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When pop music meets grunge, an Allie X shows up. The female singer and songwriter from Toronto and currently based in Los Angeles achieves creating a space where music becomes a therapy. With a high-pitched and almost celestial voice and following a grunge-meets-fantasy aesthetic, Allie expresses her feelings by approaching universal themes such as loneliness and anxiety. A shape-shifter exploring different aspects of her personality, she’s not afraid to show publicly who she really is in a growingly individualistic society. Discover her inner world, concerns and hopes via Cape God, her new album, out on February 21.
In 2013, you moved from Canada, where you grew up, to Los Angeles. How did you feel from moving to such an artistic place? How did the City of Angels trigger your creativity?
Hmm, well, in some ways, I feel that Toronto, where I came from in Canada, was a more creative place than Los Angeles. Meaning that when I was there, it was more about making art, where LA is more about making a business out of making art… which I like! It’s really cool that I can now make money doing what I love.  But in terms of feeling free and inspired, in a lot of ways Toronto was better. Los Angeles definitely pushed me to be the best I can be though because it’s so competitive here.
Your music merges different styles like indie pop and electro-pop. As you become better known, do you feel that you are becoming mainstream?
No, not really. I feel that I am moving away from the mainstream but I am becoming more popular, so there is that; I’m not really sure. I want to have a large following but I don’t ever want to be boxed into what is working on the radio.
Your music videos, such as Regulars or Fresh Laundry, use grunge and gothic-inspired visuals, which is original as they are layered on an actual pop music style. How do you relate to ‘90s music? Do you feel  that there is a meeting point between the ‘90s grunge culture and today?
I grew up in the ‘90s, so I really relate to a lot of the female singers and songwriters of that time. I enjoyed the way music was written back then. I don’t see a whole bunch of grunge currently but there is a bit. I love what Beabadoobee is doing.
Your song Fresh Laundry might show your ambivalence as a person. In the music video, the models seem to embody your inner demons: you are embracing them and dancing with them, showing how you try to love them. Am I interpreting it right? How do you manage to accept and live with your inner demons?
That is a good interpretation of the video. I think the song, though, is more about longing for things you can’t have. Back to the inner demons though, I’ve always believed the Jung school of thought, that it is better to recognize your demons and find an artistic outlet to let them out than to hide them. I hid mine for a long time, especially as a youngster, which is why it’s taken me to write this album about when I was in high school.

Do you have any advice for people that struggle with the same problem?
“We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured, it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.” Carl Jung
Nowadays, a lot of artists in the music industry approach themes such as depression, weariness and the feeling go not fitting in. Do you relate to this mood? According to you, how is modern society creating this state of mind?
Yes. Cape God is a record about being an outsider (if I had to attempt to put it in one sentence). This isn’t a record about modern society but rather about the past. But to answer your question, I think social media and the internet are helping and hurting all at once. You are able to find communities, but rarely are they in your real present life.
You are creating an authentic community that supports and relates to you. Yet, in your song Regulars, you play the role of an outsider, an anonymous that desperately tries to fit in society. We can feel that you relate to this role somehow. Could you tell us more about this ambivalence/dichotomy?
In the Regulars video, I attempt to blend in by putting on a blazer I find in someone else’s laundry and then take off my ten-inch heels. It is a demonstration of wanting to be ‘regular’ but also just wanting to be seen and applauded for who you are. And how it feels to be caught in-between those feelings. The whole video is a lot of back and forth between those feelings.

“I want to have a large following but I don’t ever want to be boxed into what is working on the radio.”
Have you achieved finding a balance between who you are and who the others – the ‘regulars’ – want you to be?
I feel like I’m closer than ever! Lol.
What do you think about fame’s pressure according to your own experience?
It’s less about fame’s pressure and more about the industry’s pressure. If you aren’t constantly doing something new, you are old news! It’s very difficult for us all to keep up.
You define yourself as a shape-shifter as your style is constantly changing. How do you feel about that? Do you think that you have found out all of the aspects of your personality?
I’ve definitely explored a lot of aspects of my personality. And as I grow as an artist and a person, I become even more multifaceted and discover newer parts of who I am. It’s an ever-evolving process, just like life, I suppose.

In some interviews, you are talking about body ecology, a diet that you are following. It is not only about adding or removing some types of food but it’s also a way of living. Could you tell us a bit more about it? What drove you to this diet and how do you experience it on a daily basis?
I was really sick and had tried a lot of other diets to help, but this was the most effective. I eliminated gluten, sugar (all forms of sugar), anything refined, anything with grains (except quinoa, millet and buckwheat and, occasionally, rice) and focused on vegetables and healthy wild animal proteins. It helped me a lot. It’s tricky to stick to on the road but I do my best. 
How did you experience touring with Charli XCX and Marina?
Super fun. I’ve admired both Charli and Marina for so long, so it was really full-circle to be able to go on tour with both of them.
What are your plans for the upcoming months? More music, more tours, more…?
More, more, more, yep!

Words
Jasmine Oulmi

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