Her stage name, Grimes, is an homage to Ken Grimes, an outsider artist best known for his depictions of space aliens.
The Canadian singer, musician, writer, video director and model was born in Vancouver but left in 2006 for McGill University in Montreal to study neuroscience and philosophy.
There she became immersed in the city’s melting pot of musical and visual arts – releasing four albums in two years, becoming a breakout artist at last year’s South By Southwest and earning a New York Times feature and nod from Vogue as a “stylish singer to watch.”
Most recently she won a Webby Award for Artist of the Year – possibly the apex of geeknocentric acclaim.
But before winning the Internet, Grimes learned her musical craft in a most non-traditional way – hanging out in an old Montreal warehouse-turned-artspace known as Lab Synthèse that spawned her first record label, Arbutus, and was later closed in a police crackdown. There, a friend taught her how to use GarageBand to record vocal loops and now produces her own music – layering as many as 50 different vocals on her most ethereal tracks.
Her manager, Adrienne Butcher, opened Estuary Artists earlier this year after eight with Macklam-Feldman/Watchdog Management.
“Her way of combining various music genres in such an addicting way makes her a very exciting and significant artist to be working with,” Butcher told Pollstar. “She is producing her own music, directing her videos, and is now starting to explore writing and producing for other artists. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of. She has such an ingenious sense of artistry, so to work with her on executing these ideas and creations is always majorly satisfying.”
The prolific Grimes is working on a new record and building up the live show in between summer festivals, with a full tour with heightened production and lighting to follow.