5 Albums That Changed My Life: Troi Irons
Indie rocker Troi Irons is a child of the ‘90s. On her previous projects, 2018’s ANTIHERO and 2016’s Turbulence, the LA-based artist plays with her own version of the decade’s grunge and alternative-heavy persona.
In conversation with TIDAL, Irons takes us back to the albums from the ‘90s onwards that shaped who she would become as an artist. Read below as she shares her moments of creative discovery with everyone from Avril Lavigne to Tyler, the Creator.
Avril Lavigne, Let Go
That was the first time that I heard someone do that switch in their voice, the yodel thing. I was like, “Woah! What was that?” That’s where I started experimenting with switching and all the different aspects of my voice.
Green Day, American Idiot
This was the first album that I bought, I was like 11. That was before I’d heard of Queen or “Bohemian Rhapsody.” For me, that was my intro to rock opera. It was anti-establishment. It was all power chords, so it was really easy for an 11-year-old to pick up a guitar and have that be the intro to playing music. If I’d started off with King Crimson or one of the more melodic Van Halen [songs], I might have quit.
Tyler, The Creator, Bastard
This was a huge one for me. It was the first rap album that I ever bought, but I didn’t really consider it to be a rap album. It was all of fringe culture that was punk rock; it was dark and surrealist. It was just weird at the time. Now, all the rappers are trying to do that, but back at that time, it was still a new thing. I started listening to it, and he has a lyric that says something about an 18-year-old kid making his own beats and videos, and I was like, “Woah, he’s doing his own stuff! You can do that?” I thought you always had to have a producer and video director. That was when I was like, “I guess I should start producing my own stuff and start writing video treatments and actually insert myself into the project.” Before that, everything I saw was a polished off major project. He opened up that space for me to explore.
Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago”
This set off another lightbulb for me. It was the first time where I’d heard someone write lyrics that way, going back to things like Papa Roach and Green Day. There’s a line in Chicago where Sufjan says, “If I was crying/ In the van, with my friend/ It was for freedom/ From myself and from the land.” There are so many levels to dissect in that. First, it was coming from a guy, and that was so cool. And like, what brings you that point? It forces you to introspect and not just think about where you are, but think about why you are where you are or where you could go in the future. Because of that, I’m always seeking.
Bjork’s Debut and all the visuals that went with that… I think I was 11 or 12 when I first discovered her music and her entity. It was just interesting at that time to see. I think that was my first real exposure to art. My mom would take me to museums, and I recognized when someone was talented. But, it didn’t inspire me. But then, I would see a Michael Gondry video that Bjork had done, and it was just so beautiful and touching. And it brought so much more to the song or the certain kind of social experiment, like when she came dressed as a swan to the award show. She is a multimedia artist. [She] pushes the boundaries of what people think art is and what is possible. It makes you feel limitless.
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