Aristophanes, in Greek literature, was known for his satirical comedy. According to Allan Somerstein, who translated his plays, states Aristophanes’ work is possibly responsible for the execution of the “gadfly” of Athens, Socrates. In taking on this particular name and history, Taiwanese-rapper Aristophanes 貍貓 isn’t concerned about critiquing society; “I would rather reflect what I observe in a certain time and space,” she says, “and make them bloom like flowers so people can see them in a new way.” Just as the Greek comic put a death to Socrates, when questioned on an aspect of society she’d be happy to put a death or end to, she replies “the answer will be sexism”.
Aristophanes 貍貓 made her mark in the music world when she was discovered by Grimes on Soundcloud, which led to a collaboration on the track off of the Art Angels album ‘Scream’. When questioning Aristophanes in what made her accept Grimes offer to collaborate, she states “I will collaborate with artists I like no matter where they’re from.” Another collaborator Aristophanes has expressed admiration for is producer Sonic Deadhorse, whom she collaborated with on the tracks ‘The Arrested’, ‘If The Flowers Leave’ and ‘Flowers in the Water 鏡花水月’. Sonic Deadhorse’s production project is, as he describes, “…music for lonely urban women and men, the youths captivated by literature and art, dumb rockers, and the crazy ravers. It’s the music embracing the indulgency of the 70s, melancholy of the 80s, nihilism of the 90s, and isolation of the new century.” “The reason I keep working with Sonic Deadhorse is because he always inspires me by the sounds he makes, the way he performs,” she continues. “I strongly recommend his live show to everyone. I can always feel the sorrow and the emotions in his music, which pushes me to create something new and it’s really different from what I used to do when my world meets his world.”
Speaking as a female Taiwanese rapper, she sees the Taiwanese rap scene as a little more un-accepting due to the influence of mainstream American hip-hop and its prioritisation of hyper-masculinity over sex and material wealth. Aristophanes, however, isn’t phased. “I don’t really care about how they view my existence. I guess some of them are trying to ignore me, which is fine. Nothing can stop me from doing my thing.”
According to a Paper Mag interview, Aristophanes expressed how she never was into music before due to her family situation and how Soft Lipa enlightened her to persist in this genre. After being asked who else she had come to know and feel inspired by since discovering the world of music, she responds, “Erykah Badu and Bjork. They are the real muses to me.” she says, “they are a great inspiration to me by showing what female talent means and how it works within the patriarchy. The possibilities, personal experiences, and thoughts that keep coming to me and making me stronger. “