Words by Izrayl Brinsdon
I was told 10 minutes before our encounter that I was to interview him for a 20-minute slot.
I gathered my phone and notepad and began to briefly research the man, and exactly who he was. I can honestly say I had not been this fascinated by an Australian artist in quite some time.
It was immediately evident that Kirin’s whole persona is a commendable piece of itself, performance art at its finest. From the clothes he drapes himself in, to the way he carries a conversation. I was intrigued.
Kirin entered the room wearing a yellow singlet, leather strides, cowboy hat, and a leather belt with a cup over his genitals. After a firm handshake and flash of his pearly whites, we conversed on topics briefly, sharing our views on music and art.
Kirin left an impression on me—one that I still speak of quite often with different folk—as one of the smartest, purest and most comedic musicians I have had the pleasure of working with.
Today however, I’m not here to just speak of my time with Kirin, but of a topic which has been prevalent across Australian media outlets over the past week—Kirin’s removal from Laneway Festival.
Anybody who goes on the record to say that Kirin J Callinan normalises racism, ableism, and sexual assault, has completely missed the point of what he stands for. In fact, I believe Kirin is the opposite; inducing a public commentary on the toxic masculinity the pervades society across the world.
Kirin has a deep, and positive psychological effect on those who listen to his music, and his stage presence and his musical talent resonate in the minds of fans all over the world. Whether Kirin remains true to himself aesthetically, emotionally or morally, he does it well. Any artist that isn’t trying to understand their own truth or deliver something real, isn’t really an artist.
Individualism is a beautiful thing we should all celebrate, not condemn.