Vor ein paar Wochen hat Mint Simon die zweite Single Some of Everything veröffentlicht. Nachdem Mint schon mit Used For Love in der englischen Pop- und Dance- Szene durchgestartet ist, liefert Mint uns mit Some of Everything einen neuen poppigen und bunten Hit, der förmlich dazu einlädt, auf der freigestellten Tanzfläche eines Altbauwohnzimmers abzudancen, mit den alten, herausgekramten Sing Star Mikrophonen mitzusingen und sich 'mal wie ein Pop-Star zu fühlen.
Nachdem Mint bereits mit dem Trio Caveboy einige nordamerikanische Konzerthallen ausverkauft und erobert hat, möchte Mint nun als Solo-Artist einen neuen Schritt wagen und unsere Herzen höher schlagen lassen. Im Interview hat mir Mint das Geheimnis hinter den atemberaubenden Musikvideos verraten und wir haben über das Leben und die Musikszene in Montreal, Mints Heimatort, geredet. Zum Schluss gibt uns Mint noch ein paar Musikempfehlungen, erzählt mir von der Traum-Kollaboration und was uns musikalisch noch so erwartet.
Describe your music in three words.
Pop, Gay, Dance.
You have just released your second song Some of Everything. What do you want to express with this specific title?
Yeah. So for me, I really wanted to write a song that kind of described the idea of not wanting to be put in a label or in a box. And I didn't want to write something too serious. I knew that I wanted it to be playful and kind of cheeky. When my producer sent me her ideas for the track, it was so playful and it just gave room for me to say things that I might not normally say or just sort of have a little bit of attitude. The song for me feels like confidence. I was able to feel confident in the song, even though I don't always feel confident.
When I listened to Some of Everything, one specific line got stuck in my head. What do you mean by singing “I’m tired of feeling too much, lately, got used to shying away. But I’m done playing it safe, baby”?
That's a good question. "I'm tired of feeling too much" means two things for me: It means that I'm tired of taking things personally and feeling the weight of everything. And I'm also tired of feeling that I'm too much, that I'm taking up too much space or being always conscious of what other people think of me. With that line I want to express that I'm done taking that into consideration and that I’m done not living as myself or not doing things that are authentic. I don't want to overthink anything anymore. I just want to live my life and do what I want to do and make the music I want to make. I'm done worrying about what other people think.
On Instagram, you described your first song Used for Love with “late night encounters & celebrating impulses, with of course, a little emotion”. Since it was a big step in your career, what personal feelings and emotions does this song awake in you?
I've always been a very private person, and I've always been afraid for some reason to come off as too sexual in a public way. And I think with that song I was trying to find the balance between my truth, my desires and all of these things and how it should be OK for us to talk about it in a song that's fun and pop. It can just be casual, it doesn't have to be this topic that we have to steer away from.
Your music videos both for Used for Love and Some of Everything look amazing. Everybody wears incredible outfits and looks just gorgeous. What do you want to express with the fashion and the outfits you wear?
Personally, I've always loved fashion, but I was never really good at choosing what I wanted. I like to play with different gendered fashion and stuff for women, stuff for men, stuff like kind of all over the place. And then I started collaborating with a costume designer named Kayleigh Choiniere and I trust her one hundred percent. So she'll pull out the most random clothes. In the Some of Everything video I'm wearing this Beauty and the Beast robe. She asked me: Why don't you try wearing this zipper thing that doesn't really look like a robe. But then, when it's in the scene, it actually does. It's not something I would have ever tried on. I think she wore it as a dress once, but it's just having and trying on all these clothes that I would never gravitate to. Then for some reason it looks great and I'm just down to do unexpected things with fashion. I'm really starting to get more comfortable in my body, which makes me enjoy fashion so much more.
Foto: Mathieu Samson
Your music video to Some of Everything seems highly inspired by the 90s (Buffy, Outfits, vibe). What is your favorite part about the 90s?
I don't know why I'm so obsessed with the 90s. I think it's because I grew up then and I am just a very nostalgic person. It's really hard for me to move with the times. The 90s, 90s music, 90s trends and 90s pop culture have shaped my whole identity. It shaped my childhood. It's shaped so much of my life. The 90s style has inspired my music videos as well, because back then they were all so cool. We had a few music video references for Some of Everything, like Spice Up Your Life and Backstreet Boys. I remember seeing that Backstreet Boys “Backstreet's Back” music video in the 90s and their choreography, costumes and outfits. I just thought it was the coolest video ever. So I wanted to bring that element of nostalgia into my video, because it's a big part of myself and my music. I wanted to capture it.
This month is pride month and your song Some of Everything deals with as you describe it “diving deeper into my own truths” and the challenge to understand and accept one’s own identity and sexual orientation. What is your advice for all the people out there, who have not yet fully reached the point of being themselves and who are afraid of society and societal expectations?
I think it's really important for people to have people around them that they trust and who love them. Sometimes it's not the people that we expect, but I think it's important to find that and find a place that's really safe to explore and figure it out. And I don't think there's any one right way to come out or not be out. Everybody's situation is so different. I feel so privileged to live somewhere and be somewhere where I could come out and do that. And I just hope that I could be a representation for people who are not necessarily in that situation and who are looking for just to just to feel seeing, you know.
Foto: Mathieu Samson
You are still part of the band trio Caveboy. Why did you want to start a solo-project as Mint Simon?
I think it's always been circulating in my mind, and it's always something I've wanted to explore. I love being in a band and I love sharing that creativity and working on something together. And we've been doing it for so long. Then I think I just hit a point where I was curious about how my voice would sound on my own. I thought about what the things are that are important to me and what it is that I want to say, because when you're in a collective for so long, it's easy to lose yourself a little bit. I just wanted to find myself a little bit. I felt like I had to do it through music because that's my language, you know? I had written a lot of songs and I didn't know what I wanted to do with them. And then in the pandemic, it just sort of sparked this idea that I'm just going to, I'm just going to do it. And that's pretty wild! I just did it. Now it's out in public. It's crazy when I think about it and say it out loud.
As the front person of Caveboy you’ve already sold out shows across North America. What do you miss about concerts and what are you looking forward to the most when you think about the post-pandemic concert ambiance?
Oh my God, my favorite, favorite thing about Caveboy was touring and playing shows. And I really, really, really miss that. That live performance energy. There's nothing that compares to the feeling of being on stage and feeling fans that are just excited to be there. And it's this energy that I definitely haven't been able to recreate in all this time of the pandemic. And I, I really miss it, like I really do. So I'm just excited to get back on stage. I'm working on my last project and trying to figure out what that's going to be like and it's really exciting.
How can I imagine the music community in Montreal? What types of people would I encounter during a concert in Montreal?
Before the pandemic, there were so many outdoor shows in the summer, so many festivals. And the great thing about Montreal is that there are so many different types of artists. You can find English or French, hip hop, folk, experimental pop - everything. There are so many artists who come to Montreal because it's not as expensive to live here as it is in other places, even though it's slowly changing. So people come here and the city does something to them. They breed and create these music projects. It's a really great city and it always feels community based. You could turn around the corner and stumble on some outdoor shows, somebody playing on their balcony, and then you could stumble on some big festival or hip hop show. There's so much here and there's a lot of life. And I really hope that we get to taste some of that this summer.
From which artists do you draw inspiration when writing your own songs and why?
I think some big inspirations are Cher, Prince and Freddie Mercury. But then also Robyn and Harry Styles. I'm really trying to blend that nostalgic feeling with modern sounds and modern music. I'm always trying to find the balance between the 80s, 90s and the now.
What does your playlist look like at the moment? What songs and which artists are in it?
Oh, my God. I listen to so much old music. This is the problem. But I'm trying to be better. Who am I listening to right now? I'm listening to Charlotte Cardin, who is from Montreal. She's really good. Who else am I listening to? I for some reason don't spend enough time looking at new artists and I really want to. So I'm listening to Cher, ABBA or just like stuff that gets me in a zone.
If I like a song I will listen to it a thousand times. I will have like two or three songs a year that I just fall in love with. And I will listen to them so much.
Foto: Mathieu Samson
What are these songs that you fell in love with this year?
I don't know. What do I fall in love with? Well, there's Charlotte Cardin, which I definitely fell in love with her new album. I'm going to look at my Spotify and give you some good answers. Who do I listen to? So much old stuff, this is the problem...
It's not a problem. It's great!
So, I really love the new Dua Lipa album. I was super impressed with that album. I like pop music and I also listen to a lot of Ariana Grande, a lot of Britney - I just can't help it.
Let’s stick with talking about albums. Imagine walking into a record store, you have only money left for one record, what album would you choose and why?
I would say Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” because that is an album I could listen to start to finish a thousand million times. It's just one of my favorite albums of all time.
Who are you planning on collaborating with for your next songs?
I actually have a remix coming out next month of Some of Everything with my friend, Bright Light Bright Light, who is from the UK and lives in New York. It's a super Madonna disco vibe remix. And I'm so excited to put up the collaboration like, yeah, I'm really excited for people to hear it.
What would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration…. probably Robyn.
You’re probably in the middle of producing your new songs. What can we expect from your new songs or possible first album, contentwise and musically?
Definitely in the same genre of how I've been going so far: Pop, heavy bass. I like getting people dancing and moving. Just flushing through my relationships to people and to myself and really working on that self discovery through the music that I'm making. So I think it's going to kind of always be changing, but hopefully for the good.
I really want to try and do another music video before the end of the year. So I think I'll also be releasing another song before the end of the year after the remix. And it's a fun song, it's edgy and bassy and yeah, that's all I'm going to say.
What is your favorite place to be in the world?
I mean, I do like being home, I like being home in Montreal. But I also really like L.A. a lot, which maybe some people don't feel at home there. But I don't know, there's some kind of vibe that always makes me feel like anything could happen. And I really like that energy.
If you had one wish free, what would you wish for?
It's too hard to pick one wish. I think that when it comes to wishes, you can't help but wish for things in the world to be equal and better for everybody. Like, I would wish for the rich to just crumble and capitalism to crumble. You know:
I just wish for more opportunities for people who don't have it.
Now let's get to the quick question round:
Your absolute favorite song forever and ever?
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.
The beach or the mountains?
Sunbathing or going into the water?
City or country?
80s or 90s music?
I can‘t pick.
Love songs or heartbreak songs?
Toronto or Montreal?
Your plans for Saturday night?
I think I'm going to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and eat sushi.
Any plans on touring in Germany?
I mean, definitely, I've always really wanted to go to Germany. And now that I've been doing a lot of music stuff there from a distance, like it's definitely one of my top places that I'll be trying to get to as soon as possible.
Berlin is a queer-paradise. Everyone would love you!
Mint Simons stimmungsvolle, poppige und bunte Musik in Kombination mit hinreißenden Kostümen und atemberaubenden Musikvideos sind ein Muss in jeder Pop - und Dance-Playlist. Mint hat mich besonders durch seine offene Art beeindruckt, einfach durchzuziehen, was man fühlt, ohne sich zu viele Gedanken über die Meinungen anderer zu machen.
Mint ist ein Artist, von dem wir definitiv noch Einiges hören werden und ich hoffe, dass wir bald auch hier in Deutschland auf einem Konzert zu Some of Everything, Used for Love und noch anderen zukünftigen Hits das Tanzbein schwingen können - aber natürlich mit außergewöhnlichen und spährischen Outfits.