striking dark pop artist Michèle Ducray

New Zealand-based rising pop artist Michèle Ducray has released her new single, ‘Manifesto’, and there are dark goings on in the song’s video.

Originally from South Africa but now living in a sleepy part of New Zealand’s South Island, Ducray’s sleepy surroundings belie the foreboding visions that she conjures in her music.

‘Manifesto’ infuses a creeping sense of horror into its glitchy pop production. “The song is about a serial killer chasing a victim, who might not be such a victim after all,” reveals Ducray.

That might be mysterious and sinister but ‘Manifesto’ is propelled with lightly euphoric EDM-inflected beats that never allow the track to be overwhelmed by the horror.

Directed by Shae Sterling, the kaleidoscopic music video brings to life Ducray’s vision with vivid imagery and startling suspense. A self-confessed fan of the peculiar, songs like ‘Manifesto’ should help Ducray stand out in a crowded pop field.

To mark the release of her new single, we caught up with the singer as part of our popular Get To Know series to find out more about her life and music.

Michèle Ducray’s ‘Manifesto’ is out now on all digital platforms.

Love Pop?

Get the latest Pop news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

For more on this topic, follow the Pop Observer.

YouTube VideoPlay

How did your artist name come about?

So my artist name, Michèle Ducray, is actually my real name. I can thank my Mauritian/South African ancestry for that.

How would you describe your music to your grandma?

I would describe my music as an edgy, pop-infused horror story. While that would probably alarm a few grandmas, I also really love  it when my songs are able to tell an interesting tale and capture the audience emotionally, through heavier, EDM-inspired beats.

Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

‘Midnight’ was written during the first lockdown and described my feelings of loneliness and isolation at the time, something we can all relate to. I like to visualise stories before writing my music, so I pictured a car just driving at night, and all these flashes and colours of red light.

My latest release, ‘Manifesto’, was inspired by Ted Bundy, Silence of the Lambs, and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, depicts a seemingly naive young, “doll-like” woman, getting caught up in a serial killer’s web. However, I love a good feminine-driven power anthem, so like the badass she is, his fate becomes sealed, as he becomes her victim.

What do you love about your hometown?

I’m originally from Durban, South Africa but I live on an olive farm in Canterbury, as I’m based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I love the fact that the air is so fresh and it’s a private place and so full of nature! Everyone knows each other in Christchurch, we’re like a small family, which is super cool.

Career highlight so far?

Scoring two of NZ’s biggest festivals of 2022, Electric Avenue and Soundsplash. Unfortunately Electric Avenue got cancelled this year due to COVID, but seeing my name on that lineup was pretty amazing. I did get to play Soundsplash in January this year which was lucky! I met so many talented artists as well, it was an amazing time.

Fave non-music hobby?

I love going to the gym and working off my worries, as well as doing some yoga or hiking in my downtime.

What’s on your dream rider?

I love this question. I want to say something funny just to be and diva-like! Honestly though, it would be pretty minimal. A nice green room for outfit changes and makeup, some snacks like hummus, crackers, fruit, brie cheese, lozenges so I can stop coughing all the time, and a lot of water. And maybe a massage table and nice sound system to listen to some ASMR.

@micheleducray

Manifesto BTS (that’s a really big knife) #bts#behindthescenes #euphoria #fypp #aroundtheworld #Womeninmusic #femalesingersongwriter #tiktoksingers

♬ original sound – micheleducray – micheleducray

Dream music collaboration?

This is a super tough question. My all-time favourite musician is Prince, so I would’ve absolutely loved that. I also currently really like The WEEKND and Doja Cat’s vibe.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself having released a few albums, touring both nationally and worldwide, as well as having a few international festivals under my belt!

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Some old school Black Eyed Peas! ‘Don’t Lie’ is a super fun one to sing.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’d say from my mother, as she certainly knows best. To not care if anyone tells you that you can’t do something because “yes, you can!”

What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?

I’m obsessed with quite a few things! I think I have quite an addictive personality. I absolutely love rings and hope to have a collection of them one day. I also enjoy zodiac signs and watching tarot readings on YouTube.

YouTube VideoPlay
Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.

to Rolling Stone magazine

to Rolling Stone magazine