Grimes is one of the modern era’s foremost boundary-pushers. An iconoclast in every sense of the word, in terms of artistry, she follows her own will, defiantly rebelling against her detractors. As a musician, she is perhaps the most consistently surprising out there and exists in that strange set of off-kilter musicians such as Björk, Enya, SOPHIE, Aphex Twin and countless others.
Grimes has managed to remain relevant through the way that her artistry is fluid. Musically, she’s incorporated almost every genre under the sun, and duly, has cited a whole host of disparate acts as inspirations, ranging from Nine Inch Nails to Kate Bush. Grimes can’t be pigeonholed, and this has worked in her favour. The perennial outlier has kept interest at a high, and as a business move, it’s been fruitful, to say the least.
Over the past decade and a half, Grimes has cultivated legions of diehard fans across the globe. Some parts e-girl, some parts scenester, and evoking aspects of the cosplay world, Grimes appeals to a wide range of people, and in many ways, is the heroine of the modern countercultural movement. It’s no coincidence that she is so internationally popular, as she exploded onto the scene in the early 2010s and signalled the dawn of the new culture — a colourful and fluid one.
This is not to say everything has been plain sailing for Grimes. This year has been a hard one for the musician. Having separated from tech tycoon Elon Musk in September, Grimes has since taken to Twitter on numerous occasions to express her discomfort and dissatisfaction with fame. This was unsurprising, of course, as dating a person who is effectively the real-life Adrian Veidt must have been a struggle in terms of media gaze.
Back in November, Grimes took to Twitter and dissected the nature of fame in the internet era. Regarding the almost constant barrage of online abuse she faces, the musician likened fame to being in “an emotionally abusive relationship”. She also examined how her celebrity status had grown exponentially via her relationship with the Tesla head honcho. “I just have literally zero interest in being famous anymore,” she wrote. “My job requires being on social media”.
Detailing further, Grimes explained: “It’s equivalent to an emotionally abusive relationship to hear countless times throughout the day about what a failure I am.. just in order to do my job on the most basic level”.
Grimes is now weighing up her options. On Tuesday, December 28th, she Tweeted: “Celebrity culture is suffocating a f,” she said, before adding: “I’m not quitting music but def changing my main day job after BOOK 1. Music industry feels old and tired, reliant on archaic systems”.
There’s no official release date been announced for her new album Book 1, but it is expected to hit shelves at some point in 2022. Given her recent posts to social media, it’s clear that Grimes not going to give up music for good, but she seems to want to put it on the back burner for a while and try something new. This is only natural; everyone needs a fresh start at some point. The internet is toxic as hell.
Luckily for Grimes, her fans have already helped her to brainstorm her next move. British TV presenter Liv Boeree posited, “You should start a podcast or something,” to which she answered: “Maybe we need to introduce the concept of homo techno”.
Grimes is already an accomplished visual artist and visionary, so we’ve no doubt that whatever she does next – if she does decide on the segue – it will undoubtedly be boundary-pushing. Below, we’ve put together a list of five possible areas she could do after the release of Book 1.
Grimes’ five possible career choices:
Grimes, it goes without saying, would be an amazing Twitch Streamer. You could quite easily see her gaining a massive following on the platform due to her wide range of opinions and the fact that as far as musicians and celebrities go, she’s one of the most interesting. Grimes could take what she does on Twitter and vocalise them, going way beyond the 280 characters that the little blue bird allows you.
Interestingly, after hinting at her possible career change, famous Twitch streamer Hasan Piker suggested that she join the platform, a sentiment that other streaming heavyweight, Imane Anys, echoed by offering Grimes support if she wanted to make the jump. Grimes responded: “I wasn’t gna become a twitch streamer cuz I think public speaking is my weakness but I would def learn from u m’lady.”
It seems like it’s not completely out of the picture.
This one is maybe a little bit more out there, but again, it’s a job that Grimes would definitely thrive at. Grimes is an iconoclast first and foremost, and this, tied in with her musical ability and knowledge of the industry, would surely make her perfect material to become a manager of artists.
She’s been well known to give lesser-known acts supporting slots, and being a manager would be the best place to start undoing the archaic systems she discussed in her Tweets. She could show others how to stick it to the man by sharing her sage wisdom. If you’re in doubt, check out the humanity she espoused whilst appearing as a judge on Alter Ego. She’s a woman of the people.
Head of a Label / Organisation
This makes so much sense and goes one step further than being purely a talent manager. Being the head honcho of a record label or some form of organisation would give Grimes the opportunity to really make a mark on other people’s lives. In November, she already made her first steps into this realm when she started “AI girl group” NPC alongside producer Chris Lake, and the ethos behind it really embodied Grimes’ artistic vision.
According to Grimes, the new art/music project will serve as “a vehicle for experimentation in new technologies as they become available”, including “generative characters and music, (different) types of animation, AI-assisted art as well as spiritual technology”. In a statement, it has been said that the project will also allow Grimes to “create as other people in order to reduce the psychic pain of being in the public eye”.
NPC will set out to “hone the concepts” of Grimes’ albums Art Angels and Miss Anthropocene, “Finally manifesting the endless characters in Grimes’ head,” it was said. Adding: “NPC can do all the things humans cannot,” the statement continues. “NPC will eventually be playable, customisable, and able to cater to each individual listener’s unique desires. Decentralised Popstardom. Made, not Born.”
We wonder if this is what she had in mind when hinting at a career change? It’s certainly something for the future.
Aesthetic is a huge part of Grimes’ sonic artistry. It’s her clinical understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the audio and the visual that has helped to establish her as one of the most refreshing musicians around. Her music videos, artwork and numerous fantastical outfits are what have really culminated in her being hailed as a modern icon. Be it outfits inspired by Dune, Zelda or otherwise, it would be amazing to witness Grimes pull together all of her many aesthetic influences and create a label for all of her fans. If Kanye can do it, so can Grimes. This could be her entry point into the legendary realm.
This is one that has always run concurrently with Grimes’ musical career. A highly accomplished visual artist, this has had a huge influence on her establishing her fluid aesthetic. She once had an extensive archive of work on Carbon Made, which now seems to be defunct, but is an artist who is not afraid of using different mediums. In 2020, she teamed up with LA gallery Maccarone’s to deliver the exhibition ‘Selling Out’, which was comprised of drawings, prints, photographs and a legal document where the buyer receives a piece of Grimes’s soul. Check out her official second Instagram page to see some of her and fans’ visual work.