Between Two Selves

Over the weekend, deep house artist Octo Octa updated their profile photo. It was a little different than the typically mustached man some were familiar with.

There was instead a person with the same black rimmed glasses but a top knot and clean face: the image was a subtle suggestion that the artist is queer. People posted hearts and kisses and I went onto Google searching for more information, to see if there was any mentioning of Octo Octa being queer or trans. There was nothing—because it was the photo was a tease for a large story where the artist revealed she is trans to Resident Advisor.

It’s a very sweet little story that discusses the life of a working artist balancing the money-job and the passion-job, a young adult finding themselves, and the dance music that plays along as a soundtrack. You find out that Octo—now Maya Bouldry-Morrison—is married, has been transitioning for years, and that it was all sparked by the godmother of all cool transpersons, Laura Jane Grace. It’s inspirational and, above all, speaks to the growing diversity in an otherwise macho white field like electronic music.

The article also highlights Octo’s 2013 album Between Two Selves as emblematic of her struggles with the self. The album was made when Bouldry-Morrison was coping with anxiety and clearly alludes to her transition—but that was never addressed in any of the talk about the album or in the album itself when it was released. If the title doesn’t hint at it enough or the artwork of a man cradling a female form, the album features songs like dazed, dancey “Come Closer” about wanting and needing someone removed from the self and “Who Will I Become,” a contemplative deep house meditation that feels like entering a crystal ball to look for answers. You now cannot listen to Between without the personal context. It’s a shiny exploration of the self where you can see Bouldry-Morrison’s story play out in delightful dance music.

I highly, highly recommend you check out the story here and give Between Two Selves a spin here.

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