The Russian-born avant garde multimedia artist is lending his talent to a good cause this weekend.
Thotyssey: Hello Matvey, thanks for chatting with us on this gorgeous day! Are you ready to box up all your winter crap, lol?
Matvey Cherry: No, I am not. I hate summer! Winter is my favorite time of the year and I didn’t get enough snow. Again.
It’s true, New York is usually so gorgeously gloomy in the winter. It’s a vibe! Speaking of vibes, I’ve been streaming some of your music, and on one level it’s kind of sugary disco fun but there’s also that cool, frosty, industrial energy happening. Is that what you’re going for musically, or am I coming from a weird place?
Hmm. This is hard to comment on–someone’s impression of your art–to be honest. When I work on any of my creative projects, I just go with the flow. I definitely like electronic sounds and robotic effects, but bass guitars and raspy, almost non-edited voice as well.
Yes, it’s kind of like simple and complex at the same time! For I’m a Demon was the five song EP you released last year… was there any particular inspiration behind these songs?
What can you tell us of your origin story, as far as where you grew up and how you began as an artist?
I was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia. This is a pretty cold place where summer happens only for one month–a perfect location to stay home and create, but unfortunately you can’t be heard worldwide from there. So it was very logical for me to move to New York.
My art grows as I grow. I’m evolving, but honestly I’m the same person inside. The stage is getting bigger and projects get bigger budgets, but this is just me writing stories in my room like [I was doing] fifteen years ago. I don’t feel any difference; my approach to work is the same.
You produced what looked like a very unique variety show experience called Lovely Dark Things late last year at The Triad. What was that show about, and might we see you produce a similar show there or elsewhere in the future?
It was three exciting acts: the mix of music and dance performance, burlesque, and drag. I invited talented performers that I like to create a unique experience for the audience. I’m thinking of another show… but don’t have any particular plans yet, honestly.
Bar drag is fun for all, but there’s arguably an over saturation of it now; and that comes at the expense of more multi-faceted artists like you. Do you wish you saw more variety of entertainment in queer spaces?
You should ask someone who has more expertise in nightlife, because I don’t go anywhere besides my shows and performances of my friends.
That’s fair. So you don’t really think of yourself as being in nightlife?
If I’m needed in nightlife, I go. If someone invites me to perform at their wedding, funeral, birthday, prom, I go. This is my work and I love it, but I’m not ready to go to work in my free time. Just like everyone else.
You are, in fact, needed to host a benefit for Ukraine this Sunday at 3 Dollar Bill, presented by We Together. There’s a great cast of performers on the lineup: Viktor Bolotko, Alaïa, Keeana Kee, Scarlett La Queen, Chico Raro, Jupiter Genesis and The Dragon Sisters! What can you tell us about that night?
Ukrainians need our help in the time of this awful war, and the best help right now is donations. All proceeds from the tickets will go to charity. We’re inviting everybody to join us this Sunday for a good cause!
So what else is coming up for you as far as music, art, writing, performances, etc.?
That brings us to a good closer: what are your hopes for this year’s upcoming Oscars?
I hope Spencer won’t get anything, because this is the worst movie I ever saw. The plot is the ersatz-parade of meanings. The actor’s grimaces can be overlaid with the voice of the car navigator, and you wouldn’t notice any difference: in three hundred miles turn left, because disaster is ahead. The dialogues were written by a middle schooler. This director also made a movie about Jackie, and they’re equally terrible.
Lol, noted! Thanks, Matvey!