Perfume Genius

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Perfume Genius
Perfume Genius Performing in NYC.jpg
Hadreas performing in New York City in 2012
Background information
Birth name Mike Hadreas
Born (1981-09-25) September 25, 1981 (age 35)[1][2]
Years active 2008–present

Perfume Genius is the stage name for Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas. As of 2016, he has released three albums.



Hadreas is of Greek descent and was born in the suburbs[7] of Seattle, Washington.[8] Hadreas studied painting in school and took piano lessons as a child.[8] His mother was a special education teacher, and his parents divorced when he was a teenager.[8]

Growing up, Hadreas was the only openly gay student at his school, and he received death threats which were not addressed by the administration.[7] He dropped out of high school during his senior year. Two years after dropping out, he was attacked by several young men in his neighborhood.[7] He moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and worked as a doorman for a club in the East Village. In 2005, Hadreas returned home to Seattle and began recording music.[7] In 2008, Hadreas set up a MySpace page under the name Perfume Genius, and thus began his music career.[9] Hadreas's music explores topics including sexuality, his personal struggle with Crohn's disease, domestic abuse,[10] and the dangers faced by gay men in contemporary society.[11]


Hadreas's debut album, Learning, was released on June 21, 2010, through Turnstile Records in Europe and Matador Records in the United States.[12] Many of the tracks for Learning were recorded in Hadreas's home.[8] The album quickly received critical acclaim. Pitchfork gave the album an 8.2

He performed his first live show at The Vera Project in Seattle, where he opened for A Sunny Day in Glasgow.[8]

Put Your Back N 2 It[edit]

Hadreas's second album, Put Your Back N 2 It, was released on February 20, 2012.[13] Again, Hadreas received praise from music critics and fans alike for the sonic intimacy his music achieved.

The promotional video for the album, featuring Hadreas and pornographic actor Arpad Miklos embracing each other, was deemed unsafe for family viewing by YouTube.[14]

Hadreas was one of several Seattle-area artists and musicians featured in the exhibit "Mw [Moment Magnitude]" at the Frye Art Museum, October 13, 2012 – January 20, 2013. As part of the exhibit, he performed at the museum on October 27, 2012.[15]

Too Bright and the present[edit]

On September 23, 2014, Hadreas released his third album, Too Bright, which was co-produced by Adrian Utley of Portishead,[8] to critical acclaim.[10] The album was a transformative leap for Hadreas and marked a new trajectory in his career. The album received rave reviews from an array of publications. Pitchfork gave the album a 8.5 and commented that "these songs feel less like songs and more like treasures, ones that fill you with power and wisdom."

Following the release of the album Hadreas toured the album and played sold out headline shows. In April 2015, he was featured on the cover and in the pages of Hello Mr.[16]

Hadreas contributed a cover of The Grateful Dead's "To Lay Me Down" to Day of the Dead, a charity tribute album curated and produced by members of The National and released by 4AD on May 20, 2016. Hadreas's cover was a collaboration with Sharon Van Etten. All profits from the album will help fight for AIDS/ HIV and related health issues around the world through the Red Hot Organization.

On September 16, 2016 Hadreas released a cover of Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love" in collaboration with Prada. The song was featured in the ad campaign for their new fragrance.

Television appearances[edit]

Perfume Genius appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman on October 30, 2014 performing "Queen" from the album Too Bright.[17]


  • "Normal Song" was featured in the hit show "Suits" in 2012.
  • "Normal Song" was featured in the a Toyotathon commercial in December 2016.
  • "Sister Song" was featured in Episodes 3, 13, and the season finale of Hemlock Grove in 2013.
  • "Queen" was featured in Episode 4 of Mr. Robot in July 2015.
  • "Learning" was featured in Episode 10 of Transparent in December 2015.
  • "Too Bright" was featured in Season 2 of "How To Get Away With Murder"
  • "Grid" played in Seaon 4,Episode 2 - Catfish
  • "Hood" was featured in "Looking: The Movie" on July 23, 2016
  • "Dirge" was featured in Season 3 of "How To Get Away With Murder"
  • "My Body" was featured in Season 3 of "How To Get Away With Murder"



Album and details Peak positions
  • Date released: June 22, 2010
  • Record label: Matador, Organs
 – 41  –  –  –
Put Your Back N 2 It
  • Date released: February 21, 2012
  • Record label: Matador
 – 19  – 73  –
Too Bright
  • Date released: September 23, 2014
  • Record label: Matador
83 26 64  – 77


Release date Title
2010 "Mr. Peterson"
2011 "All Waters"
2012 "Hood"
"Dark Parts"
"Take Me Home"
2014 "Queen"
2015 "Jonathan" - Christine and the Queens feat Perfume Genius

(BEL (Wa) Ultratip #46; FRA #120)


  1. ^ Barton, Laura (February 16, 2012). "Perfume Genius: 'I've learned not to trust myself'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 17, 2012. Hadreas is 30 now [...] 
  2. ^ turnstilemusic (25 September 2015). "Penblwydd Hapus / Happy Birthday @perfumegenius x" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  3. ^ "Perfume Genius: Too Bright". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "10 Best Albums of 2014". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 It". Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Perfume Genius Too Bright Matador". Under The Radar. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d William Van Meter (17 September 2014). "Lashing Out at His Tormentors, At Last". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Sasha Frere-Jones (22 September 2014). "Growth Spurt". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Perfume Genius – Biography,
  10. ^ a b Matthew Wright (11 June 2015). "Perfume Genius / Jenny Hval, RFH". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Anwen Crawford (22 June 2015). "Soft Apocalypse". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Perfume Genius – Learning,
  13. ^ "Put Your Back N 2 It: Perfume Genius". MP3 Downloads. ASIN B006WH8VOM. 
  14. ^ Michelson, Noah (January 25, 2012). "Perfume Genius Video Gets Banned From YouTube For Not Being "Family Safe"". Huffington Post. 
  15. ^ Perfume Genius & Calendar, Mw [Moment Magnitude], Frye Art Museum. Accessed online 2012-11-27.
  16. ^ Nichols, JamesMichael. "Hello Mr. Lands Perfume Genius' Mike Hadreas For The Cover Boy Of Its New Issue". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Perfume Genius Performs "Queen" on "Letterman"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-10-31. 

External links[edit]