The dark industrial Bangladeshi mastermind from New York will grace MTV Iggy’s homepage all week long, and she gets a shoutout on MTVmusic.com.
Android Lust, an alias of solo performer Shikhee, recently released her fourth studio album The Human Animal, and in honor of her win, we decided to ask her a few questions.
Read our exclusive Q&A with Shikhee below to learn all about her fans, robot love, and why she’s so damn dark.
Check MTVIggy.com every Friday to vote on our Artist of the Week!
You’ve got an amazingly devoted fan base! What’s your craziest fan-related story? Anyone ever propose or ask for locks of hair?
I have gotten a couple of marriage proposals, but no one has asked for body parts yet. There was this girl who claimed she dreamed I had no condiments for my food. And one day she saw me in a club and offered me packets of ketchup and mustard on her knees. She must have been carrying them around for weeks. There’s also this guy I ran into in a cafe who was convinced that I wrote The Human Animal about him. It was a little creepy.
Your most recent release, The Human Animal, came out this past summer and incorporates live musicians — a first for you. Has that changed the sound of Android Lust?
AL’s sound is constantly evolving, so this is just another step. I wrote the parts knowing the strength of the musicians, so to me, it sounds exactly as it should, and it some instances better than I heard in my head
We heard that you walked around New York City recording interesting sounds for the record. How did you get into field recording? Where/what did you record?
It’s something I’ve always been interested in but never got around to doing until I heard Amon Tobin’s album Foley Room. That’s an amazing record and it pushed me into action. I am very much attracted to the idea of capturing the sound of life as it happens around you, like a sonic snapshot. I recorded subways, construction sites, crowds, birds, the escalator in the Barnes & Noble on 66th and Broadway, running water, tons of other stuff. I’d then dump them all in my computer in a folder called “found sounds,” and go through them and try to find a rhythmic or tonal element.
What’s the meaning behind the title, The Human Animal?
At a basic level the human is very much a primal being, with the same instinctive urges and same biological functions, but it’s our consciousness that set us apart. It’s about the two beings housed in the same shell, that is ultimately not different at all.
What’s the inspiration for some of the dark imagery in your music? Why are you drawn to it?
My music tends to stem from a not-so-friendly place. It’s what resonates with me and feels honest. It’s what makes me want to lift the covers and see what’s underneath. We’re all searching for something and more often than not, we’re content being numb by saturating ourselves with sensory stimulants. But it’s only by understanding this layer of darkness that you may find what you’re looking for.
Your roots are Bangladeshi — what did you listen to growing up? Did you go through pop music phases, or were you into bands like Nitzer Ebb as a kid?
Growing up I listened to a lot of rock and metal thanks to my older brother. It wasn’t until I discovered Skinny Puppy that I fell in love with electronic music. I was blown away, so I started searching back and discovering bands in a similar vein. I think I am maybe more open to pop music now than I was as a kid.
What are you listening to right now?
The Knife and the sound of my space heater.
Describe your live show in three words.
Visceral. Dramatic. Alien.
Are androids capable of love, or do they just have to settle for ample amounts of lust?
They have their own definition of love. And there is plenty of lust of course.
If you had to replace one part of your human body with a robotic appendage, which would it be?
Since I have asthma it would have to be my lungs. It would be nice to not have to suffer through singing in smoky clubs.
We loved your body painting video. How did that come about? Who designs your stage outfits?
I had this idea one day so I talked to my artist friend Paul Komoda and we had a go at it. I sat through six hours of paint for our first body paint session for a show in NY. We used to do it a lot more when AL played mostly local shows in the NY/NJ area. It became harder to do once we started touring because Paul doesn’t travel with us, and also it takes forever to put on and wash off.
The video you’re referring to was from the Arizona Fetish Prom and Paul flew out from LA to do the body paint.
As for stage outfits, I’ve worked with Plastik Wrap and Mother of London for the recent tours.
Who would win in a fight, you, Aeon Flux, or Xena?
Aeon Flux hands down.
Congrats on being our band of the week. Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you! And thanks to all the AL supporters for voting and making us artist of the week!
Watch Android Lust perform in body paint!
Top Photo Courtesy of MTV Iggy