On The Cover BLU FIEFER
A vision by Wassim Fakhoury
Photographer Lara Zankoul
Interviewed By Maggie Doueihi
Blu Fiefer can perhaps best be characterized by one of her favorite terms: contrast. Her sonic landscape is layered with elements of classical music juxtaposed with 808s and synthesizers. Her latest unreleased work continues to experiment in the paradigm of the ‘traditional’ versus the ‘modern,’ while paying tribute to her heritage. The singer-songwriter appears to exist in stark contrast with her surroundings, appealing to a globalized youth despite conservative backgrounds.
Throughout her career, Fiefer consistently highlights the importance of taking control of her own narrative. The self-managed artist hustled for over a decade in an industry offering little to independent artists besides glass ceilings and endless promises of ‘exposure’. She even hands audience members at her shows stacks of customized ‘dollar bills’ to throw at her during her pole performances. “I pole dance because I want to pole dance, not because it’s like a fuck you to
That is not to say she has escaped the experience of double standards during her ten-year tenure as a prolific artist. Blu points to the irony in the simple fact that she, as a woman, cannot enter a strip club, or a ‘super night club,’ as they are referred to in Lebanon. “I’ve tried, they won’t let me in.
The only women allowed in are the ones working.”
Fiefer stresses the need for unity in the face of social discrimination. “Women grow up being pitted against each other and taught to automatically see another woman coming in as a threat, or comparing ourselves, but we need to be allies. And we obviously need everyone on the same page, so we cannot exclude men from feminism, we will not achieve it.”
“Obviously, the goal of feminism is to make feminism a redundant thing, but for now I think it’s a premature statement.” When asked why we haven’t reached that point, Blu smirks and replies “because of the patriarchy. And don’t even get me started on the patriarchy.”
Realizing social equality requires a cultural shift that can take generations to stick. According to the Lebanese-Mexican artist, the first step is making these issues the subject of conversation and raising awareness. However, she clarifies “talking is not enough, it’s also about execution and constantly keeping yourself in check. I don’t think anybody is perfect. I don’t think anybody just learns from one day to another how to be “woke” or whatever. I don’t like cancel culture, because I feel like it should be an open discussion so people can learn and grow from their mistakes.”
Fiefer refutes the misconception that feminism is about man-hating or simply rejecting socially constructed notions of femininity. “It’s about having the right to choose to do what you want with your life or your body. And not having to subscribe to certain concepts that are imposed on you by history and society.” She further clarifies that there is “no shame in subscribing to some of those concepts, just as long as it’s your choice. It’s about understanding the different ways we have to go about things to be taken seriously or to be part of the conversation. Once you see the double standard, you can’t unsee it. I personally experience it mostly when I start doing what I do most of the time, which is working as a technical person, whether it’s as a producer or a director. I have to reassert myself.”....