at least for lead singer Elly Jackson, who rocks boyish red hair and blatantly
defies external attempts to define her gender and sexuality.
La Roux appears to be many things at face value, including:
1) a solo act consisting of Elly Jackson (alone. no one else.)
3) a boyish-girl
4) a girlish-boy
5) a drag-king
6) a lesbian
7) a lesbian icon
9) Tilda Swinton/Duckie (see: Pretty in Pink)
La Roux is...more or less..none of these things (though 7 and 9 are possibly true).
So how does one define the indefinable?
We can't, for starters. It's not our place to decide someone's identity, musical or otherwise...
......but I'll tell you what I can do...!
I can tell you the facts, and then I can speculate while trying to respect
the artist's intent and musical integrity.
La Roux is an English electropop duo from Brixton. They are not French.
Elly Jackson handles keys, lead vocals, co-writes, and co-produces.
Ben Langmaid, the unseen half of the duo, is co-writer and co-producer, and never plays live.
Their partnership has been described as equally creative, despite the common assumption
that Elly Jackson=La Roux.
Supporting Musicians Michael "Mikey" Norris (keyboard), William Bowerman (drums), and
Mickey O'Brien (keyboard/backup vocals) round out the group for music videos and live performances.
In 2006, a mutual friend introduced Elly and Ben, and they formed 'Automan',
their mostly acoustic first project.
Influenced by the likes of Bowie, Prince, The Knife, Nick Drake, Tears For Fears, Blondie, Joni Mitchell, and Depeche Mode, 'Automan' transformed into 80s synthpop-inspired La Roux (2008).
2011 eventually rolls around, and so do the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Guess who's debut won the award for Best Electronic Dance Album?
Look at those grins!
A lot has been said regarding La Roux's gender identity and sexual orientation, and the only piece
of truth from that sea of conflicting information is from Elly Jackson herself:
“I don’t have a sexuality. I don’t feel like I’m female or male. I don’t belong to the gay or straight society,
if there is such a thing. I feel like I’m capable of falling in love with other people.
I’m not saying I’m bisexual, I’m just sexual!”
From this quotation alone, people have labeled her as homophobic, bi-phobic, and the like.
Many relying on gaydar alone claim they know she's a lesbian, but that she's
too afraid to come out of the closet.
But they know.
Others have become very confused by what the statement implies:
"How is she not male or female? Gay or straight? If she's not gay or straight,
then she must be bisexual. A hermaphrodite. Oh no, wait....asexual, that's it. Asexual!"
Fucking stop it with labels, okay? At least when it comes to personal issues
like sexual and gender identity.
Categories aside, if someone seems like a good person and can make innovative music,
they're good in my book.
I think she states her position pretty explicitly, but I'll break it down for the sake of clarity:
Note: *I do not claim accuracy in my interpretations*
What Elly Jackson Said: "I'm just sexual!"
What She Meant:
I have a healthy libido. I am sexually attracted to others. I am anything but asexual.
I really don't have a name for it. Stop calling me a lesbian. I do not belong to your club.
What Elly Jackson Said: "I feel like I'm capable of falling in love with other people."
What She Meant:
Other humans have the ability to impress me and induce feelings of love. I have a soul.
If the right person comes along, I might love them.
Stop throwing your bras at me and you might stand a chance.
Regarding her large gay fan-base:
“I knew that was going to happen. I’m not bothered by it. It was obvious that was what a lot of my
fan base would be. I don’t care who comes to the gigs or who likes the music, as long as it’s for the
music and not because they fancy you. That’s a shit reason to come to a gig.”
On bras being thrown at her:
"It's the fact that they think I want their bras — that's what's weird about it. One girl in Toronto stood
there for ages with her boobs out. Everyone just thinks I'm a raging lesbian and I want to see everyone's
boobs. Sorry, I'm not."
I don't know if I would want a bunch of random bras thrown at me,
or to be forced to awkwardly navigate a nude situation.
There's nothing sexy about some worn, anonymous piece of underwear hanging out on the floor.
She either has to talk about it directly or pretend like it doesn't exist
(when it clearly does, 2 feet in front of her). Very distracting.
Keep in mind she's not criticizing her lesbian fans or calling them weird.
She called the act itself weird. She's not even being homophobic.
I think she wants fans who love her music first, instead of those that boil it down to something superficial.
Just think of the uneasy situation you're putting this performer in, girl from Toronto (and others like you!). Tegan and Sara performances also come to mind.
You're standing there, topless, and waiting for the singer...to do what?
Even if she does like that kind of thing, I think she would want to get to know you first.
In a more intimate setting, not in front of a huge stadium of people.
So take it down a few notches, eh?
Throwing things at your love interest only reflects poorly on you.
Maybe get a backstage pass and shake her hand instead.
In my research, I read that Jackson's hairstyle began as a mistake.
While that doesn't come as a complete surprise, many notable icons preceding her
may have been used for stylistic inspiration....
A Rooster (Obviously...)
Tin Tin (The Adventures Of)
Flock of Seagulls lead singer/hairdresser Mike Score, and a similarly styled bunny
Flock of Seagulls "I Ran" (Official Video)
Fry, from Futurama
Danny Zuko (Grease)
Below is a video of the rhino in action (maybe the same one as above..?)
He or she attacks a tour bus in Melbourne. Hilarious!
Robbie, from the hit TV show Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs Intro/Theme Song
Just in case you're feeling nostalgic...
I decided to try out some Elly Jackson poses, in the bathroom, which always has the best lighting.
I learned a thing or two from watching America's Next Top Model...
The amount of combing, hairspray and gel it took to achieve this look was astonishing.
Even though I might be really rocking it, I had a hard time keeping it styled......
It's pretty impractical to wear out on the town unless you work in some glue.
I showed these pictures to my mom (always a lady unafraid to speak her mind),
and here is that conversation transcribed below:
Me: "Look.. (pointing at photo), I should wear my hair like this all the time huh?"
Mom: "No. I don't like it. Too butch. You look like your brother."
Me: "It's for a post. About La Roux. Do you know her?"
Mom: "Must be some butch girl.....I like you with your hair down..."
^^ This ^^ coming from someone with much shorter hair than me!
And! Someone who was Alfalfa from the Little Rascals for Halloween....
She really pulled that shit off, the resemblance was uncanny. I wish I had one of her dressed up.
But this was the 90s...so that's impossible.
Hah....I love my mom for staying true to her honest and wonderful self.
Lets move on to some music, which is what the post is really about.
La Roux "Tigerlily" (MTV Live Session-2009)
La Roux "Tigerlily (B. Rich Remix)"
La Roux "Tigerlily" (Official Behind the Scenes Footage)
La Roux "Bulletproof" (Abbey Road Sessions)
La Roux "Bulletproof (Nick FM Remix)"
I'm Not Your Toy
La Roux "I'm Not Your Toy"
La Roux "I'm Not Your Toy (Nero Remix)"
La Roux "I'm Not Your Toy" (Ukelele and Kazoo Cover)
Of all the La Roux covers, this one is my favorite. She did a bang up job.
In For The Kill
La Roux "In For the Kill" (Official Video)
La Roux "In For the Kill (Skrillex Remix)"
These two videos not only have the best audio quality I could find on Youtube,
but also have something more interesting to watch than a still image!
The first one is a guy popping and locking on some grass, and the other is a professionally made
video of some girl taking her clothes off and rolling around the floor to Dubstep. Typical response.
I couldn't ignore its status as the only professional quality video for the remix.
You can pick which one to watch, or just watch both.
Option 1: Poppin' n' Lockin' (much skill required)
Option 2: rolling around in underwear (little skill required)
She kind of.....ends up naked at the end.......so I wouldn't watch it at work and other similar places.
I can't believe Youtube hosts this shit! It is definitely a well done video, but it's also borderline porn.
La Roux "In For the Kill (Skream Remix)"
La Roux "In For the Kill (piano cover)"
The majority of La Roux's music (and a few remixes) can be found here:
Most other remixes can be found on beatport or soundcloud,
but you can look elsewhere for those.