Meet Vancouver's hottest hometown girl: Grimes, aka Claire Boucher

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Teenage Boucher’s obsessions ranged from space travel, to the twelfth-century composer Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, to Russian existentialist lit. She crushed so hard on Dostoyevsky that she even flew to St. Petersburg to attend an intensive Russian immersion.

But as with Grimes’ music, Boucher preferred autodidactism. Garossino recalls hearing Boucher teach one of Chopin’s nocturnes to herself, bar by bar. But only through the wall—at the time, Boucher had too much stage fright to even play the piano in front of her mother.

“Something that people don't understand about Claire is her searing intellect and focus,” Garossino said. “Whenever you think you've figured her out, she's already three moves ahead. Things are never what they seem.”

Her mother related how at McGill, the wunderkind wanted to take physics, but couldn’t stand introductory courses. Instead, Boucher entered higher-level classes and studied the prerequisite material at the same time. “She would nearly kill herself studying—surviving on almost no sleep for weeks at a time.”

“And that's how she makes music today. In long, solitary blasts of blistering intensity.”

Witness it for yourself in Grimes’ video for “Oblivion” below, and grab tickets to her July 22 show—while you still can.

See video

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