GURL: For those who don’t know you, who is Smashby?
Smashby: Smashby is a queer pop artist, from the North of England!! Taking over the world one slut drop at a time.
GURL: When did you first start writing music?
Smashby: I think I started writing when I was about 12? It was my way of coping with the bullying I was receiving at school. I needed something to lift me up, so I wrote empowering fun sassy pop anthems and I thought, if these songs helped me feel good about myself then hopefully they can do that for other queer kids all over the world!!
GURL: It’s such a shame to hear about the bullying, far too many of our queer community have to deal with that kind of experience. Creating great music is definitely a nice way of empowering yourself for the future though and let’s be honest, success in itself is a fantastic way to pop that middle finger up to people who wronged you.
GURL: Did you take some dance classes or are you a natural?
Smashby: I never specifically took dance classes, I just always danced and my family were like “he needs to be on stage”, so I was in school productions, pantomimes and stage schools from a young age in which I definitely developed my dancing. But when I started having choreo in my music videos I took it way more seriously and noticed myself becoming a stronger performer.
GURL: Your latest single “Drinking Away My Problems” is so relatable – did the lyrics come from personal experience?
Smashby: Absolutely, I started off last year with so many opportunities. TV shows, my first European pride tour, more music releases…everything was going so well but behind the scenes I was suffering from an identity crisis and started to really doubt myself for the first time. I think it started just as my 2019 tour finished, a couple things happened that I wasn’t super proud of and I started to really doubt myself for the first time. But I had a lot to focus on and distract myself, then lockdown hit, I lost all my work just like everybody else and I slowly lost all sense of self and started really hitting the drink hard. I was in such a dark place and drinking was the only thing that made me feel better, it worked for a little while but when it stopped working I was at my lowest. I don’t wanna go too into it but it was bad, that’s when I wrote “Drinking Away My Problems”. I got to breaking point and needed to turn my life around, so I acted like everything was ok, went on Instagram Live to talk to my fans and just connect. I hadn’t interacted with them like that for such a long time because of my anxiety. But it was truly the thing that saved me. Seeing them get emotional talking to me, telling me how I changed their lives and helped them come out to their parents or learn to accept themselves, reminded me of who I was. I was determined to get back to that person, fast forward 6 months later and here I am. Happier than I have been in a long time.
GURL: We all relate to the lock-down element without a doubt, such an unexpected and life-altering experience. It’s inspirational that you took such a struggle and turned it around, especially so quickly, into a truly fantastic piece of music. Your fans will definitely be proud of you and hopefully your story can continue to help others too.
GURL: Which of your other hits is your favourite to perform when you’re tearing up a stage?
Smashby: Independent Bitch is always a great one to kick off the show, it really sets the tone. One song though that everyone loses their mind for is Ringleader. I never use to understand why but it’s the dance move!! When I sing “Lick it up, drop it low” I slut drop and I encourage the crowd to slut drop and they EAT IT UP. Works every time.
GURL: A slut drop is a sure fire way to get people to move, when we get to see you perform live there’s no doubt we’ll be joining in there
GURL: You got to work with the incredible Aja back in 2019, what was that like?
Smashby: So good, Aja is a sweetheart. So lovely and easy to work with! I just couldn’t believe they agreed to it, I kept pinching myself. It definitely took me to a whole new level in my career.
GURL: There’s no denying we’re a bit jealous, they’re so talented and a complete babe too!
GURL: Would you ever give drag a try yourself?
Smashby: Absolutely, I wanna do it for one of my future music videos. I have so much love and respect for all drag performers, they’re my favourite entertainers and the artistry is just on another level. I would love to see more representation of ALL types of drag in the mainstream media, I think social media is definitely leading that movement.
GURL: That absolutely needs to happen, you’d look so fierce and who doesn’t love a good drag performance? The world without a doubt needs more of it, especially more than just the cis-male/female presenting majority world of RuPaul, let’s get diverse up in here.
GURL: If you could choose another artist to collab with, who would be first choice?
Smashby: There’s so many!! Britney will always be my number one pop star. I’d love to work with Todrick Hall, I think we’d really bounce off each other. I love a lot of drag artists too, from the new US and UK seasons I’d say Rosé and Tia Kofi. Rappers wise, Lady Leshurr or Aitch. And I’d love to have a big dance track with someone like Joel Corry or Jax Jones.
GURL: Is it possible to have a “Queer Aid” moment and combine everyone for a charity single? If not, we can absolutely see a collab with Tia working really well after hearing her latest release!
GURL: You’ve done a lot of pride events, have there been any stand out moments among them?
Smashby: Honestly every single one has been a blessing and I can’t wait to get back to them. It’s always meeting the fans after the show, when there’s queue’s for like 1 hour and a half to meet me that’s pretty surreal!!
GURL: Do you have any words of wisdom for queer musicians?
Smashby: Be you! Don’t feel you have to tone down your queerness to succeed. Success comes in all different packages and you’ll navigate your own way there!! The journey is never gonna be easy or the same as anyone else’s but it’ll be worth it.
GURL: Well said and fully agreed.
GURL: Serve us a totally random fact about yourself?
Smashby: My asshole is lasered.
GURL: We can honestly say this caught us off guard and is now our favourite random fact moment :’)