Check out our interview with New Zealand based dark pop singer/songwriter Michèle Ducray who just released her new EP “THRONE OF ME.” The EP is a four track whimsical, edgy, and playful synth left of center pop journey. On the meaning of the EP she confides, “The EP showcases some pivotal times of my life. Using both dark and light pop vibes, I reminisce about my childhood, bullying, failed relationships, and even sing about the world ending! It’s a deeply personal record and some parts were tough to record, but we got there in the end!”
Working with Michèle was celebrated producer Liam Quinn (Peaches PRC, Rita Ora), who produced, mixed and mastered it at his studio in Sydney, Australia. She has received acclaim with playlist adds on Spotify’s New Music Friday AU & NZ and Apple Music’s New in Pop.
Follow Michèle @micheleducray
Throne Of Mine | Michèle Ducray | Official Music Video
Hi Michèle, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a singer-songwriter based in Wanaka, NZ. I’ve loved music my whole life and had an affinity for it, ever since I was a little girl. Growing up in Durban, South Africa, my mom surrounded me with music, such as Boney M, Elvis, Pavarotti and mass Disney tunes. I used to jump on tables and perform with my big Mickey Mouse, Elton John sunglasses and sing to anyone who would hear it! As my mom was also an English teacher, I inherited my love for creative writing and storytelling from her, as well. I entered numerous singing and performing talent shows whilst growing up and even performed for my assembly at my school, when I lived in China. Since then, I’ve been playing at festivals and writing and recording all of my own material. I have an awesome team who supports me through it too!
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Edgy, Dark, Pop.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Definitely my family and environment. I’ve been surrounded by music ever since I was a toddler, in South Africa. My love for singing Disney (favourites being “The Lion King” and “Aladdin”) really inspired me. My dad also got me into all the classics, such as, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen, who all have had a profound effect on my musical tastes. My mom got me really into Elvis and my grandma got me into Pavarotti, as well. They’re just next level incredible, this further influenced my love for music and deep desire for performance. That, combined with my love of storytelling and creative writing made me want to pursue music as a career.
Tell us about your new EP “THRONE OF ME?”
I’m so nervously excited for this one! It’s been a long time coming. It has some of my most personal material yet, so I feel extremely lucky to get it all out there in the world at long last! Singles from the EP include: Ace of Spades, Monster, Psycho and Throne of Mine. All aptly named, haha! From heartbreak, to bullying and personal childhood experiences, I want this EP to be relatable to people. I want everyone to feel like their most authentic selves when listening and like they’re free to go crazy and dance and express themselves! The latest single drop on the EP, also named “Throne of Mine”, is probably my favourite song I’ve ever recorded, so I can’t wait for people to check it out!
What’s the story behind the songs?
Ooh, I love this question! All of these songs are based on personal experiences of mine, which I feel a lot of people have gone through as well.
So, Ace of Spades, as I’m sure many readers can relate, is about a horrible situationship experience which I had that ultimately led to my heart being broken. It’s hard when you give yourself emotionally and vulnerably to someone and they fail to see your worth.
Monster is about a sneaky guy I used to go to school with who would torment me and harass me and try to make me feel as if I wasn’t good enough to be there. He even made a group chat about me to make fun of me to other people, when my first release came out. It was really upsetting!
Psycho is more-so about me letting loose and going wild with all the crazy shenanigans that are going on in the world. I’m basically living free and throwing my hands up in the air like “the world’s ending anyway, let’s just dance”.
Finally, Throne of Mine, perhaps my favourite, compares spiritual aspects with some childhood memories that I had and how myself and my mother have learnt to reclaim our “thrones” by stopping people from walking all over us. It has some hidden connotations in there which I want to leave for people to figure out, who doesn’t love a good puzzle!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Definitely being able to write about whatever I want while remaining as authentic as possible. I also LOVE the travelling aspect! This recent music video took me to Tokyo, Japan, I couldn’t ask for anything better!!
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Stop caring about what other people think of you. There will always be someone more beautiful, talented, savvy etc. so just be your unique self and you’ll find that that’s incredibly beautiful and enough, in itself. I wish I knew that then, it would have saved me a lot of childhood pain! I was a very insecure child.
How would your best friend describe you?
She would say I’m a very artistic and bubbly person!
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Interdimensional! That’s the weird part of me coming out, haha! I guess, I’m deeply fascinated by the possibility of different dimensions within this plane and the fact that I also have multiple different parts to my character, there’s a lot to explore there!
What’s next for Michèle Ducray in the last months of 2023 and for 2024?
This EP is a huge one, being my first, so I’ll be focusing on this for now and then late October I’m jetting off to Sydney to record a few more songs! I’m so excited about it! 2024 will be the year we focus on more live shows and more single drops for sure, with the possibility of international shows in the mix, it’s going to be the best year musically for me, I can feel it, haha!
How would you explain your fashion style?
J-Pop combined with Space alien grunge. WOW, lol.
What is your own definition of happiness?
One hundred percent, being with the ones you love (family and friends) and travelling! There’s a whole out there just waiting to be explored and I’m just so fascinated every time I go to a new place. We really have no idea how truly expansive and beautiful this world is.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
ELVIS. I would be an absolute wreck!! I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. I feel like he’s my soulmate, haha! Just to have the chance to talk to him and understand him deeply as well as hear that golden voice live. What a dream!
Best advice ever given?
Never give up and if you believe in yourself you can do anything. Manifest hard!
Do you support any charity?
I absolutely support any Animal Rights charity that is out there, particularly small charities doing good for animals, so I know directly where the money is going. On TikTok there are some beautiful stray dog charities you can browse through in Thailand etc. that are worth donating to! One channel is called @thestarvingdog, they feed stray dogs, which I love. The Soi Dog foundation is also really good and they help towards the dog meat trade, something I am adamantly against. Furthermore, Kevin Richardson’s “Lion Foundation” in South Africa, if you’ve seen his videos you’d be in absolute awe, he’s definitely worth supporting too!
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Going international for sure! Having also released a few more EP’s and a lot more singles, but mostly just moving my career overseas in terms of shows and festivals and definitely my audience! I’d be so excited to tour the world!
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
A classic one! Bohemian Rhapsody by QUEEN. I love screaming it out at the top of my lungs, lol!
Where we can follow you?
Book: Life of Pi.
Quote: “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” – Edgar Allan Poe
Movie: Pirates of the Carribean – Dead Man’s Chest.
Tv Series: Sons of Anarchy.
Favorite Food: Sunburger and Fries from the Lotus Heart in Christchurch, haha!
Travel Destination: Namibia.
Sports Team: Springboks, all day, every day! Let’s go World Cup 2024!