Plastic Martyr is very much a role model and spokesperson for anyone who has ever felt different, or deemed an outcast by others. At the age of 10 and already identifying herself as trans, she knew she wanted to be a musician from the age of 10 and began honing her talents. Upon moving to LA in her mid-twenties, where she met with several producers, she began to feel at home with those around her, and after finishing her transition, in her own words she “..knew who I was. I put everything in the past aside and had a fresh start.”
That fresh start has seen her become the first transgender artist to sign to Capitol Records, and her debut single “Love In The Dark” offers the first taste of the inspirational, powerful messages she wants to share with the world. As 2019 draws to a close, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Plastic to talk artistic inspirations, advice for those looking to support and stand up for the LGBTQ communities and her highlights of the year.
TITL: First and foremost, I have to ask, how’d you come up with the name Plastic Martyr? Is there anything in particular it stands for or represents?
Plastic Martyr: People assume that because I go by the stage name “Plastic Martyr” that it means fake. Plastic is something that has the ability to change and be molded. A martyr is someone who would die for their beliefs. I felt that name was the epitome of me. It was my MySpace name when I was 14 because I didn’t want to have my real name or information be public knowledge, for safety reasons. I started to get recognized places as “Plastic Martyr” and decided to trademark it and make it my stage name.
TITL: Has music always been your ambition or was it just something you had a passion for and decided to pursue, to see where the journey would take you?
PM: I always wanted to be in the music industry, in fact I recently came across my middle school yearbook and in there each student said what they wanted to be when they grow up, my answer was “shock rocker”. I just never unfortunately pursued it until later in life. I got swept up in the fashion and TV industry instead. Now I’m at a place where I can really focus on music.
TITL: Which artists might you say have most influenced and inspired you?
PM: I don’t really get inspired by other artists. In fact I always try really hard to make sure everything I do isn’t too similar to someone else. I hate imitations and when new artists try to be the “so and so of their generation”. I aim for individuality. However growing up Marilyn Manson was one of my biggest role models and the one of the few artist I really was able to identify with. Fiona Apple was another one of my hero’s growing up. I met her outside of one of her first shows when I was 7, she kissed my cheek and signed my shirt, the next day I took up piano.
TITL: You’re the first transgender artist to release a record under Capitol Records – just how big of a deal to you is that, and what do you hope it might or should mean for other transgender artists out there looking to share their talents with the world?
PM: It’s a huge deal for me. I feel extremely blessed for that opportunity, I really want to make Capitol proud and show them I can do this and that they made the right decision to work with me. I also feel like it was amazing for Capitol to do this and for them to start to change the narrative of transgender artists in the industry. For so long and still to this day we are seen as jokes, or not taken seriously. Finally with people like Kim Petras and myself being in more mainstream media we are showing the world that talent and art have no gender boundaries.
TITL: Tell me about your latest single “Love In The Dark.” What’s the story behind it and can you remember your thoughts and feelings from the time you wrote it?
PM: “Love In The Dark” is an anthem for anyone who’s been kept a secret by a lover. I have a history of dating the wrong kind of guy and it was an accumulation of my past relationships that inspired this song. I wanted to make sure the song was relatable to everyone while still painting a picture of my story as well. I felt very liberated writing it actually, for me song writing is my therapy.
TITL: Can you talk me through the creative process behind the video?
PM: Because the song is about being treated like a dirty little secret, I wanted to convey that emotion in the video. I wanted the video to be visually beautiful, and like an entertaining fashion editorial. I luckily had an amazing team and a very talented director, Carlos Asse, behind me making our visions come to life.
TITL: Now that this song is out there, have you started looking towards your next release, perhaps working on an EP or album?
PM: I’m currently working on my 2nd single right now with my boyfriend who is playing guitar on the track and my team from “Love In The Dark”, Andrew Balogh and Gregory Fletcher. This song is very different from “Love In The Dark”, but I’m really excited to release it. I’d love to do an EP or an album hopefully that opportunity presents itself soon. I have a ton of really cool ideas for an album too.
TITL: Given how social media has often proved divisive as to what people think of it and the freedom it gives others to express their opinions and/or target others, how do you personally find it? Is it a help or a hindrance these days do you think?
PM: Ugh, social media….The bitter sweet devil. Now-a-days anyone and their grandmother with a social media account wants to be a celebrity. I think there is so much competition now and real talent and real authenticity is often over shadowed by clones with a massive following. It’s become a popularity contest instead of being focused on talent. I hope there’s a shift in the industry where creativity surpasses someone’s IG following.
TITL: The LGBTQ community has seen a growing amount of support from people in recent years, both celebrities and every day individuals. How do you think society in general is faring in regards to their views about members of such a community and people such as yourself?
PM: I feel like while yes, the LGBTQ community is being talked about more and more we are still not being seen as equals. Politically we are still being targeted, socially we are still being mocked and rejected. We aren’t evolving as a society fast enough. I love seeing the support from allies for the transgender community, it’s amazing knowing we have a growing army of support behind us. However there is still so much hate we face every day and people outside of the community don’t really understand how scary and horrible the majority of the world is to us.
TITL: What would you like to see happen in future? Do you think it’s possible for transgender individuals and others to one day be fully recognized by everyone for being at heart just like everybody else?
PM: I’m going to be 100% honest…I don’t think in my lifetime I will see that happen. I wish more than anything transgender people can be humanized and seen as equals, but based off what I see in my day to day life I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. There is so much ignorance and hate and misinformation circulating. People would rather hate and judge in the name of their god than actually see what’s right in front of them and accept real humans for who they are.
TITL: As someone who is taking a stand and speaking out for and on behalf of transgender people and those who might be deemed “different” or “outcasts”, what advice would you give to those wanting to do their bit to help and advocate for such individuals?
PM: Show your support in any way you can – let people who are different know you support them and when you see or hear someone being disrespectful stand up to them, educate them, and shut down the ignorance.
TITL: Finally then, as 2019 draws to a close, what have been your top three highlights and what are your goals and objectives for 2020?
PM: My top 3 highlights are definitely recording with Capitol Records, making history as the first transgender artist trending on the front page of iTunes alongside Madonna, and being lucky enough to be able to start working on my 2nd single. As for 2020 I hope I can keep growing as an artist and entertain an even larger audience.