You were always a woman
by June Moon
The lights go on, and there She stands in purple velvet thigh-high boots. The music begins, and Her voice is power at its rawest susceptivity. From my seat I hold Her darkness, renewing into pure light. Michele Nox is the harrowing superstar of transcendental pop music. Her recent release Monolith is wrought with harmonious dualities, and I was curious about how She wields such magic with Her voice.
Michele Nox: When my grandmother passed away, I had an angel around me saying, “How can you turn this into something beautiful?” This made me come out of a depression. I didn't want to feel dark and sad and lonely because someone I loved so much was gone. I started meditating for hours, that’s all I would do. I started throat singing as well, for hours, and that really made me so addicted to that feeling of “Wow, I can feel my fingers, I can feel my feet properly, I can feel the skin on my legs, I can feel my vessels.”
June Moon: It sounds like someone coming alive.
MN: That's exactly what it was. For such a long time I chased the darkness. I was so attracted to other people’s pain because I thought I deserved to be in pain. I was extremely masochistic when it came to everything. That self-doubt, self-punishment, and self-destruction — I was so bored of those feelings, so bored of bringing myself down every day. I think [by] coming out as a woman, finally I felt this part of my truth. As long as I’m on this earth, a woman is what I've wanted to be forever, so now’s the time to say it. I don't want to look at myself and be like, “Oh, you’re just a guy so this really sucks, this is your life, you’re fucked, you have a penis so that’s it, you can’t change it, nothing’s gonna change . . .”
JM: . . . end of story.
MN: Yeah, “End of story, too bad, go drink something, go get high.” Finally I started respecting myself by saying, “It’s not about looks anymore. Go for your truths, and that will be beautiful.” There are still some things I wanna change about myself, but you know I’m gonna go with it, and see how I get there.
JM: Let’s talk about divine feminine energy, especially because there’s a snake on the cover of Monolith. How are you playing with that energy having come out as a woman, and how are you engaging with your masculine energy?
MN: It all came rushing in. My first dreams of snakes came while I was meditating, and I was in a relationship that wasn’t working at the time, and I asked for signs. In that dream there were black snakes all over me, and the next day we broke up. I was in shock, but at the same time I was okay because something was really opening up. I would have recurring dreams of snakes, and then finally I had this one meditation where . . . I was the snake.
MN: I looked into what snakes meant, about the divine feminine and also the shedding of so many layers. All the past, just letting go. Finally I was ready to purge, and from there these awakenings kept happening. It was just epiphany after epiphany. I started writing and the song “Seven” came from that experience, where I was calling out to Spirit, and They were saving me.
JM: Was this a surrendering?
MN: It was a surrendering, and I didn’t wake up and realize, “Oh, I’m a woman now”. It was like, “You were always a woman.” The masculine side that I’ve been ashamed of for the past lifetime, finally I was able to channel and use it to my advantage. Obviously you need to use both. There’s that balance. Now that my album is complete, I feel like I was channeling both the feminine and masculine.
JM: Lyrically, what was it that you really wanted to say with Monolith? Was there a specific narrative that was important to you?
MN: I think it’s very important to express that sensitivity is actually strength, and being vulnerable is actually so liberating. You can open up — not necessarily spiritually, I’m not trying to force anything down anyone’s throat — but you are so strong when you are relaxed. That alignment of respecting your contrasts, respecting your man side, respecting your boring side, all these characters come together. What I wanted to explain in this album is that even death is beautiful. A monolith [is] a structure. It could be a tombstone, or it could be this massive, powerful place where you go to pray. The reason why I chose that name was to honour death and honour strength, power, and being alive in alignment with a spirit.