Nine Questions w/ flowerkid About Trans Acceptance, Surviving Psychosis & Writing as Therapy
It was absolutely clear from his debut single ‘Boy With the Winfields and the Wild Heart’ that there was a fragility about flowerkid (née Flynn Jorge Sant) that likely made it a regular challenge for him to navigate this unceasingly cruel and now nearing apocalyptic human existence of ours. An emotionally stark 2020 follow up single, ‘Miss Andry,’ fairly well confirmed just that of the young, uncommonly talented Aussie singer and songwriter.
‘Who’s to say that you still think of me
I’m just weak and miserable and only five foot three
How do I compare?’
Yet currently still just an awkward, apprehensive 20 year old, he nevertheless has been striking a nerve (or several), with a growing legion of fans who find something of their own pain in his unflinching confessionals. He actually came out as transgender around the time of his first release in 2018, and so now finds himself unsurprisingly becoming a voice for a global community that is ever in search of someone who can so poignantly explicate their fears and anxieties as does he.
The arrival this month of his debut EP, the bluntly titled everyone has a breaking point, very much suggests that audience will be growing exponentially and very soon. Indeed, the stunningly well-crafted songs are rife with youthful confusion and self-doubt; yet throughout the four newer tracks he exhibits a growing emotional maturity, with lyrics that rarely pull punches, and often instead feel like a visceral punch to the gut.
Musically, the mostly self-produced songs – Alex Laska and Dave Hamme assisted – draw deftly and seemingly effortlessly on disparate genres. And so the lush atmospherics and galloping beats of ‘It’s Happening Again’ (Ft. KUČKA) are seamlessly followed by the pretty, reggae-tinged ‘vodka orange juice’, which could almost be a Björk ballad.
On the occasion of the release, we engaged him on just what it all means.
You definitely have some things to say about religion. You were raised Catholic, right?
Yes, I was raised Catholic. Wasn’t a great time for me.
On ‘I Met the Devil at 4 Years Old’ the lyric goes, “Someone came up to me with faith and hope / Saying I sinned trying to hang myself from the rope / So I told her, God was a no show.” What is your current belief system?
My current belief system is that the more good you put into the world, good will come to you too. Simple as that.
Your EP is titled everyone has a breaking point – when you’ve reached that point, how have you managed to overcome it?
Early this year I had a psychosis. That was my breaking point. It took awhile to adjust to the real world again, but thankfully I had my incredible support system to help get me back onto my feet. They all took such good care of me in my recovery, and I can’t thank them enough.
At one point in ‘It’s Happening Again’ you predict your own demise by the age of 23. Do you really believe that?
A few years ago I definitely believed that. Before being in the music industry, I felt as though I didn’t serve a purpose on the Earth. And I was blinded by that when I should’ve been looking at my beautiful family, and all the things I already had accomplished. Nowadays, I believe that I’ll be on this Earth for a very long time.
Has grappling with issues of self-worth and sexual identity in your songs helped you to better understand yourself and your place in the world?
Absolutely. Writing those issues in song form was so therapeutic, and it helped me to better understand myself, as I sat with the songs for quite some time.
Do you think in such overwhelming times as these, that it’s important for music artists to be putting out work that is very open about issues of mental health?
It really depends on how an artist feels about exposing themselves in that way. Personally, I love being open about my mental health journey, whilst other artists might not feel the same way. But I think it is very important that those of us who do openly make art in regards to mental health…that we continue to spread awareness and provide help to those that are vulnerable.
Have you had fans communicate to you that they found something of their own situation in your songs?
Absolutely! I get messages from all around the world saying how much of an impact my songs have had on them. It is truly beautiful to see how much one song can do for so many people.
As a trans artist, have you found acceptance in the music community, or do you still struggle with feeling like an outsider?
I feel that I have a great relationship with the music community. I was accepted instantly with a warm embrace. But it can get quite lonely, as there aren’t a lot of trans artists my age. Hopefully flowerkid can inspire the next gen of trans artists.
What do you hope people take away from listening to everyone has a breaking point?
I hope that when people listen, they can fully immerse themselves into my mind, and hear my story so far. I hope they can sense that their situation will indeed get better. In order to heal, we must face the raw wounds themselves. Over time, they will smooth over, and be much less painful.