Dorian Electra: The Most Progressive Artist You’ve Never Heard


Pointless, overtly-sexual, and lazy. These are the overwhelming characteristics that can be used to describe most, if not all, of the popular music of this decade. 

Music has never been so boring, yet radio stations still seem to bombard us with the same songs, the same artists, and the same tropes for months at a time.

As I scour the depths of Soundcloud, searching for something to provide a new auditory sensation, a light emerges—with a drawn on mustache. 

At the center of that mesmerizing iridescent light, is Dorian Electra, in a gloriously flamboyant outfit, with a fedora atop their head. 

Dorian Electra’s music offers a style that transcends multiple genres, while leaving behind the tropes of materialism, sex, and overused epiphanies. Unapologetically presenting their gender-fluid identity, Electra’s mantra of inclusivity, acceptance, and shattering conservative normalcy deserves to be recognized across the industry.

Electra’s career in music began in 2010, with the release of their bubbly, philosophically acclaimed song, “I’m in love with Friedrich Hayek.” This song, although not as sensational as their recent works, still garnered widespread attention as well as praise from Hayek himself. 

Since their brief introduction to fame, Electra has released numerous songs, most of which centered on politics, feminism, philosophy, or issues in the LGBTQ+ community. Some of my favorites include “Ode to the Clitoris” and “The History of Vibrators.”

I first began listening to Electra in early 2019. I had been a fan of a collaborator of theirs, 100 Gecs, for awhile and somehow stumbled down a Dorian Electra rabbit-hole in the glitch-core and hyper-pop section of Soundcloud. 

My introduction to Dorian came via the track “Career Boy,” an insanely produced combination of night-core, pop, and 80s music. “Career Boy” is a satire of the daily 9-5 grind and its overlooked side effects on employee’s mental health, it also parodies masculine culture in the workplace with a slight nod towards the unfortunate normalcy of workplace sexual harassment. While not the most morally progressive song of Electra’s, it is radically enjoyable nonetheless; it was all I listened to for weeks on end.

Later that year, Dorian released their debut album “Flamboyant.” “Flamboyant” offers a similar sound to “Career Boy,” but tackles topics more socially prevalent than their previous singles. Through the eleven-song project, Dorian covers such subjects as the acceptance of female companionship jobs (“Daddy Like”). The extinction of toxic masculinity and the advocacy for males to be emotional and vulnerable. While alluding to the homoerotic insinuations beneath the type of male contact that society loves to glorify (“Man to Man”). As well as the issue of violence against the LGBTQ community because of how they act/appear, and the gatekeeping performed by certain LGBTQ communities. Who believe that individuals can’t identify as “this” because they weren’t subject to the amount of pain or dysphoria that others have felt, as told by the track “Live by the Sword”.

Dorian explores many topics in many different songs, but by far, my favorite song off of this album is “Guyliner,” another catchy, emo, distorted, pop song which dedicates itself to breaking the gender norm of men not being allowed to wear makeup. Dorian speaks from a male’s perspective here with such lyrics as, “I’m a guy, don’t be surprised / If I take my time, to glamorize /No reason why that I can’t try. To line my eyes, it feels so right.” 

Which may or may not have given me the courage to put some of my own guyliner on…but anyways. 

“Flamboyant” was a critical success. It gained support from critics, Dorian’s fans, and people in general. Garnering hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners on Spotify, and millions of plays on each one of their songs… but somehow, no radio play.

Since the release of Flamboyant, Dorian has released a plethora of music videos, went on a tour, played at pride festivals across the United States, and released a lot of remixes. Most notably, a Flamboyant remix mixtape featuring every single remix of a song on the album. 

After months of teasing a new project, Dorian released My Agenda late last year, which features a distinctly different sound and tackles even more socially prevalent issues in a pretty humorous way. The album features eleven songs once more and primarily explores incel culture and the toxic behavior of the LGBTQ+ community, with Dorian offering a very satirical and ironic viewpoint from their perspective; something, sure to cause all the exemplary men behind their computer screens to clench their fists in anger. 

Unlike “Flamboyant,” “My Agenda” contains numerous features that are as out of place and underground as they are absolutely incredible. These include the progressive metal band Gaylord, The Village People (who you may remember as the band behind the ‘70s classic “YMCA”), and my personal favorite, the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. All these features and more combine to create an album that sounds unlike anything anyone has ever heard, making for an amalgamation of experimental, pop, metal, nightcore, rock, glitch-core, hyper-pop, distortion, electronic, rap, poetry, and pure insanity in its most progressive and talented form. 

My two favorite songs off of the album are “Edgelord (feat. Rebecca Black),” another deserving, ironic, and satirical rip at incels and self-proclaimed “Edgelords,” as well as the song “Give Great Thanks,” which offers a similar message for incels but with a melodically dark chorus and undertones regarding BDSM. 

I would love to go on a tangent about how this is possibly the single greatest album of 2020, but I’d rather have the reader form that conclusion themselves. Similarly to “Flamboyant,” “My Agenda” basked in success but gained absolutely, positively no radio play. 

So as for the music industry, as for all the pop radio stations, so keen on playing the latest mind-numbing, sexual, lazy chorus of an A-list artist…why not Dorian? They offer the most progressive music the industry has seen in years. 

With a sound that already cements themselves as a force to be reckoned with and an identity that is unapologetically them—not some out-of-touch pop star who lives in a reality completely separate from ours. 

As Dorian continues to rack up millions of plays, collaborate with more famous artists of the past, and be their incredibly inspirational self, hopefully the music industry will stop forgetting that they exist.