Is this former receptionist from St Louis the future of pop music? Columnist Douglas Greenwood certainly thinks so.
Being knowingly trashy and hyper-aware of the cultural climate is a surefire sign that a pop star can find love online in 2019.
In the case of Slayyyter, a young woman who knows exactly what her stans want, it’s the very thing that led to her giving up a job as a receptionist in St Louis, Missouri and selling out a tour in mere seconds.
Unless you’re super active on Pop Twitter or a homosexual man who knows someone who spends a lot of time on Pop Twitter, chances are you don’t know who Slayyyter is yet. Up until now, her brand of scuzzy glam-pop – each one sounding part like a PC Music creation and part like a late-00s conventional chart banger – has been lapped up by her predominantly queer fanbase; everybody else is having to play catch up.
So why do you need to know about her now? Well, if the release of her latest track ‘Mine’ is anything to go by, this low-key internet sensation could become a pop cultural phenomenon if she plays her cards right.
That aforementioned track is like a lost European club banger, rediscovered some 15 years after later tucked in the record case of an Ibiza DJ who took off on the back of a jet-ski and careered off into the distance, never to be seen again. It’s so delicious, catchy and – most refreshingly – conventional that it’s a wonder it’s only come to be in 2019.
“Just hit me on your celly when you’re ready,” Slayyyter says, sassing over a scintillating house beat, before launching into the catchy chorus that spawned a thousand memes: “Oh me, oh my, oh yeah” she repeats, “I wanna make you mine.”
You see, before it dropped, Slayyyter’s fans were treated to a 14 second snippet of the songs chorus that sent them practically insane. Salivating over the idea of the completed track, they killed the time by launching into a meme spree; Slayyyter – a Twitter goddess as well as a smart pop star – retweeted them for about a week straight.
That priceless promo run led her to break the iTunes Pop 100: at one point, ‘Mine’ sat at number 39, sandwiched in between Avril Lavigne and Ariana Grande tracks. In 2019, that’s near impossible for an independent pop artist – never mind one as divisive as Slayyyter.
But it’s not her debut track: Slayyyter has a bunch of unsung smashes you need to weed your way through, including the dangerous punk rawk of ‘Alone’ and the Kesha-esque cutesy anthem ‘Hello Kitty‘. Over a bunch of beats that feel like delicious bootlegs of The Neptunes’ work, Slayyyter often taps into that ‘Blackout’-era Britney we all know and love, but pushes it a little further.
While Brit, a major pop star with an image to rebuild, had to stick to cheeky winks and nuanced sexiness back in 2007, Slayyyter stomps straight into the smut and kicks it around like glittery dog shit in the most gratifying way possible. On her festive banger All I Want for Xxxmas, she forgoes subtlety and gets straight to the point: “All I want for Christmas is to get fucked / Take a big hit, get my tits sucked.”
That sexual candour is the very thing that makes so many people stan her, but will forever relegate her to a cult realm of internet admiration: adored by millions while still anonymous to the masses. But isn’t that all we should strive for nowadays? As major label pop stars encounter sacrifices and compromises at every new corner, there’s something quite liberating about one who’s able to be so flagrant and unwaveringly tacky without anyone telling her to be quiet.
Innovation in pop is impossible nowadays, but appropriating the tropes of a bygone era and bringing them back to a generation that are just starting to miss it? That’s something pop stars are (and should be) doing in their droves. Slayyyter might be one of a handful who know how to toy with our desire for scuzzy, dated europop and songs about shagging, but her dedication to upholding her Paris Hilton aesthetic and tacky sound has a whole crowd of internet fans scrambling to see her live. Give it a little more time. I reckon this summer will belong to Slayyyter.