“This EP is like winking with a tear in your eye,” says Viktor Vladimirovich, aka Prince Johnny. His latest EP, Stupid Sex, delves into the modern queer experience in the shadow of the AIDS crisis. Through the album’s five tracks, Prince Johnny — a self-defined “queerdo” with Belarusian and Jewish roots — explores his own journey. “[It’s about] trying to navigate being queer in the way I thought I should,” he told The Calvert Journal. Vladimirovich’s parents fled the USSR in the 90s, and the artist was later influenced by his father’s “bootleg MP3s of Russian alt rock acts like Zemfira and t.A.T.u.”
Across stark piano ballads, eerie cabaret-rock, and electro-pop, the tracks in Stupid Sex seek to “find humour in the tragedy and calm in a strange land, especially when that strange land is your own body”. The closing track “Sex Party”, includes fragments from interviews with gay men recounting their own experiences as queer young people in the documentary Gay Sex in the 70s.
“Stupid Sex is an introspective and unflinching exploration of self-loathing, shame, hyper-sexualisation, [and] solitude,” says Prince Johnny.