After winning the MTV EMA award for best Spanish artist, the singer performs tonight at Sala La Riviera, where she presents her new album EVOO Black Label, released by the independent label Subterfuge.
What does this recognition from the MTV EMA mean for the best Spanish artist? It's an endorsement of my musical career and my artistic proposal. I think it's important that they consider an underground artist trans and non-binary in the face of all the dictatorship of numbers and the obsession with virality. To have won over the nominees who are in multinationals and who have dozens of people dedicated to communication, when I am alone with my representative Gemma del Valle, is a victory for the collective. You're performing today at La Riviera, what's that live concert going to be like? Very special because it's the first Riviera I've done. Here in Madrid I always have a very good audience. I love being on stage because it's almost cathartic, also because I've run out of oxygen many times and I'm starting to get a little bit in a trance, you know? I suppose the same thing happens to climbers who start to see hallucinations due to lack of oxygen. Madrid is going through a boiling moment and Ayuso wants to turn it into the New Miami. What do you think? Miami doesn't seem like a very spectacular city to me. Maybe from a distance it may seem very cool, but then if you live inside, your joy is in a well. It always strikes me how all these parties that use the Spain brand as an emblem and the Madrid of the chotis of a lifetime, then, however, sell it to the highest bidder and make capital prevail. Now you pass by Gran Vía and you feel like in any other city in the world because you have a Starbucks, a Zara, a Primark... It is globalization and ferocious capitalism in the worst sense. There is nothing emblematic of Madrid anymore: there are no cafes left on Gran Vía or wig shops. Cities are becoming more and more like each other. They are doing a stupid homogenization in favor of people with money and millionaires. They're selling Madrid. I believe that in a few years almost no one will be able to live in the city. It's going to be all people from outside who have bought a super flat or an entire block. Its policy is to attract foreign investment. They flaunt Spain, Madrid's culture, and the long-time lady from the Malasaña neighborhood is being kicked out to set up an Airbnb. They're not regulating rent prices and they're burdening the city for the people who live in it. They are simply creating a monster that yields capital. Your new LP 'AOVE Black Label' has a song called 'Chula', in favor of contemporary dissidence. What is the price to pay for it? Have the whole world against you. Simply granting you the right to wear the clothes you want or demanding to be treated according to your identity. And then, of course, there are a number of additions depending on which position of dissidence you occupy. I'm in a gender dissidence, but if you add to that the fact that you're a racialized and precarious person, then life becomes more complicated. But my main scourge or virtue is being a person who is not satisfied with this binary system. You say in the song that you've been told that you couldn't go into the women's bathroom. Yes, it's a continuum in my life. Do women or men tell you? This happens in a nightclub where there is usually a security guard controlling the toilets. It's always a very violent and uncomfortable situation, because they tell you that you can't enter the girls' room because you're a man, but the one with the girls is a man.s guys can't get in either. It would shock them too, wouldn't it? I am the antithesis of a man. It happens to me very often, but even in high school it also happened to me when I just looked like a teenage boy. Some girls complained about me going into the women's restroom. But entering the men's bathroom was an outrage, because all the men who bullied me converged there.So it was a very complicated dilemma. By going in to pee, I'm not doing violence to anyone. It's the other way around. The one who is being inspected for entering the girls' bathroom is me and the one who is being asked to clarify what my genitals are for entering to pee is me. What do you do when they tell you about it? Do you obey or rebel? Depends on. If it's a nightclub that I frequent and I know the owners, I make contacts and have them go fry asparagus. And if not, then I'll go outside and piss between two cars because one isn't afraid to pee in public spaces. After shooting Franco in a music video, the bar is set high. How are you going to overcome it? I try not to have the narrative in my head to surpass myself, because it's not my intention to get drunk on myself or obsess over doing a very premeditated subversion. Trying to do something more and more disruptive just for the sake of getting more attention seems counterproductive to me. It would be a slave to virality, which is something very representative of the times we live in. I want to do things because they are born in me and at that time I was born a lot to shoot Francisco Franco in a video clip. Vox has tried to censor you. Will he succeed? [Laughs] I don't think so. I've always moved very well between controversy and controversy. So, every attempt at censorship on your side, ten decibels I'm going to increase my desperate scream. Jumping off a balcony drunk. In Magaluf or Madrid? In Seville. Yes, I fractured my skull and was hospitalized for a week. It was very good for me. Not to repeat it again, of course. To change my concept of life to get drunk on myself and always chase impact, subversion and doing a very crazy thing. I realized that you have to set some limits so that performance doesn't lead you to put your physical integrity at risk. And because of that, I stopped chasing the ghosts of success and fame. Willy Bárcenas, singer of Taburete, declares that he thinks the gender fluid thing is a joke. What would you say? I'm very surprised that gender neutrality is so controversial, because no one is forcing you to use it. Quite simply, if someone wants you to call them they, why wouldn't you? It's like if your name is Ramon and you ask to be called Moncho. Bárcenas says in his concerts: "Girls, boys, never children." Do you feel represented by the 'e'? I feel represented by the 'e' because I believe that this intention to expand the language to include gender diversity is very much in line with my values. It's not that I'm a child, but it's good that you understand it and that you don't think it's bullshit or gender propaganda. If you say aunt to a boy on the street, I can assure you that he will be very offended if you treat him in a feminine way. That's where gender matters. Don't use the e if you don't want to at your gig. Surely the people who have come to see you don't give a damn about the neutral gender. But I don't see why instead of not doing it you have to do propaganda, spread the word about it.Do you think it spreads hate? Yes. I don't see why you would make that comment. What does it mean to you that people speak gender-neutral in their circles? It doesn't affect you at all. You're getting angry because you're just a backward person who can't stand other people living their lives as they see fit. I'm not a person who has cried excessively, to be honest, except for the death of a family member. I have no memory of ever crying because of bullying. I endured stoically because my brother was already out of the closet when I began to suffer all those attacks so typical of adolescence and he always served as a reference for me, at least to understand what homophobia was. You complain that heterosexual weddings can't stand them. Yes, down with marriage. I'm never going to get married. I'd like to marry a random stranger and never see him again. Just for the party? For the anecdote and for the narrative. I like to do things as bizarre as possible just to show me how absurd reality can be. When have you felt the most fear on the street? When Samuel happened and all the commotion that followed, I wasn't afraid, but I was nervous to see if it was going to be metabolized in a violent environment. I'm very lucky because I live in the center of Madrid, which is a privileged area in that sense. In fact, one of the forms of violence that persists even until the day you die is the uncertainty that when you go out on the street you may meet the wrong person and anything can happen to you. It's a fear that may be unfounded, but it's never knowing when you might be in danger. And to feel that there is an alien gaze that watches you and that coerces your aesthetic decisions, your behavior and your attitude. It would be a chain explosion, because all these issues are intertwined with each other and have a lot to do with each other. These are not isolated things. The aesthetic pressure that women suffer has a lot to do, for example, with the gender dysphoria suffered by trans people. That dysmorphia of not recognizing your body because of the aesthetic canons we have is essentially the same as feeling your sex as something that is alien to you, something that causes you dissatisfaction because of a binary system that pressures you to fit into a single model of man or woman. Decorum or embarrassment seems to me to be a thing to get rid of. Does shame weigh heavily? Yes, in addition, together with guilt, it is a mechanism of absolute control. You begin to be ashamed of your sexual orientation and opinions. And, after that, comes feeling guilty for doing all these things. Actor Ethan Hawke argues that desire is what moves the world. Do you like to feel desired? I'd be a liar if I said no. Everyone likes it. Sometimes it can work against you, because desire is a thing that is consumed and love is a thing that is built. Then I would go so far as to say that I would rather feel loved than desired. My audience professes a very genuine affection for me and very little hierarchical, as an equal. That is love more than desire. After Arturo Valls' tattoo, you've now got another one that says 'putoncillo'. What's next? I don't know, but it's hard now, because I tattoo things that disgust me terriblyAnd my mother. Then you do the same thing as my daughter. It's a good motivation, isn't it? But it's getting more and more complicated because my poor mother is cured of fright to exorbitant levels. Has she supported you in your career? It's not that he's always supported me, but he's also not been an obstacle to me and that's something to be thankful for, you know? Because even if you're not in favor of the things I do, don't get involved, it's allowed me to develop in a very healthy way. I have made many mistakes, but I think it is essential to leave space for children and adolescents so that they have room for error and not over-monitor or demonize them. My mother has been an example of that. He has always accompanied me from the shadows without meddling too much in my affairs. And now, as a result of seeing myself on TV... As soon as you're on TV, you're somebody. Yes, that's how the establishment works. You make a TV show and you already have the approval of the general public. My mom doesn't understand me 100%, but she's always been very supportive. She has never been inquisitive or made me feel guilty for all the attacks or hatred I have suffered. It's complicated, really. Out of shame, out of guilt, out of fear, out of need for complacency and validation, sometimes very toxic. Setting boundaries and accepting other people's boundaries is critical. And above all, you never have to feel guilty for doing what you feel. When I fell off a balcony, it was also a literal blow and I was hospitalized for seven days with an air bubble in my brain. It was pretty strong. I guess I'm in for hits throughout my career and I trust my environment, my family and myself a lot. Maybe I don't know what I want, but I'm very clear about what I don't want. I've strengthened my character, my values so much and I don't mind rectifying or metamorphosing into something else. I know very well who I am and that will always help me to come out on top in any situation.