'I was a huge fan of people like The Runaways. I just loved their attitude of being women who were a little bit unhinged and totally in your face'
Dale Maplethorpe
10:00 29th April 2021

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Genre purity and artistic restrictions are one of the biggest stains on music today. Slightly altered variations on stuff we’ve already heard is boring and when people disregard the rigid restrictions that come with conforming to a genre, the final product can be something truly incredible. No one embodies this better than DEBBY FRIDAY. 

“It’s kind of like when you think about rock music,” she says, “a lot of people complain about the stagnation of the genre but like, the most interesting things that are happening in rock music are things that you’ve probably never even heard of, and it’s because people have taken the time to develop that taste, not just in rock music but bringing in other things and it kind of fits with this narrative of genre-lessness.” 

Debby’s music breaks down barriers that I didn’t even know existed. Barriers within barriers within barriers. And it couldn’t sound better. “When I first started making music, I wanted to make the kind of thing that I would listen to.” And what kind of music is that? “When I was younger I was a huge fan of people like The Runaways, Cherry Currie, Joan Jett, also Bette Davis. I just loved their attitude of being women who were a little bit unhinged and totally in your face.” 

The music of DEBBY FRIDAY certainly is that, just off the titles of her recent EPs alone you know you’re in for something big. ‘DEATH DRIVE’ and ‘BITCHPUNK’ hardly promise to be singer-songwriter slow jams. The thing is, though, the titles can give you an inkling but nothing can prepare you for what they actually are. It’s not just in your face: this music is more than that. When I think of music that is in your face I think of punk and noise - stuff that’s loud and bangs - and where Debby’s music definitely takes influence from these places, she doesn’t limit herself to just that. 

She has a sound that I would describe as LSD-induced psychological horror playing in an open-air theatre. It packs the punch of a live punk set with the cinematic appeal of Kubrick movies. “Before I started making music, I was really deep into the underground electronic dance music scene,” she says. “I was a touring DJ and during that time, all of the sounds I heard, I couldn’t even give you names because it would have just been a clip on Soundcloud or something… but something about it resonates so deeply.” 

Not only the production, but Debby’s vocals also give her music a lot of power. Not enough people understand the potential that the voice has. What is commonly used as a means to convey sweet sounds can do so much more. If you scream or yell or murmur or do anything in-between, you can convey so much more emotion in the music you make. Debby gets this. She has a lovely voice but she doesn’t just use it for that loveliness, she yells and sounds aggressive or indifferent and it works perfectly. “I don’t necessarily think that I’m aggressive,” she says, “I think that certain types of expression and emotions get read as aggressive but I’m just an expressive person.” 

Not only does Debby refuse to restrict her sound within a specific genre or her tone with a specific emotion but she also won’t limit the art she creates. Her music having cinematic appeal is no coincidence. “The type of artist I am,” she tells me, “I think of everything all the time. So, when I’m making music, I’m thinking of the film aspects to it.” In some of her recent projects like ‘BARE BONES’ or ‘LINK SICK’, Debby shows how well she can apply music to cinema and storytelling. “I’m thinking of things in just a very rhythmic kind of way, I have a very musical way of approaching stuff.” 

Debby’s attitude to her art is simple: boo to genre purity, boo to artistic restrictions and boo to labelling. In doing this, DEBBY FRIDAY has already managed to firmly put her stamp on the music she makes and is one of the most exciting up and comers in the game right now. So, learning from her, how do you set out to define yourself in such a flooded industry? The first step is simple. Stop trying to define yourself! 

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