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Interview: MC Gaff E

Notion’s online editor Seb Law recently caught up with the rather dazzling MC Gaff E for a chat about her globetrotting lifestyle, rich visual style and the influences that make her so, well, colourful…

Planet Notion: Your live shows are very visual. When you’re writing music, do you think about how the song will look on stage?
Gaff E: Not really. It’s only when I do it live for the first time I discover how my body moves to the beat. Every song has different moves that are at first, beyond my control.

PN: Are there any particular artists of filmmakers that influence your style, either lyrically or generally?
G: No, none – although I’m a big fan of Jack Smith.

PN: You’ve collaborated with a lot of different artists. Are there any in particular that flowed with your unique style?
G: My great friend Ylva Falk who is part of a collective in Paris – House of Drama. We come from the same planet so we understand each other. Also, My Bad Sister.

PN: Are there any artists that you would like to work with?
G: I would like to work with other people from my planet like Grace Jones and Noel Fielding.

PN: How was performing at Burning Man? Did you do anything special for that, given how distinct that festival is?
G: I was even more primal than ever. I painted all the faces in my camp pre-show and spent more time than usual on the ground throughout the performance.

PN: Considering all the cities you’ve performed in like Berlin, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York, etc., which has been your favourite?
G: Tokyo. Everyone is SO enthusiastic. It’s pretty unbelievable when you’re up there… Staring out into a sea of VERY excited faces. It was hard not to smile back.

PN: How do you pick out an outfit and props for music videos and shows? Do you instinctively know what will work or is there a lot of deliberation?
G: I’m all about instinct. I know what I’m wearing as soon as I decide to make the next video; not a lot of planning has gone into the videos I’ve made so far. They have all happened very spontaneously where I’ve been around certain artists who inspire me at the time. I like to have a couple of ideas and then just go with the flow and direct with what I have.

PN: Are there any genres or artistic mediums that you would like to explore more?
G: I would like more theatre. I am looking to have more live visuals in the show too.

PN: If you were given an unlimited budget to do whatever you wanted for a performance, what would you do?
G: Lots of things but to start with I’d have a set design inspired by the ice scene in Barbarella and an array of outfits for all my dancers made by my favourite designer Carley Hague, inspired by the characters who live on the planet Mongo in the 80s version of Flash Gordon, performing on the moon

PN: Finally, where do you find all of your eclectic outfits?
G: On my travels – from thrift stores and flea markets from all over the world… Also, I design a lot of them with the amazing Carley Hague and am gifted with special pieces from other talented creative friends.

- Seb Law

For more on Gaff E, visit her website.

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