By: Graeme Guttmann, Contributor, Regional Music Journal
Slayyyter took the stage at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin on Tuesday night, performing to a sold-out crowd of fans that were seeing her perform live for the first time. Boy Sim and Robokid, two of Slayyyter’s closest collaborators, joined her for The Mini Tour, and set the stage for a night of deliciously perfect bubblegum pop.
Boy Sim performed songs from his debut album, Pink Noise, to a highly engaged crowd. He played Slayyyter collaboration “Faded” and although there was no appearance from the singer herself during the catchy chorus, the crowd singing along made up for it. Robokid followed after, drenched heavily in Sad Boy-EDM, some of which was written with Slayyyter, he revealed onstage.
Boy Sim and Robokid were the perfect openers for Slayyyter. Boy Sim’s frenetic energy and sexually provocative lyrics were the perfect precursors to the more chill-wave vibe of Robokid’s music. Onstage, Robokid revealed that he just recently began singing after DJing during the beginning of his career, and he pulled it off with finesse and a little bit of autotune that only added to the techno-pop celebration.
When the lights finally dimmed for Slayyyter’s set, security cleared a path through the floor and Slayyyter strutted into the room in a skin-tight body suit accented with sparkling black jewels in all the right areas. As she took in the crowd, Slayyyter beamed from center stage. There was no spotlight, but that didn’t matter because the flashing of the cameras was enough to illuminate her.
It almost seemed like Slayyyter preferred it that way, basking in the flashing lights like a celebrity who called the paparazzi on themselves. Much of Slayyyter’s work and online persona evokes themes of fame and early 2000’s celebrity culture that fit in perfectly with the sound of her music. As she confidently dove into opening track “Platform Shoes” the crowd immediately began moving with her as she walked to each end of the stage.
Slayyyter performed each of her previously released singles. Two fans set up at the front of the stage made sure that her hair was perfectly blowing in the wind for each and every picture. Her confidence onstage was something to be marveled at – Slayyyter’s first time performing live was just months ago and some fans worried on Twitter that her stage presence was lackluster.
Slayyyter gave a snarky reply to the tweet, letting the fan know that it was her first time performing live and she had been drunk anyway. Besides, the fan’s fears were completely unfounded. Slayyyter performed like a seasoned pop veteran, winking and smiling and flipping her hair at all the right moments. It was almost a relief to see Slayyyter so comfortable onstage, fulfilling a lofty promise she made with her music to revolutionize pop.
Slayyyter has yet to put out an album or even an EP. Instead, she has built a career on a string of earworm singles that have seen viral fame and caught the eye of some of pop music’s biggest tastemakers. Hailing from St. Louis, Slayyyter rose to fame in 2018 after collaborating with Los Angeles based artist Ayesha Erotica after the two met on Twitter. With the help of Erotica, Slayyyter released 2018 singles “BFF,” “Candy,” “Alone,” and “Ghost,” garnering a dedicated social media following and a repertoire of singles that evoked a sexier, more abrasive Britney Spears.
Fans knew all the words to these singles and more, shouting them in the packed basement room that shook when the crowd jumped at the singer’s command. Slayyyter’s knack for writing a catchy chorus was on full display here when she performed two new songs, “Celebrity” and “Cha Ching,” from an upcoming mixtape. Fans were singing along to the chorus by the end of both songs, two more pitch perfect pop tracks that are as catchy as any of her other singles.
When Slayyyter finished the set with “Mine,” the viral hit released on Valentine’s Day of this year, the crowd chanted along with the chorus, singing “Oh me, oh my,” over a synth-house beat that enveloped the basement. Slayyyter smiled again when the song ended, her makeup and hair still perfectly, impossibly intact. As she looked out at the crowd and grabbed fan’s hands from the front row, it was clear that this is exactly what she wanted.
The flashing camera lights, the screaming fans, the perfect makeup, and the long blonde locks, the epitome of the celebrity It Girl of the early 2000’s. Think Britney Spears’ career with Lindsay Lohan’s party girl reputation. Slayyyter operates within these parameters, mugshots and all, and as her star rises, everyone will be watching what pop’s new It Girl does next. With the impending release of a mixtape and the two catchy tracks she previewed from it, Slayyyter has arrived as the first bona fide Gen Z pop star and the only way to go is up.
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