Antony Hegarty

5 Questions with fashion's new favourite singer

Antony Hegarty
5 Questions with fashion’s new favourite singer

Antony Hegarty

Antony Hegarty

Singer/songwriter Antony Hegarty


It’s rare when music critics, art groupies and fashion followers can all agree on what the next big thing will be but when Antony and The Johnsons debuted their award-winning self-titled disc in 2000, culture tribes from across the globe unanimously applauded. This is mostly due to the band’s lead singer, Antony Hegarty, whose multi-layered, unisexual voice combines just the right mix of angel and demon, man and woman and chic and freak. It is precisely this unusual mix that made Miuccia Prada and Karl Lagerfeld fans of Hegarty’s artistic endeavors. On the cusp of his band’s latest disc, The Crying Light, Flare.com talks to the owner of one of pop’s most legendary—and androgynous voices.


The Crying Light

The Crying Light

Antony and The Johnsons’ The Crying Light is in CD stores now.

1. What films have left a lasting impression on your body of work?

Blue Velvet—it’s a movie directed by David Lynch. He incorporated a state of suspension in his scenes with static sounds. The sounds he chose would suddenly change the perspective or the point of view in parts of the film. For example, when Isabella Rossellini appears on stage, singing “Blue Velvet” in a club, everything around her begins to shift into a slower tempo. That moment was something I really took to heart as a teenager.

2. If there is one album that has also given you the same type of inspiration, what would it be?

Well, after I saw Blue Velvet someone gave me Julee Cruise [who is featured on the Blue Velvet’s soundtrack]’s first album, Floating Into The Night. I listened to nothing else for a year. It had a big impact on me especially in my early days performing in the nightclubs as I would try to create that same feeling she created. Her voice was like wind blowing through space and time—it was pure metamorphosis.

3. A review of your new disc, The Crying Light, a writer commented on how the song “Another World” sounds like you “desperately want to leave this world and enter another.” Thoughts?

My work is rarely about escape. My intention with that song differs from that review. I wanted to articulate—using the simplest language—how I felt when I looked out at the state of the vanishing natural world and the collapsed ecology of our planet. I wanted to clear about what I see in this world—essentially, my message is “I’m scared and my heart is breaking.”

The Fallen Shadows

The Fallen Shadows

Prada’s The Fallen Shadows

4. Let’s talk to you about your recent collaboration with Prada and the fashion film, “Fallen Shadows”. Is Miuccia someone you feel akin to?

Yes, she’s a real free spirit, I love her approach to work—she’s pretty fearless in terms of reaching out to different artists for projects. They recently did a project with my dear friends CocoRosie—it was a gorgeous animation. When they told me about the theme for “Falling Shadows” I felt it was totally up my alley.

5. Your vocal work with Hercules and Love Affair has been applauded by both music critics and fashion lovers ever since Karl Lagerfeld debuted the song on his Fall ’08 runway. Do you think disco’s liberating message is much-needed today?

Yes. But I think the Hercules project was healthy disco. I loved it because the message was very positive, jubilant and yet quite emotionally mature. It’s a little subversive in that way because people are accustom to disco being kind of decadent in the ‘lets just take drugs and get high’ type of way, but this Hercules and Love Affair have such a healthful glamour to their music.