Elle Barbara is a Montreal-based avant-garde singer-songwriter, song selector (TS Ellise), speaker, writer, director, curator, artist and pinup, whose musical output combines elements of soul, jazz, psychedelia and underground. A lover of the odd, dark, and overlooked elements in pop music, they find inspiration in unexpected sources, like off-the-radar acts Su Tissue, Kashif, Francis Bebey, and obscure New Wave duo Rexy, in addition to mainstream luminaries like Mary J. Blige. Rising from artist-run spaces such as La Brique and Drones Club, Elle Barbara has seen their work soar to enduring acclaim in Japan and Europe, in a short career whose highlights include duets with Laetitia Sadier and R. Stevie Moore.
In recent years, Barbara’s efforts have been partly centered around trans community organizing as well as event planning. Their band (Black Space) whose lineup is solely made of musicians of Sub-Saharan African descent aims to re-center blackness and reject anti-black tropes within music & art spaces.
Elle Barbara is the curator and host of THE ZODIAC VOGUE BALL, taking place on Friday, July 19 2019 at the Decade Building.