You know how some kids are an ‘accident’? Sometimes, sweet impetuous loving leads to little kiddos. Other times, it results in pop star quality. Tsar B’s front lady Justine Bourgeus started writing by accident, as a cure for boredom while touring as a violinist with other bands. Many buses, a lot of doodles in an unsteady hand and many muddled emotions-turned-notes later, a first single by the name of Escalate was born out of wedlock.
As these things go, Bourgeus turned out to either have very many friends, or a piece of rough, yet to be polished talent on her hands. BBC Radio 1, The Fader and Noisey seemingly went for option B, giving her single airplay and a first round of honest applause. All of a sudden, Tsar B rhymed with Björk and M.I.A., according to media in Belgium and abroad.
Thus, a young lady sees herself sky-rocketed into a brave new world in which she turns her hopes of being the first violinist of a classical orchestra into being Tsar B. “Two years after the fact, I’m rather addicted to being Tsar B. I can’t wait to go out and play. I’m on fire,” Bourgeus says.
The Games I Played, her self-released debut, further builds on her sympathy for things with strings, oriental aspirations and her love of Beyoncé. “It’s all in the title, really. The whole album is about the games we all play, and the ideas people entertain about one another. It’s about people who trick me, and people I’ve tricked back. I’m a very loving person, but if you let me down, I just might turn it into a track,” Bourgeus says, only half joking.
Bourgeus’ classical past still filters through in her love of the baroque and Bach’s polyphonic progressions. But this girl knows how to shake yer booty too—as proved by the panoply of YouTube videos of Brazilian dance gods milling around to her urban take on what it’s like to be a Persian princess. A whole lotta 90s, a bit of dark imperialism and a drum that beats to the tune of gal who know exactly what she wants. Right this minute, please.
So move aside, Queen B, for the nillies have come and gone and this tsarina is about to make a move for the throne.
Tsar B released her debut album ‘The Games I Played’ on October 12 2018.