From a very young age, Trixie Whitley nurtured a singular creative spirit, springing from her restless inner directive. At the age of 3, she made her onstage debut alongside her father, the internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Whitley. Never resting on her lineage, Trixie set out to craft a unique personal and artistic identity. She started playing drums when she was 10. At age 11, she became the youngest resident DJ in Belgium spinning underground electronica, free jazz, ambient instrumentals, and hip-hop at raves and modern art museums. And by her early teens she was touring with several avant-garde theater and dance collectives throughout Europe (including Les Ballets C de la B, with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui).
Throughout all of this, she developed an affinity for punk rock’s nonconformist and D.I.Y. ethics that permeated her fearless genre-bending and daring life choices. After a nomadic transatlantic existence, growing up between New York and Belgium, she quit high school at age 17 and took a job slinging burgers at a NY dive while steadily advancing her music career. One of her early efforts impressed the iconic producer Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, U2). He enlisted her to front his own band, Black Dub, with modern jazz drummer Brian Blade and legendary New Orleans bassist Daryl Johnson.
Since 2013, Trixie has emerged as a compelling solo artist with three EPs and two full-length albums in her catalog. ‘Fourth Corner’, her full-length debut, co-produced by Thomas Bartlett (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Anna Calvi) and engineer/producer Pat Dillett (David Byrne, St Vincent, The Notorious B.I.G) garnered acclaim from MOJO, Interview, ELLE, Vogue, Relix, The Village Voice, NPR and The New York Times, among many other publications. In Belgium, the album went gold in its first week of sales and earned her a MIA (Music Industry Award) for Best Female Solo Artist.
Her second album ‘Porta Bohemica’ was released in 2016 to critical reviews and has won her the award for best writer/arranger at the 2016 MIA awards. Written mostly in Mexico or while on the road, ‘Porta Bohemica’ was recorded throughout a journey from New York to Tennessee to Los Angeles to Europe, which also lends to a particular variety of influences at the intersection of each moment and any given surrounding. ‘Porta Bohemica’ cribs its name from a defunct European railroad: its songs wind through landscapes of absolute subconscious that she learned to trust by largely self-producing the album with contributions from Gus Seyffert (Beck, The Black Keys) and Joey Waronker (Atoms For Peace, Roger Waters).
Trixie Whitley has recently announced the release of her new full album ‘Lacuna’ this spring. Created in conjunction with Run The Jewels producer Little Shalimar, the forthcoming record sees Trixie pulling classic soul into a future world thru a fascinating, heady blend of hi-fi electronic sounds, hypnotic rhythms, and her trademark vocals with gut punching lyrics. New single ‘Touch’ certainly makes for a delicious foretaste of things to come. Listen here.
Driven by an innate curiosity and a desire to explore and experiment, Trixie frequently collaborates with other artists. She has performed and recorded with Robert Plant, Marianne Faithful, Meshell Ndegeocello, Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade, Daryl Johnson, Emmylou Harris, Marc Ribot, Joe Henry, Bill Frisell, Kenny Wollesen, Sam Cohen, Antibalas, Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, Mark Kelley, Joey Waronker, Mark Guiliana, Sam Amidon, Laurie Anderson, Chris Vatalaro and many more.
Accidentally, Trixie Whitley’s two notable collaborations in 2018 are both rooted in ancient mythology.
With award-winning choreographer and director Wim Vandekeybus (Ultima Vez), she had the pleasure of working on ‘TrapTown’, a dazzling mixed media performance that evokes the limitless and obscure cosmos of the ancient souls, using dance, film, text and music to conceive a new modern-day mythology. Trixie delivered part of the soundtrack and also appears in the film. The piece premiered on October 20th at KVS in Brussels and will be launched internationally in 2019. More info plus a full list of tour dates can be found here.
With Eric San a.k.a. Kid Koala she collaborated on ‘Music To Draw To: Io’, a 70-minute-long sonic space that taps into the story of Io, an unwilling lover to Zeus. Trixie provided vocals on 6 of the 18 songs. Billboard recently premiered their first joint track ‘All For You’ here.
“We spoke briefly about the narrative of the album before recording,” San recalls. “She was able to make each of the song’s characters her own, giving them a voice to a level that surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. Her singing can be sweet and nurturing, bold and powerful, or chilling and sinister, but it’s always Trixie Whitley. The emotional range she achieves on these tracks is just awe inspiring to me.“
‘Music to Draw To: Io’ is due out January 25 via Arts & Crafts. Pre-orders, which include sketchbooks for what the album title suggests, are available here.
TRIXIE WHITLEY REVEALS PART I OF VISUAL TRILOGY –
“TOUCH” STREAMING NOW
THIRD STUDIO ALBUM, LACUNA, ARRIVES MAY 29
CREATED IN CONJUNCTION WITH RUN THE JEWELS PRODUCER LITTLE SHALIMAR
ADDITIONAL EUROPEAN TOUR DATES AVAILABLE NOW
Trixie Whitley has revealed the video for “Touch,” the first part of a visual trilogy leading to the release of her third studio album, LACUNA, due May 29, 2019. The track premiered last month upon the announcement of her new album and is available for streaming now at all DSPs. LACUNA was created in conjunction with Run The Jewels producer Little Shalimar, and sees Whitley pulling classic soul into a future world thru a fascinating, heady blend of hi-fi electronic sounds, hypnotic rhythms, and her trademark vocals with gut punching lyrics.
The music video for “Touch” was created by Whitley with visual artist and creative director Hannah Marshall, known for her signature monochromatic aesthetic and her work with bands such as The xx, Florence and The Machine, Savages and Goldfrapp.
WATCH “TOUCH” HERE
While the trilogy is a personal study of the space in-between, it unravels a slow-burning language of physical movement and focuses on the evolution from an individual to a collective sense of intimacy, trust, and all its liminalities in-between. “Touch” focuses on the self, the innate human desire and need for connection.
“We shot the trilogy in London over the course of 2 days. I was contemplating a lot of spaces in-between, and the different forms of trust and intimacy during the writing and recordings of LACUNA which was co-produced with Little Shalimar,” Trixie shares. “I felt movement and dance formed an integral part of the language that I wanted to use to tell this story. Around the same time, I was working with dance company Ultima Vez on a mixed media performance and got introduced to some incredibly talented dancers who fully aligned with the vision that I had. I was also lucky enough to have my dear friend and movement director Paul Zivkovich [known for his work with Akram Khan, Punch Drunk, etc…] by my side for the entire journey. I couldn’t be happier with the process and explorations we took on together and I’m excited to share these intimate films with the world.”
Trixie Whitley will be touring Europe and North-America all year in support of LACUNA. The first string of dates was just announced and includes two shows at the renowned Ancienne Belgique in Brussels – one of which is already sold out – as well as headline shows in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich and Leeds. Trixie will also be joining dEUS as a Special Guest on their Ideal Crash Tour this spring.
For all confirmed dates and updates, visit www.trixiewhitley.com.