"He seems nice, but I bet he got beat up in school a lot."
Just one of the vast array of comments on the internet about French singing sensation Sliimy (pronounced "Slem-ee"). There are no doubt lots of opinions about this awkward, yet totally lovable young man right now. Being Perez Hilton's first signing on Perezcious Records does come with it's fair share of varied opinion for sure, but when you actually take a moment to listen to Sliimy's music and the message behind it, you can't help but fall charmed to his overnight rise as the underdog. You can tell that life hasn't been a bed of roses for Sliimy and that struggle is beautifully documented in his new album, "Paint Your Face" which is out right now.
In all the interviews I've done on EQ, this one has to be the most heart-warming. In conversation with Sliimy, you really feel how important music is to him and how his life has all been leading up to this moment – when all those years of heartbreak, struggle and bits of happiness can be shared with the universe. I really enjoyed this interview and I only wish I could share with you how endearing it was to hear Sliimy say "all those songs are my little babies!" So adorable in every way – words can't describe.
I urge you all to download "Paint Your Face" right now. I've been listening to it for awhile now and every day I find some small connection to the lyrics and that, my friends, is the power of good music. It's meant to warm the heart and soul and Sliimy is one of those artists that can do just that with very little effort at all – and perhaps that's what Perez sees in him. Despite all the varied opinions of Perez and his ability to be a true powerhouse in the music industry, I think he's onto a winning combination with Sliimy and if this is the type of artists that Perez is going to plug in America, then I say plug away – more Americans needs to open their eyes to the not-so-obvious beauty that can be found in artists like Sliimy.
EQ: Well hello Sliimy – how are you today?
Sliimy: I'm fine thank you!
So let's clear something up – You're name is actually "Sliimy" not "Slimy" right? Do you get annoyed when poeple call you Slimy?
Yes, it's exactly that – you're pronunciation is cool! Slimy! No, not really annoyed but it's not the right pronunciation so I have to correct that! [laughs]
So I absolutely love the music video to "Wake Up"…
OH! Thank you. I worked with a French director on the video clip. We shot the video in Paris on a white background and they put all the action in. It was the first video clip that we had done and we shot a new video clip for the single "Paint Your Face" which will come out next. We used the same director and it's gonna be really fun. I'm going to see the new video tomorrow, so I'm really excited!
I actually heard that "Wake Up" was about a mean boyfriend who ruined your birthday…is that true?
It's not just about that, in fact it's about imagining art and also talks about serious people. The birthday was one subject for me. Birthdays are an important thing and some people miss them! The song was in order to show people that they work too much and they don't appreciate happiness. The lyrics are really linked to my childhood and people telling me you have to "wake up" because you are always living in your dream and all. I just wanted to reverse the rules in this song and show the people that it's maybe the contrary also. People are too serious sometimes.
So "Wake Up" video is nominated for an MTV Europe Award – how excited are you about this?
I'm really excited, REALLY REALLY excited! I haven't really realized it yet. It's so amazing for me and I'm waiting now, so we'll wait and see. It's an honor for me to represent France for this ceremony.
What would it mean for you to win that award?
Ohhh! You know music for me is such a big dream. When I was young I was always listening to songs to feel happy and feel confident with myself. I was kinda introverted and I've always been a loner. So for me, it's really beautiful to share your music with lots of people. If I win, I'm gonna be really moved, it will mean a lot to me. I know it sounds a little bit cliche, but it's so true! [laughs]
What has been the reaction so far to your new album "Paint Your Face"? Are you excited that it's finally out there?
Some people are attracted to the universal sound of "Wake Up" and when they discover the album they find out that the album is not just about happiness. The usual reaction is "those songs make me smile." It's a piece of my life and it can be a piece of people also because they can take the songs and just imagine life with those songs. That's why sometimes with lyrics I leave space when I'm talking about some subjects in our generation's imagination. It's really important for me to let the people imagine. When I'm on the internet, the reaction is positive, sometimes negative too…but if there's lots of negative reaction, that's life! But when they are positive, I can tell the people are in another universe when they hear the music and sometimes the people can feel the same as me and I'm really moved by that. I've always tried to search for people like me. When I was young I would always say, "are there people like me? My god, I may be too different" because all the people are laughing at you and you're like "what's the problem?" You just try to find this when you do music, you try to find some person like you to feel comfortable in order to say "well, I'm not alone". I talk too much don't I?
No not at all, don't be silly, I totally get what you're saying! I'm kinda curious, What are your favorite tracks from the album…
It's always hard to find a favorite track because all those tracks are my little babies! [laughs] In fact, there are lots of differences with those tracks because they are different moments of my life. "Wake Up" is more about my childhood and too serious people. What is interesting with "Wake Up" is the way that I'm singing is different than the other tracks. It's hard to explain exactly, but there are a lot of background vocals in that track. Maybe for you it's different because you're American and we don't have the same accent. It's hard to find one song on the album though. It's impossible for me. All those songs are my little babies! [laughs again]. I can explain those songs for hours!
You get compared to Prince and Mika a lot in the press. Are those good comparisons or do you get annoyed when people compare you and your music to them?
Really! Oh really! [laughs again] Yeah it's a great comparison – those artists are great. We are just different. That's why the people have to read the lyrics and search for some stuff about me. Mika's different, so is Prince. But again, those are great artists and it's an honor for me to be compared to them.
Now you really love doing cover songs don't you? Did you ever imagine that your cover version to Britney's "Womanizer" would get you so much attention?
NOOOOO! It's impossible to plan that. When I was being discovered, I was in my little home studio in my hometown in France. "Paint Your Face" was recorded in my home studio. "Womanizer" was made when I was starting to write my compositions. I put "Womanizer" on my MySpace and that was huge but you can't plan that you know. One day my guitarist just called me and I was in Paris without internet and he told me "I just saw you on a blog called Perez Hilton" and I was like "Your lying to me" and he was "no – I don't know what's this blog but your on it" and I was like "but it's huge, it was Perez Hilton and you don't know him?!" That was so weird! Perez put the video of "Womanizer" on his blog and that's the story!
How was the Perez Hilton Presents Tour? Did you have a good time?
Yes that was really cool. I was in the United States and I was playing lots of gigs and sharing my music with lots of people. That was a really great experience. It was my first gigs in the United States!
Speaking of gigs, you recently played London, how was it to bring your colourful tunes to the UK?
It's different. You can see that the people are touched by the music everywhere in the world. I also played in Tokyo this summer on the Summer Sonic Festival. Everywhere in the world, all the people enjoy the music. It's just universal. London for me is one of my favourite cities because when when I was young I was dreaming of London you know. London is like wow! The culture, all those artist like The Beatles, Elton John – when I was young I was listening to that. It inspired me to feel happy and gives me lots energy and London means a lot to me. I love the culture and the accent. [in English accent] It's AMAZING!
Now is it really true, do the French really hate the English? What are your thoughts on French vs. British snobbery?
I DON'T THINK SO! I don't think that French hate the English people! I don't think it's the same thing now, we are not in another century where we in a war between French and English people – it's finished right now [laughs]. Maybe sometimes it's different when you are singing in English when you are French. That can be weird though for French artists who sing in English. I come from a little town, not like London, and people are like "oh my god – he sings in English" – maybe it's in order to be an international artist or to be famous. When I started to play music, I was nine years old and I was singing gospel in the car. All my influences were all in English. I was really influenced by English. This language is really interesting to me, the intonation, the melody. I was attracted by that. The English language was my passion and the music is my passion as well.
If you could achieve one goal with your music, what would that be?
Oh that's hard! Oh my god! An odd question! It's all about feelings. You have to make the people like your music. I'm trying not to think about this at the moment. I just want them to feel free to imagine and to create their own world with my music. That's the most important thing.
What's next for you?
What's next! Lots of concerts and I'm gonna write some new songs. Lots of creation. I'm really excited about the future! I hope I am gonna come in London again!
Sliimy on MySpace
Sliimy Official Website