PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 21: Poppy is seen on the street attending Iris van Herpen during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week wearing Iris van Herpen dress with purple coat on January 21, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images)GETTY
Poppy has spent years captivating—and sometimes creeping out—the Internet with her YouTube presence and irresistible brand of robo-pop music, and 2019 will see the android-esque starlet only expanding her reach with new projects, collaborations and a new single this month.
For 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Poppy makes her debut in the augmented reality with a starring role in A Jester's Tale(created by AR studio 1RIC and RYOT, the award-winning content studio under Verizon Media), an experience that transports viewers inside a child's bedroom to meet a cast of character holograms, including Poppy, throughout a fictional, 12-minute storyline.
But AR isn't the only new space the star will tackle this year. Poppy's 2018 single 'X" was previously announced as the theme song to the upcoming NXT TakeOver: Phoenix event, seeing her insert herself in the world of professional wrestling. Plus, the boundary-pushing pop star has a new single "Voicemail"—possibly inspired by fans' own voice messages—and music video dropping exactly three months after her second full-length album dropped. Read on for Poppy discussing all things new in the business of Poppy.
Jeff Benjamin: News just broke that you're starring in the augmented-reality experience A Jester's Tale coming to Sundance. Can you tell us what it's like for those who haven't seen it yet?
Poppy: It's premiering at Sundance, which is very exciting, and I get to be a hologram right in front of your eyes. It was designed by a guy named Asad [J. Malik, head of 1RIC], a very nice guy who created the technology. I got to map myself with over 100 cameras and really good audio recordings. You go into this big room and they can see every move you make, every little sound and breath you take. It's a little bit scary but, at the end, you exist as a hologram forever. I got to play a scary rat queen—that was my job and I had fun with it.
Benjamin: Did you enjoy working with AR?
Poppy: My only experience with technology that was similar was with when I designed my own VR experience, with a company called MelodyVR, for my tour and I got to meet all my fans in virtual reality. But this was a whole new level. It's almost like a play in a theater. It was really exciting. I'm very thankful for technology and the opportunity to be a part of this experience.
Benjamin: You recently teamed up with WWE and "X" will be the new theme for NXT TakeOver: Phoenix this weekend. Are you a pro-wrestling fan?
Benjamin: Any plans to throw down in Phoenix?
Poppy: I hope I don't get hurt, but everyone seems very nice. You can expect me and the Poppy videos with some wrestlers.
Benjamin: I really loved the Am I a Girl? album and felt you were doing a lot of questioning throughout it. Have you gotten any closer to figuring out if you're a girl, a boy or something else entirely?
Poppy: I haven't figured it out, but I'd like to stay gender neutral. I don't want to classify myself. I'm just Poppy.
Benjamin: Looking forward to the new music, some fans are wondering if you're going in a more rock or metal style. What's the latest on your creations?
Poppy: I record and am in the studio every day that I'm in Los Angeles. I'm releasing a new single on January 31, the music video will come out the same day as the song. I haven't shared the song title yet, but I can tell you if you want—it's called "Voicemail." It's just me and produced by Titantic Sinclair. The music video was directed and shot by Titanic Sinclair as well. This was the first music video that we've done just us two together, we usually get some help but we wanted to see if we could make something magic. My favorite lyric is probably in the first verse, the one about "Blood on my necklace and blood on my clothes."
Benjamin: Ooh, sounds dark?
Poppy: The video is very beautiful, that's what I'm most excited about. It's black and white. I think you'll like it. As far as new music down the line, I will be releasing a new album this year and I'm calling it "post-genre." That's how I would describe the type of music I'm making now.
Benjamin: Do you have any new years resolutions for 2019?
Poppy: I just want to meet a lot more of my fans and hopefully make it to Australia this year. I haven't been there yet and it seems like there are lot of Poppy fans there. And maybe I can hold a kangaroo's hand.
A Jester's Tale can be seen at Sundance 2019, at the New Frontier at The Ray in Park City, throughout the following dates: January 25 (2PM-9:30PM), January 26 (4PM-7:30PM), January 27 (2PM-9:30PM), January 28 (2PM-9:30PM), January 29 (2PM-9:30PM), January 30-Feb. 1 (12PM-9:30PM) and Feb. 2 (10AM-5:30PM). Poppy's Am I a Girl? Tour kicks off in Washington D.C. on January 31. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.