Laurent James

18 May
Music

Tsar B Talks Strippers, Fashion and Debut Album

Recording artist Tsar B has been dubbed the Belgian heir to the FKA Twigs and Björk musical throne. Her music is best described as dreamy, sometimes psychedelic, electronic dark R&B pop with loads of Middle-Eastern influences. Tsar B’s singles have accompanied many choreography videos on YouTube, getting millions of views each.

Publications like Billboard, NME and Harper’s Bazaar eat her up. Fashion label Givenchy recently invited her to perform in Paris. All of this to say, Enfnts Terribles was very excited to meet up with Tsar B, born Justine Bourgeus, at her recent headline show in Ancienne Belgique, Brussels. We styled Tsar for her show, shot a mini-editorial and sat down later for a quick catch-up!

 

It’s been quite a ride for you so far! From performing in LA strip joints to headlining the AB in Brussels, what has been your personal favorite moment so far?

I can’t hide my excitement when there are dancers on stage. The energy they send over to me is so incredible, it doesn’t matter if its in a strip club in LA or in a Belgian or London venue. It’s lovely to see them perform with the choreographies they already have to my songs. Though, I must say, my Los Angeles gig was so very special. The atmosphere of the club, the women who transformed into human snakes, spiders, right in front of me. I’ve never seen that type of acrobatics before. Combined with the unreal and dreamy vibe of the city itself, it was really unforgettable.

 

Your highly anticipated debut album is set for a fall release, what can we expect from the full Tsar B body of work?

It’s going to display the full spectrum of sounds and vibes I’ve had over the last three years. It will contain tribal, dark R&B, Destiny’s Child heroin, but also some classical influences here and there. Can’t reveal much more yet. Guess you’ll just have to listen when it’s out!

 

Will the album contain any features?

It will. Surprise, surprise! I can’t say much more, sadly.

 

Belgian artists are known to be grounded, sometimes a little too much in my own opinion. You are already making big international waves… Is a heavily promoted Tsar B world promo tour on the way? Will your album be released in the US?

It depends. I’m quite interested in a US or international distribution deal for my album. I’d like to do a world promo tour, definitely. I kinda think it would be some sort of underground stripclub tour first though.

Your vocals often get compared to the likes of FKA Twigs or Björk but who’s your favorite vocalist?

Yeah, I’ve heard that I have some Björk-like twists in my voice before. It’s such an honor when people say that. My own personal favorite is Jeff Buckley. I don’t think that needs any explanation, just listen to him!

 

You often wear Belgian fashion labels like Leo by Leo and La Fille D’o on stage and recently performed for Givenchy in Paris. If you could have any designer create a custom stage look for you, who would you choose and why?

Hmmm. I can’t choose! I love Y/Project by fellow Belgian Glenn Martens, Misbhv, Dilara Findikoglu and of course Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller. Fashion is a great extension of my music and I feel like all of these designers fit my stage vibe really well.

 

The beauty junkie in me always wants to know what people use on their faces. I’m curious to know what your skincare and make-up favorites are? I’ve heard that Beyoncé only wears classic RCMA pancake foundation when she’s performing because anything else will melt off. Do you have a must-have stage beauty staple?

Well, I don’t use a lot of stuff, I think. I use Estee Lauder moisturizer, MAC lipstick and Bobbi Brown mascara. I think that’s about it. I don’t have a stage staple. A friend of mine wants to start a business in IV drips with vitamins. So you can get a “shot” of vitamins right before or after a big effort. Maybe I should start supporting that one (laughs).

 

Check out Tsar B on Spotify, YouTube and Instagram.
Photo credits: Julia Dubois Rosca for Enfnts Terribles

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