Though it often employs unconventional sounds, like wolf howls and cheerleading chants, Medusa’s production is never different just for the sake of it. The nonbinary ‘revenge-pop’ artist chooses whichever instruments feel most visceral – whether that means a distorted 808, a riff on CPE Bach’s “Solfeggietto,” or overlapping news reports. Medusa transforms their own joy, fear, and agony into experimental pop music by any means necessary, and sees genre as a costume instead of a cage. By chronicling their life in song, they hope to soundtrack future scenes their loyal fans live.
Medusa learned early on that they were undesirable. Despite being unsure if they were masculine or feminine, straight or gay, and autistic or allistic, they knew one thing with certainty: it was lonely in the gray area. They began to replace their traits and mannerisms with forgeries of those praised in others to avoid ridicule. After two decades of mimicking social choreography, they secretly began producing music as Medusa. Their goal was not the construction of a fantastical avatar in the infamous Gorgon’s image, but the excavation of their own buried identity. No one was ever supposed to find out who Medusa was. These days, though, the hallmark of their budding career is the personal connection fellow outcasts feel to their music – and, by extension, them.
At 23, their cover was blown. At the request of their community in Buffalo, New York, they began performing; their first show was also the first real concert they’d ever attended. Medusa struggled with identity before releasing their coming-of-gender LP, “Boy of The Year.” The artist’s forthcoming authenticity and comedic style on social media made them a leader in the underground queer scene, while the album’s unique sound drew the attention of blogs globally. Soundriv Poland called it “a breakthrough,” and Bucketlist hailed it “the most inventive [expletive] album” they’d heard in a long time. Thanks to a viral TikTok push in January 2021, their cult following increased twenty-fold. This caused a resurgence of one of their first songs, “Danny Phantom,” a dark raptronica confessional about eating disorder recovery.
Now, at 26, Medusa has harnessed the power of their divergence. Music was once a private outlet, but has evolved into an opportunity to appeal to others hiding, and tempt them to emerge. Medusa enthusiastically accepts the responsibility of being positive queer representation for their followers, who have added their songs to nearly 50,000 playlists. They hope to comfort the strange, inspire the afraid, and empower other outcasts to reclaim their monstrosity in Medusa’s name.