An Interview with DVYR

Rising electro-pop icon DVYR released their latest EP, titled ‘Part 3’ last month. The record is full of powerhouse anthems that find a proud celebration of queer identity through emotional lyricism, rich collaborations and productions that will blow you away. We caught up with DVYR to talk about the release.

Congratulations on the release of ‘Part 3’, (it's amazing!) How has it felt getting this release out there into the world and did you do anything to celebrate?

Thank you! Honestly, it feels exciting, overwhelming and a little surreal to have the record finally out. I started writing these songs before the pandemic and so letting them spread their wings is definitely an interesting experience. I was actually at the Northern Ireland Music Prize the day that the record came out! Needless to say, more than a bit of drinking was done!

The blending of some spoken word poetry and speeches really adds to the poignancy to the EP, along with the collaborations, how important was it to bring in other voices to the process?

I use this platform to talk about the queer community, which is why it has always felt so important to me to bring other voices into the process. There is not a one size fits all queer experience, and feeling a sense of the journey of our community through the work and words of inspiring people who contributed to this record makes me so proud that i'm often moved to tears when I think about it.

‘Part 3’ serves as a  beautiful celebration of queer identity while also expressing the painful experiences that are put upon the community, how diffiucult was it to find that balance?

It's always an interested tightrope to walk. On the one hand you really want to connect with the reasons why it can be a struggle to find your identity and place in the world as a queer person. We want to illustrate that difficulty to people who haven't been through it in the hope that we can bring us all closer and make some meaningful change. On the other hand, queer people are freaking fabulous!! Some of the most exciting, intriguing and beautifully complex human beings you will ever have the pleasure of sharing a dancefloor or an iced coffee with. I think instead of finding a balance - for me the key was accepting that we are all of these things at the same time and celebrating that. I hope we succeeded!

Who are some of your queer musical icons and who are some of your electro-pop inspirations?

Oooh such a hard question!! I have to make a bit of space to say that George Michael will always have my heart. But in terms of recent inspirations who have really set my queer soul on fire - Perfume Genius, King Princess, Frank Ocean, Christine and Queens and Kelela have all influenced how I make music.

What song from Part 3 would you most want to play to your younger self?
Wow this is a really good question! I think Holding Back. That song talks about commiting to a certain performance that society sets out for you - and the realisation that the performance isn't really serving you or the people you care about. I spent a long time pretending to be something I wasn't, and as an out queer, non-binary person now, I would love to let the younger me know that they could let go of the character that they were playing for so long.

Pantheon is such a powerful tune- how important was it to leave the EP on that note and was the EP recorded with a track order in mind?
I just love this song so much! Although Pantheon was in fact the last track to be finished on the record, we didn't know how we wanted the record to flow until everything was done. I think once I had all the songs in front of me, it felt very clear that Pantheon had to close the EP - it's a battle cry. It's the queer community calling out the the systems that have created exculsionary spaces from education, to places of work, to bars and clubs and saying "we're going to take up space now and we wont be told to mute or edit ourselves any more". I can't think of a more appropriate way to close a record about evolving queer experiences.

You’ve said that making music is a way to talk about things that would normally be hard to get into - would you say that’s the most important thing to you as a songwriter?
It's certainly something that is very important to me. These conversations can be heavy, or triggering or they don't leave a lot of space for quiet reflection. Music is a way to engage someone in a conversation that they can consume and digest at their own pace. When people have time to reflect and figure out their own opinions I truly think the outcome can be transformative. Music is like bespoke activism!

Your creativity transcends sound and can be worn!  How have you enjoyed working on ‘Quearrings’ and do you find it to be more of a therapeutic task than music?
This project has completely taken on a life of it's own and I'm totally here for it! Making these gorgeous little statements of queer solidarity has been not only creatively fulfilling, but has fed my soul so much over the last year and a half. It's a way to connect with the community that focuses on the idea rather than my voice and that is just so satisfying to me.

Having released a project each year now since 2019, will this be the finale in a trilogy or will there be more in the series?
Well let's just say that there is a lot of new music in the works and although this particular chapter is coming to a close - the story is by no means over. Things really are only just getting started.

Be sure to go listen to DYVR’s ‘Part 3’ now