Redcar, Cat Stevens, David Bowie… Changing names in music, perceived risk

Christine & the Queens, then Chris, then Redcar… Artists sometimes take a big risk by changing their stage names. The history of music, however, is full of celebrities who used this process.

Stop calling it Christine and the Queens, call it Redcar: Changing artist names in a song is a common exercise, from Prince to Cat Stevens, sometimes risky, even if social media is changing the game.

“While I was working so much and alone (…) the passing of red cars disturbed all my good thoughts”, the artist Redkar writes in the intention notes. Therefore, the one who now conforms to the male gender and commits to seeing himself as “trans” on social networks. And to add a layer of mystery by connecting these images of cars with “signs” sent by his recently deceased mother in an interview to the British daily newspaper The Guardian . An album appears on Friday Favorite stars, the French-language prologue to the anticipated English-language sequel. A visceral and esoteric performance was staged for the ultimate fans, before the release was preceded by two mid-week concerts at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris.

In Bowie’s footsteps

Redcar is not his first reincarnation. opening album, Human warmth In 2014, Christine and the Queens opened the doors of success for her, from her native France (USA, UK, etc.). The next one is simply called ChrisNew identity in 2018. “We can draw parallels with Bowie creating characters for himself, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane; Redcar is in this logic, and I bet that in a year or two, after an album or two, the artist will change again, he will not be Redcar for the rest of his life.Decoding for AFP Christian Eudeline, editor-in-chief of the French magazine Vinyl and Audio. “Name changes abound in music, but rarely for philosophical reasons like Redcar”he continues.

The closest approach is that of Kae Tempest, an English artist between rap, slam and poetry, who recently got rid of all genres by removing one letter from the first name, which is still on display (Kate). Cat Stevens is a special case: he stopped his musical career in the late 1970s when he converted to Islam and became Yusuf Islam (he wouldn’t convert until decades later).

When you think of an established artist, the episode where Prince becomes a Love Symbol quickly comes to mind. No intimate journey. While finding success with the Minneapolis Kid Purple Rain In 1984, he disappeared behind the cover icon to go on a show with the record company in the 1990s. Then the star also appeared on stage. Slavic (“slave”) was written on the face with a marker to protest the terms of the contract. He will reclaim the crown of Prince in 2000, when he is freed from his obligations.

Risk taking

Career bifurcations are also out of the way. Like Snoop Dogg. So, as the rapper said in an interview between two clouds of smoked weed, he called himself Snoop Lion after a “revelation trip” to Jamaica in the 2010s. The American will not convince anyone and will quickly restore the surname that gave him the foundation in the 1990s.

Another mixed experience this time. The members of Kiss would experience a minor rebound in the 1980s, abandoning their make-up rather than their names to go naked. “We weren’t lagging behind, but we weren’t leading the dance anymore.”the documentary’s founding bassist Gene Simmons admits Kissstory. The quartet will return to established faces such as kabuki theater with the fad of lucrative reunion tours since the 1990s.

Is Redcar taking a risk? “The artist is well known on social networks”assures the author Christian Eudeline Iggy Pop, Have Fun and Destroy (“The Iguana” often changes its musical volume, but never its nickname). Redcar actually tries to document her journey on Twitter or Instagram, decrying the “prefab gender binary.”

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