Nicky Click, Petunia Pie, Penelope Parinoid, Plum Precious — and a whole slew of other characters — make up the one-woman electro dance queer femme show created by New Hampshire born Nicole Gsottschneider.
She’s released two albums to date on the label Crunks Not Dead, titled You’re Already A Member, and I’m On My Cellphone. Since starting out in the queercore scene of Olympia, Washington, Nicky Click has titillated crowds with her synthesized beats, quirky lyrics, politically-charged antics and outrageously over-the-top femme costumery.
Before she shimmies and bounces her way into Ottawa for the Canadian Cookie Monster tour, I called her home to discover what this Nicky Click business is all about. Despite having a cold, she graciously and cheerfully chatted with me about queer feminism, artistic identity and keeping it real.
Capital Xtra: How do Nicky Click and Petunia Pie play into your creative vision and your stage performance?
Nicky Click: Petunia Pie is the timid, little part of me that is scared, that’s socially awkward, is dealing with issues of sexism and trying to be visible as a femme. Nicky Click is this public persona who’s very out there, who takes those real human emotions and puts them up in this kind of sexy, flaunting way. I feel like the way I present it is more accessible than going up to people and being like “Hi, I’m so sad” or “Hi, I feel this or that”, you know.
CX: What about your other alter egos, Plum Precious and Penelope Parinoid?
NC: Penelope Parinoid is the paranoid part and Plum Precious is the cute little one — all of them are these different parts of women that we have a hard time integrating into one person. I think that, for me, labelling them and putting them up to the light like that is important. By displaying all these different characters, I’m trying to open up a place where everyone can bring in all the different sides of themselves.
CX: What made you decide this, following in the footsteps of artists like David Bowie and Tori Amos?
NC: You have to kind of create a divide for yourself. Nicky Click isn’t really me. Petunia Pie isn’t really me. All of them are parts of me. It wasn’t like I decided I need to do this. Definitely, I think a lot of people do. They need to get into different characters and separate themselves from the original thing they’re doing.
CX: Was there a single moment where you decided to move from the private sphere into performance?
NC: I’ve always been like a really creative person and I loved being in the spotlight. I just needed an initial push. To be honest with you, I feel like I never really would have started doing this if it weren’t for Scream Club. They took me on as their protégé. I was on their first album as Nicky GoodVibe. Cindy Wonderful from Scream Club was the producer for my first album.
CX: That is awesome!
NC: I know! It is so cool. Girls helping girls. Queers helping queers. I feel like I’ve been able to spread that love, and they’ve spread that love to so many people — like Gender Riot and Team Gina. They’re my best friends, and they’ve helped me so much. They’re all about empowering people.
CX: So your third album, Metaphorically Of Course, which is supposed to come out next year — can you describe it?
NC: I’m really inspired by a lot of ’90s music, specifically, Alice DeeJay. She was my main inspiration in high school. She was the first girl I’d ever heard doing electronic music. I’m thinking I’m doing more of a remix, a really techno-dance-club-type album. But I also kind of want it to be a double CD, to do two totally different albums.
CX: What’s your vision of the future for the many paper dolls that make up Nicky Click?
NC: I feel very happy with where I am. I feel really blessed that there’s a community that is open and actually enjoys this. I won’t ever try to be mainstream or change myself in any way. People call me really weird. And that’s fine. I am really weird, I guess, I mean, I don’t know! I’m just being myself. Of course I want to be seen and known about, and I want my message to be out there. I will always have my passion. What road it will continue to take, I don’t know, but I don’t feel like I’m not anywhere near done.