Gaff-E is a powerhouse of a woman, a kaleidoscope of creativity who has numerous notches to her repertoire belt including musician, performer, DJ & stylist. She is an artist in the truest sense, being a chameleon of style who is constantly re-inventing herself. We caught up with Gaff-E in light of her recent release ‘I’m Here Right Now’ to discuss the ongoing distractions of this technology soaked era, her most memorable on-stage moments, and her creative identity as an artist. Check out the music video below for ‘I’m Here Right Now’!
I’m Here Right Now is the second release from your new album ‘Get Real” and explores the current state of distraction with people on the dance floor and streets as a result of technology. How have you found that the club scene has been affected by technology and the increased addiction of people to their phones?
I had a moment about four years ago when I was travelling in Poland where I performed at a queer festival in Wroclaw that instantly became one of my favourite gigs ever. Post-show, I was trying to work out what made it so good and then it came to me… NO ONE HAD A SMART PHONE PRESENT!
When everyone is in the room, the experience is special. No one is thinking about the next best thing or what is happening in the news etc, they are present and able to dance freely and that is living life in my eyes!
I now start my live sets with ‘I’m Here Right Now’ and target whoever is on their phone and closest to the stage (there are always options) and play with the victim.
The crowd generally then becomes scared to film or text so I have them with me to play with the whole way!
To combat my belief, I do not own a smart phone. I just have one that can text and call if I need and that is my technology balance. Once I leave the house, I am totally free of the zombie-like vortex of the cyber world.
What do you consider to be your biggest distraction?
Things that could be considered as my biggest distractions like travelling and hanging out with friends does take lots of my time, but I make this time available because I find it to be inspiring and I believe this time is nourishing for my soul.
You’ve performed in venues all over the world, how would you define the Australian club scene in comparison to the rest of the world?
The Australian club scene is thriving in the summer. The queer scenes are strong and alive particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. There are so many special beings in the country fighting the ludicrous laws the NSW state have enforced in clubs in recent times. I think the harder the authority make it for Australians to have fun, the better the parties will become because people are gagging for a good time! Europeans know how to party well in general with very little restrictions.
How has your classical training as a pianist, violinist and saxophonist influenced you as a performer?
Well I have trained ears and can feel via knowledge and instinct where the movements within a song will progress if I haven’t heard it before. This knowledge makes it a pure pleasure to move my body to the beat and I am really good at rocking out on “air” keys, sax and violin when I’m dancing to my favourite genre- DISCO!
What has been one of your most memorable on-stage moments to date?
A few weeks ago, in the middle of my DJ set at the Fringe Club at Adelaide Fringe, my inspiring friend Betty Grumble stuck a microphone up her vagina and did the splits in a head stand while Reuben Kaye and friends sang whilst the mic was still inserted. The best bit was watching the conversation on the side of the stage of what to do with the mic when the song was finished. That’s a moment I will take to the grave for sure!
What inspires your creative identity?
Colour, animals, nature, tribes and anyone and anything doing something different from the norm. I connect with those the most who are fearless, pushing boundaries and create from the heart.
If you could have 3 designers collaborate to create your dream outfit, who would they be?
Carley Hague (who already makes a lot of my stage outfits), Romance Was Born and visual artist- Nick Cave.
You have a strong following in the queer community. Does that fact influence your decisions when performing and producing music?
No, I do not like to be put in a box and create my art for a certain community. Queers instantly get what I do because I am being true to myself and am visually self-expressive. I create in the moment direct from my heart.
Tell us a weird fact about you that most people wouldn’t know.
I used to think I was black until I was six years old. My mum- Fiona tells me that both my kindergarten and grade one teachers pulled her aside to ask the question… “errr do you realise your daughter thinks she is black?” Mum said she told them- “Yes but you don’t need to tell her, she’ll work it out eventually for herself!” What I really like about this is how my mum handled it and let me explore my vivid imagination.
What are some upcoming projects that you are excited about?
My main focus is on the new album coming out with all the new videos, collaborating with my friends from the record label Multi Culti in Berlin and I plan on spending time in residency this year with my great friend Ylva Falk creating with our MEGA Ω MEGA live project.
Interview by Sara Nicolette.
Photographer: Elvis Di Fazio @elvisdifazio
Accessories: Doodad & Fandango @doodad_and_fandango
Makeup: Gaff-E @gaffygaffiero
Illustration artwork by: Louisa Foley @louisafoley
Photographer: Tanja Bruckner @tanjabruckner
Accessories: Doodad & Fandango
Hair: Kitty Sheriden @kittysheriden