“I need to create all the time”: Bambie Thug on new music, fighting for what’s right and the goth tour of the year

With millions now aware of the pitch-black enigma that is Bambie Thug, the Irish-born, London-based artist has eyes on global domination, starting with a very goth tour and ending with… an orchestra at Christmas?!

“I need to create all the time”: Bambie Thug on new music, fighting for what’s right and the goth tour of the year
Isabella Ambrosio
Becca Geden

Sixes are kind of everywhere right now for Bambie Thug. They recently placed sixth in Eurovision (in the televoting, juries and overall), and were also the first Irish act in six years to qualify for the final. They’re convinced it’s the universe telling them they are on exactly the right path.

Their theatrical sonic witchcraft – that Bambie has dubbed oujia pop – dazzled and (in some cases horrified) the global audience of Eurovision, bringing something genuinely alternative to the world's biggest song contest.

Now with said track, Doomsday Blue, going viral, an upcoming Download main stage performance and a just-announced tour of the UK, Europe and their homeland of Ireland – things are only moving in one direction for Bambie. Their witchy electro-dark-pop has enraptured those who truly wish to express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of what others have to say. And with a background and education in drama taking their coven-like performances to new heights (or depths), Bambie advises you to “dress goth” for the upcoming tour.

Before their summer of darkness, we sit down with Bambie to discuss their whirlwind year so far, their deep-rooted connection to social politics, and what we can expect from their next stage of metamorphosis.

Now the dust has settled on Eurovision, how would you describe your experience?
"It was a whirlwind. But, it was an incredible learning experience, it was obviously every type of emotion under the sun. A lot of good, a lot of annoying, a lot of work… but, overall amazing. I made some incredible friends and connections and gained new fans. We got the best result for my country in 24 years. We got sixes everywhere. After I performed, and said, ‘Crown the witch,’ it seemed like somebody in the underworld [was happy] – all of a sudden, just everywhere, sixes! But I was also the first openly non-binary contestant in the history of the contest. I feel great about it, but I feel even better that my friend, Nemo, has won as the first non-binary act. C’mon, non-binaries!"

You’ve often been outspoken about sociopolitical issues you believe in, but how did it feel to have your voice silenced regarding the war in Palestine?
"The silencing made me very upset and very angry. I come from the rebel county, in Cork, and we are shouters. And we scream. And I won’t stop doing that, and now that I have an even bigger platform, even more I won’t stop. It’s important to me because of Ireland’s history. What I'm really proud of my country for, even though it should have happened sooner, is that Ireland recognised Palestine as a state. To mirror that voice as any Irish act is important. The world is crazy and dangerous at the moment for queers. I’m not going to let anybody scare me from shouting for what’s right, or what I believe is right."

So now your voice is louder than ever, what are your hopes for that power?
"I hope to encourage more people to stand up and to accept themselves more. That’s a message I’ve been getting a lot since Eurovision. I had it before, but it’s tenfold now. People are reaching out, saying they feel safe to come out to themselves, or their parents, their kids… even old people asking me about pronouns, and how to navigate this. New conversations, new dialogues, and more compassion."

With that safe space, your first-ever headline tour is kicking off in Brighton in August.
"I am so excited, but my brain is a bit (makes gibberish noises) about the stuff that needs to be organised for it. There are a lot of moving parts, honestly, thank god for my [PR agency] and my sister, because I look at an email, and my eyes go, ‘I can’t see!’ I need to start training for it."

What can we expect from the show?
"I don’t know (laughs). I think you can expect a killer performance. A lot of theatrics. I have to do a moodboard, but I’ll definitely have my dancers with me. And slay costumes, always. New songs, probably. Because I have so many songs in my vault that I need to release. I have so many to pick from."

What are you working on at the moment?
"I haven’t been in the studio in ages, and I miss it. I have about 30 songs that I need to go through, in my vault, that have already been done and I need to decide what I’ll do with some of them. Whether that’s an album, or an EP first, I don’t know. But, there will be music. Because there is so much of it, and I have even more that are half-written.

"I have the bones of a solid EP with a solid running theme because I need to create all the time. So, there will be a big project at some point, but there will be a small project at some point. And there will be singles before the tour. I just have to get my ducks in a row, navigating festivals, releases, videos, the tour... and trying to find a symphony orchestra that will re-record my Merry Christmas Baby song, with me – that’s what I want so much! Can you put it in white ink on the white page and be like, ‘You, symphony orchestra, want to work with Bambie Thug?’ but it’s hidden, so it’s subliminal. Manifest it for me."

So, if there’s a symphony orchestra out there reading this, Bambie Thug is expecting your call – but, subliminally. In the meantime, catch Bambie Thug at Download Festival on June 16 or on tour later this year. Get your tickets now

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