Never En-Uffie: The Singer’s Berlin Photo Diary
Plus an exclusive interview with the HBIC of the ‘Sunshine Factory.’
In this lovely year of 2022, there are more viral artists, songs, videos, and actual real life viruses than there are remaining dollars in Kanye West’s bank account. Especially when it comes to music—we see a familiar pattern: person X posts a video that wins the algorithm, becomes an Internet micro celebrity, and then begins releasing music because…it’s more content for the algorithm? No shade to Bhad Bhabie, whom I love, but you know what I’m saying.
When singer-songwriter and performer Uffie had her come up on MySpace, she unknowingly laid down the blue print for “Internet era” musicians. The big difference is that it was actually Uffie’s music that made her “viral” online, which is because it was damn good. “Pop the Glock” was the cool kid anthem of the 2010s, instantly turning the American-French singer into a fashion and nightlife icon, teleporting her outside of the digisphere and onto stages and DJ platforms across the globe.
What could have easily fizzled into a one-hit wonder type of career went in the complete opposite direction with the 2010 release of her studio album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, a canonical body of work that burned itself into the hearts of music and pop culture lovers and released sound waves across global dance floors. Uffie proved she wasn’t just a cool, clever girl who’d fallen into music, as the narrative sometimes went. She was a bonafide musical visionary.
Thankfully, this type if innate talent doesn’t fade. In May of this year, Uffie released her sophomore album Sunshine Factory, which retains her original poppy grit but with an updated appeal for a vastly different time.
V asked the quintessential artist to document some of her Berlin show while on tour with Alice Glass, as well as for an update on the life of Uffie.
V Magazine: Hello Uffie! Where are you in this moment?
Uffie: I just arrived in Portland a couple hours ago.
V: Well as someone who’s never been to Portland and might not ever go…welcome to Portland.
Uffie: Thank you! It’s just like Portlandia. It was those two people from the show that checked me into my hotel. And we had heard all about this vegan strip club that we were hoping to hit on our day off, but we ended up stopping at Shasta Lake and going Skinny Dipping.
V: So are you enjoying being on the road then? It’s been a long time since you’ve done such extensive touring.
Uffie: It has been a long time. But I remember this feeling, slightly unhinged, but really excited. But it’s been good. It’s been mostly just hanging with fun ladies. It’s been really great being with Alice Glass. I started chatting with her while working on my new record, because she plays the same party a lot in LA, Heaven.
V: You played a show in Berlin a while back now, for which you took some cool BTS photos for us. How was that?
Uffie: It was kind of wild and just very true to Berlin’s style. I hadn’t been there since before the pandemic and it’s just such a whirlwind. You don’t stop until you’re on the plane home. But it was too good. It was a great festival.
V: I’m glad to hear it! Are you also working on new music in the midst of all of this?
Uffie: Yeah, I’m making an EP with Sega Bodega. I really like the energy of writing on tour. It’s just so conducive because you’re feeding off of a crowd. So I’m hoping to write all the vocals and then to send to him to produce out during those two weeks. For me, writing on tour is a kind of nice distraction, because I still get really bad stage fright. So it’s kind of nice to have something else going on. There is a future. Tonight is not the end game.
V: That makes sense. It’s probably better to do that than to sit and be paralyzed by anxiety all day before getting on stage.
Uffie: Right. You just record your anxiety.
V: Your next single can be, “I’m Afraid to Get on Stage Tonight”
Uffie: “I’m So Tired and Scared”
V: “I Hope Everyone is Nice to Me”
Uffie: But to be honest, once I’m out there on stage, in general the crowd is loving receiving it, and I just feed off of that and it’s this beautiful euphoric lift where all the tension is just released.
V: While preparing for the tour, how did you go about turning this new album you’d recorded into a live performance piece?
Uffie: Well, when I wrote the record, what was exciting to me is incorporating all the live instruments, because it didn’t need to be played in a nightclub. All of my previous music, it was so dance focused. And that’s a fun crowd, but it’s also just like everybody is so lit and it can be 3:00AM. So it was really fun just incorporating a different energy on stage. So if I’m headlining I bring my bassist and sometimes the drummer, but for this tour, it’s just me. It’s been really fun learning Ableton and all the programs, and I’m triggering my own visuals now. But I worked with an amazing artist named John Sampson on creating the actual Factory through projections.
V: I can’t go online without reading that there is an “Indie Sleaze Resurgence” right now. And there is always mention of you. How do you feel about it?
Uffie: It’s funny because I remember people talking so much about Bloghouse, and I was like, what is Bloghouse? I think I was just one of the first girls to come up on the MySpace wave and, well, I think the whole indie sleaze thing sums up a cultural moment. And I think it’s having a resurgence right now because people kind of stopped having fun for a minute. Everything was about self-care, and that’s amazing, but people wanted to feel like alive and have a release after lockdown. I kind of have a back and forth relationship with it. I respect that era because it definitely was a huge part of my career, but I’m also like, guys, it’s a new time. New things are happening.
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