro-techno, noise-punk and electronic experiments. The likes of No Bra, Camilla Sparksss and HEALTH are vague comparisons, but with the overt pop streak sprayed onto the likes of 'Bad F' and 'Black Lagoon', it's hard to pin her down to one label. As well as the sonic arts, Papista relishes the opportunity to showcase the visual side to her creations - if you get to see her live (she plays Dalston's Birthdays on 12th July) you'll find a stage draped in poignant projections and bespoke cinematics.

We spoke to Papista ahead of the show to get a deeper understanding of her ambition, inspirations and the importance of her upcoming video's pro-nipple stance.



Can you introduce yourself and your music for those that haven't heard what you do before?
I'm a music producer/video director based in London. I like to describe my work as "sordid pop". My work has always been multidisciplinary, you can expect anything from me really.

How did you get interested in making music? What inspires you?
I remember being ridiculously mesmerised by songs and heroic characters in movies growing up. I used to listen to songs I liked over and over again until I felt disgusted. When I was 11, I got really into punk music, by the time I was 13 I learned how to play guitar and formed an all girl punk band; that lasted about a year, I remember I really enjoyed playing live but I also remember awkward stupid faces in the crowd so it all felt a bit strange.

I Carried on making songs on my own and at 18 I moved to London to study performance art and digital media. I then started using electronic music software programmes so that's when my music begun to evolve and shape electronically. Growing up I was equally obsessed with visuals; I used to take pictures and short videos a lot, my mum at one point thought I was going nuts because I was watching about 2-3 movies a day. I had a great time in university fooling around and learning how to use film equipment, so naturally this strong appreciation for music and visuals shaped me into a music/video artist. For me music is very cinematic and it's my responsibility to illustrate the vision of the song. I also find it very easy.




What are your aims for your music?
I have different aims all the time. Changes from track to track, though what I always enjoy is throwing the listener in different dimensions and situations. As I said I comprehend music in cinematic terms. I love allowing the listener to make their own interpretations of the lyrics, therefore the actual lyrics are usually structured with different characters, who all share different perceptions, different moods; so organically the song has a vulnerability in terms of meaning. I also consciously and directly make feminist statements through my music and visuals. I am proud to be a feminist and it's my responsibility to fight for equality and stand up for myself and anyone who's been mistreated. I also very much try to give sonic and visual pleasure through my work; that's very important to me.

Who are your favourite musicians and artists?
Maria Callas, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, L7, Kathleen Hannah, Erik Satie, Brigitte Bardot, James Dean, Johnee Mercer, Oscar Wilde, Bowie, Erasure, Elvis, Sex Pistols, Lou Reed and Morrissey.

What was playing in your house when you were growing up?
Maria Callas, Manos Hatzidakis, more Greek music, some good classical collections I never bothered to pick the names off.




What's the story behind 'Modern Girlhood'?
The actual lyrics are about living your life in confidence and unapologetically doing whatever you want. From a feminist perspective it introduces a brand new attitude on dealing with everyday life for women; though both men and women can relate to this song as the general idea is mastering your life and shamelessly designing your lifestyle to its full potential. Somehow this attitude has not often been practised in my eyes by women as often as I would've liked it to. Through cinema, through history in general, women are usually portrayed as the passive character, that takes care of everyone else instead of the dominant one that has all the fun. So this song is about reshaping a new culture, where girls skate as good as boys, where girls are not told to wear a dress at a wedding if they don't want to, where women get the big jobs too, where this dodgy atmosphere of inequality and misrepresentation of womanhood is demolished.

Can you tell us about the video? How does it relate to the music?
In the music video I am running topless in the streets, and filmed my friends topless in a studio, as the censoring of the female nipple is another ridiculously sexist phenomenon in our modern society I choose to comment on. I think it's very unfair that if I take my top off in certain states of America I'll get arrested and if a boy does he doesn't. Instagram always deletes topless photos women and that goes down to how fundamentally unequal our society still is. Women are basically supposed to feel ashamed of their nipples and hide them, while men can reveal them want. In the light of feminism the video links to the music in an obvious manner. The video will be out very very soon.

What are your live shows like? How do you want an audience to feel?
My live shows consist of me singing live with a projection of videos I produce exclusively for my live shows. I want the audience to have videographic experience. I have a ridiculous amount of videos I have recorded over the years and this part of the show I take very seriously..it is also a very good way to understand my aesthetic. Concerning my physical performance. I do my best to give out a show. I like to shock, I like to entertain and I also love performing. I find it cathartic but for the audience I can only hope to offer them a cinematic experience. I will be playing at Birthdays on the 12th of July.




If you could perform anywhere and anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
I can't think of a particular place but I know anywhere hot, humid and dangerously sunny with a good sound system will feel amazing. I love sweating and I love getting sun burned.

If you were in a supergroup with any musicians, who would be in your band and what would it sound like?
Sid Vicious and Kathleen Hannah. We will obviously have an electro punk sound. I don't think I can ever be in a band to be honest.

Have you got any releases planned? Can you tell us about it?
Yes, my new music video 'Modern Girlhood' will be out this month. After that I'll be shooting my next music video also have more projects coming along. Short films, more music, more videos.

Do you have anything else planned for the summer?
I'm playing on the 12th of July at Birthdays in Dalston. The whole of summer I'll be working on my next music video, new tracks, and more video projects.


You can visit Krista Papista by heading here.