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Slayyyter has the audacity and then some. Her ferocious new single “Self Destruct” signals the dawning of a new era for the self-made popstar, one who isn’t afraid to raise some hell.
Growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Slayyyter worshipped pop culture from afar, a devout acolyte of such top 40 stalwarts as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga. She realized early on that if she was ever going to hear the music of her dreams, she’d have to make it herself. After dropping out of the University of Missouri, she began to record music in her bedroom as Slayyyter, a pseudonym she borrowed from her favorite Dazed and Confused character. Her debut single “BFF,” a collaboration with Ayesha Erotica, was written in between her shifts as a receptionist at a hair salon.
Slayyyter caught the internet’s attention almost instantly with her distinctly colossal, Swarovski-encrusted pop on a shoestring budget — glossy and saturated, but thrifty and entirely on her own terms. “I like doing things myself, I always have in every aspect of life,” she says. “These days, you can make big budget-sounding pop, but have it be totally DIY. These songs are just written by me and my friends. I want to keep the ideas raw.”
Early singles such as “BFF,” alongside “Daddy AF” and “Mine,” snatched critical praise from Rolling Stone, NME, The FADER, V Magazine, Idolator, Paper Magazine, and more. Months before the release of her debut project, she had already sold out her first headlining tour without having even performed live before. “After that first show in New York, I remember feeling like, yeah, I’m supposed to be doing this and I don’t want to be doing anything else.”
Following the release of her acclaimed self-titled debut mixtape, which dropped in September, Slayyyter featured alongside Kim Petras on Charli XCX’s “Click (No Boys Remix).” And earlier this year, lifelong hero Lady Gaga selected her 2019 single “Mine” as a part of her Women Of Choice playlist, a moment she describes as heart attack inducing. Still, despite all the love, Slayyyter never had any intention to confine her sonic palette to the mid-aughts: “I don’t want my sound to be stuck in 2007. I’m not fully ditching my old self, but I want to be someone new,” she says, adding that “the new material I’m working on has a balance between good and evil. There’s an angrier side, and a softer, heavenly side.”
That hellacious duality blazes forward on her new single “Self Destruct,” out now via FADER Label. “I made this song a while back with Wuki in LA. He started making this crazy icy sounding trap beat and I just started writing nonsense to it. I felt kind of angsty that day which is why the chorus is so aggressive, probably wrote it in about 20 or 30 minutes.” The track arrives with a Brent McKeever-directed video to match, which has her bodying a B-movie horror getup. “I wanted to be portrayed as the devil. The chess set is very symbolic of good versus evil. I always feel really inspired by vintage pin up art, and old halloween themed porn magazines. It’s sexy and scary and creepy at the same time, just like the song.”
Even with her bolder sound, the self-made ethos of Slayyyter remains steadfast. “I used to work so hard just to make enough money to buy beats from people, so the fact that making music is my job now is still so wild,” she remarks. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen to people from where I come from. Just a year or two ago I was hating my life, working as a receptionist.” If she can do it, so can you.