Margot Mool | Strip It
photo credit: Theodorah Ndlovu
Words by Martin Colino
Margot Mool is the London based artist whose new single has our entire office bopping along to its sumptuous grooves. "Strip it" is such a catchy and captivating song that you can't help but tap your feet and sing along. Combine that with the song's powerful message of inclusiveness and acceptance and we are left awestruck by the experience. Blanc asked Margot a few questions about their art and creative process.
How did you get into music and how long have you been creating music?
"I was writing songs from a young age. Literally from when I was five. It’s something I would just do, so I guess music / creating has always been a thing for me. Being able to say I’m a musician has been a more recent affirmation though. I didn’t go to music college and only started to be mentored by a vocal teacher a few months ago (big love to Brenda X). I got into music through connecting with other musicians who inspired me to experiment with my voice. When I moved to London in 2015, jams like STEEZ and the Space Rhyme Continuum was where I met a lot of the people I still create with and was where I freestyled for the first time. Going to those events made me hungry to learn more. I’d only scratched the surface of music up until that point and there was so much more to discover."
Can you tell us more about the concept behind Strip It?
"'Strip It' is all about messing with perceptions. We wanted to twist the two dimensional narrative society gives us to read each other’s bodies: man = hairy, woman = hairless, femme = contained, butch = invulnerable. By aligning ordinarily disconnected ideas - like a sensual groove about being hairy and the image of people being intimate with each other in a nonsexual way - we aimed to create a whole lot of mystic confusion that hopefully guides people to broaden their views on gender. Essentially, binaries are holding us back, let’s bend and burn ‘em."
What is your favorite part of creating?
"I love the moment where you get a glimpse of the end result. This really only happens when I’m deep in the creative process with my team; midway through a rehearsal / session / shoot / show. I work collaboratively because the stuff I want to make can’t be done with just me! So when I get that feeling of seeing a project on an aerial view, it fills me with a lot joy because I’m feeling all the work we’ve collectively done to be there in that moment. I also really value the beginning of my creative process, when I’m by myself channelling whatever needs to come out."
What do you hope people take away from your art?
"All I can hope for is that my art resonates with people in some way. Whether that’s making your body move, something for you to sing or affirming part of you that needs a bit of love. With Strip It, I hope it encourages people to be proud of their bodies, and gives food for thought to those who are quick to hurt people who don’t meet heteronormative expectations."
How important is inclusivity and acceptance in today's world?
"It’s the one! So much of where we’re going wrong is due to a lack of empathy and tolerance. People are scared of each other because they don’t take time to understand opinions outside of their own. That said, it definitely feels like we’re moving out of the monolithic stone age into a new wave of fluid forms. If I compare my school environment to the opinions of younger people today, the levels of pro-diversity and inclusivity are substantially higher, particularly around queerness. We still have a LONG way to go, but we’re chipping away the bullshit."
What can we do, as a society, to be more accepting and inclusive?
"We can listen. We can share our points of view with the knowledge that they are unique to us. Don’t expect everyone to relate to you. We can take other opinions on board and allow them to alter the way we move through the world and make change. We can call out people in the moment when they are being hurtful. We can call in people to make it a conversation towards growth rather than a definitive end of shame. We can try to not be afraid to be ourselves."
Margot Mool is undoubtedly an inspiration for anyone who has ever felt boxed in, or left out by hetero-normative beauty ideals.