‘We do exactly what we want, especially on stage’

The rap duo Lionstorm consists of Skerrie Sterrie (v) and Dirty Mouse.Statue Nina Schollaardt

Dirty Mouse and Skerrie Sterrie are their names. And let’s just say they’re in their twenties as far as age goes. Mouse and Sterrie, as they usually call themselves for short, have been in a love affair for over seven years. And for two years now they have formed Lionstorm, who primarily make hip-hop, but are also a design duo. Their clothes can be seen at an exhibition in Bijenkorf.

In the United States, heterosexuality is no longer the norm in hip-hop and related music genres. See and hear artists like Lil Nas X, Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator. In the Netherlands, the queer duo Lionstorm is an exception for now. “But I can’t imagine there aren’t more artists like us,” says Sterrie. “Probably they are busy working in the studio, their time will come.”

Lionstorm debuted in the summer of 2019 with the single No H8ro (pronounced no hetero), whose title was a response to no homosexual, the cry with which heterosexuals sometimes indicate that we should not think they are gay. It was a flying start for the duo, who were immediately invited to festivals such as Noorderslag and Down The Rabbit Hole.

As with several acts that started at the time, corona was a major setback. Now Lionstorm is touring again, and the duo will be in Melkweg next week. They have missed contact with the public. “Every show is a party, the audience gives me so much adrenaline that sometimes I can’t sleep,” says Muis. Sterrie: “If we do multiple shows in a week, I feel like I’ve been put through the dryer, but it’s a great thing to do.”

Woo Ha

Who comes to those shows? “It’s very different and I’m very happy about that,” says Sterrie. “What I like is that we also attract a really young audience, between 13 and 18. Alternative kids, not necessarily just queer. They stand in front and roar with everything. Then I think: yes, they found us, I like it. I would have gone to Lionstorm too when I was young. At the back of the room are often parents of gay or queer children. They then say afterwards: ‘Thanks to you, my child has a little easier time.’ It’s also nice.”

Do ‘real’ hip-hoppers also come to Lionstorm? Muis: “Recently we went to the hip-hop festival Woo Hah, in front of our largest audience so far. It was amazing. When we come up, you often see people looking a little: what are we getting? But when the beats start, everyone joins. You often hear that hip-hop is anti-women and homophobic. In hip-hop we listen to ourselves, it’s not like that at all. Sexism and homophobia are everywhere in music, not just hip-hop.”

Different worlds

Vuige Muis was born in Suriname and came to the Netherlands at the age of four, where she grew up in Arnhem. Skerrie Sterrie’s youth took place in Zuidoost and Bussum. “Yes, they are very different worlds,” says the latter. “But that characterizes me. As a girl, I also loved hip-hop and metal, and I did ballet. In Lionstorm, we are also so broad. We fuse hip-hop with punk, bubbly and hyperpop.”

Sex is an essential part of Lionstorm’s lyrics. Together with the singer Merol, they leaned into the warmth Triogamy about the joys of loving three. Songs like WTJMDZ (complete wait till you see my dick) and Installation inspection are as wild and above all fun as the titles suggest.

Sterrie: “From the moment I can walk, I was told that I Too much used to be. I was too busy, too happy, too wild, too everything. Later I was told by friends that I dressed too sexy. In my puberty I tried to fit in, that’s over. With Lionstorm we do exactly what we want, especially on stage. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem. Sometimes it’s nice to radiate macho energy. We don’t have heavy voices, so you have to come up with something else. Mus has come on stage with a huge dick between her legs, that dick was so big she almost tripped over it.”

Lionstorm will perform at the Melkweg on Thursday, August 4. The exhibition in Bijenkorf, where works by other designers are also displayed, can be seen on the first floor of the department store.

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