Their latest EP Butter-fly is full of psychedelic waves, queer love and political resistance. Like the feminist-abolitionist theorist Angela Davis, Ava realises in this album that their Black and working- class socio-economic position gives them a clear view of what needs to change in society. Musically, Ava genre-hops between hip-hop, R’n’B and psychedelia with consistently poetic lyricism and has performed alongside impressive names including Tyler, The Creator and Christine and the Queens. Ava’s stylish rocksteady-silver-tongued-punk-lyricist hybrid music, and accompanying videos, all explain ideas we delve into in this interview. For example, white rich men investing for personal – rather than communal – gain are caricatures that require little to no exaggeration in the Magpie music video. Another testimony to Ava’s political and poetic leaning is their zine Summer of Love 2.0 which, in their own words, “Explores THE Radicalisation of perspective and Free Love Movement, in times of isolation.” Both the zine and EP Butter-fly promote free love and party culture à la 1967 Summer of Love and 1988 Second Coming, but, this time around, with trans, non-binary Afrocentric philosophies in the foreground.
During coronavirus and the necessary protests that happened during lockdown, notably for Black Lives Matter and Trans Pride in London, there was and is a difficult tension between the social nature of some gatherings to the tangible necessity of mass mobilisation. In the grey-toned, bleak context of the UK’s biased racialized policing system and rollbacks in trans medical freedom, there is meaningful necessity for these movements. Is Ava a militant artist? I want to believe their poise certainly speaks for itself here.