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 1981/1982 (age 33–34)[1]
Genres Indie pop, Baroque pop, Chamber pop, Alternative
Years active 2008–present
Labels Matador, Turnstile

Perfume Genius is the stage name for Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas. As of 2014, he has released three albums.

Early history and education[edit]

Hadreas performing as Perfume Genius in 2010

Hadreas is of Greek descent and was born in the suburbs[2] of Seattle, Washington.[3] Hadreas studied painting in school and took piano lessons as a child.[3] His mother was a special education teacher, and his parents divorced when he was a teenager.[3]

Growing up, Hadreas was the only openly gay student at his school, and he received death threats which were not addressed by the administration.[2] 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.[2] He moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and worked as a doorman for a club in the East Village. He also reportedly began using drugs during this time.[2]

In 2005, Hadreas returned home to Seattle, entering a rehabilitation program and moving in with his mother and stepfather.[2] In 2008, he found an apartment in Seattle with his brother and began recording music.[2]

Musical career[edit]

Cover art for 2014's Too Bright

In 2008, Hadreas set up a MySpace page under the name Perfume Genius.[4] His debut album, Learning, was released on June 21, 2010, through Turnstile Records in Europe and Matador Records in the United States.[5] Many of the tracks for Learning were recorded in Hadreas' home.[3] He performed his first live show at the Vera Project Club in Seattle, where he opened for A Sunny Day in Glasgow.[3]

Hadreas' second album, Put Your Back N 2 It, was released on February 20, 2012.[6] The promotional video for the album, featuring Hadreas and pornographic actor Arpad Miklos embracing each other, was deemed unsafe for family viewing by YouTube.[7]

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.[8]

"Sister Song" was featured in Episodes 3, 13, and the season finale of Hemlock Grove in 2013.

On September 23, 2014, Hadreas released his third album, Too Bright, which was co-produced by Adrian Utley of Portishead,[3] to critical acclaim.[9] In 2015, Hadreas toured with Norwegian musician Jenny Hval.[10] He is also slated to perform at the Basilica SoundScape festival in Hudson, New York.[11]

In July 2015, "Queen" was featured in Episode 4 of Mr. Robot (TV series).

Hadreas' music explores topics including sexuality, his personal struggle with Crohn's disease, domestic abuse,[9] and the dangers faced by gay men in contemporary society.[10]



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


Release date Title
2010 "Mr Peterson"
2011 "All Waters"
2012 "Hood"
"Dark Parts"
"Take Me Home"
2014 "Queen"


  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. ^ a b c d e f William Van Meter (17 September 2014). "Lashing Out at His Tormentors, At Last". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sasha Frere-Jones (22 September 2014). "Growth Spurt". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Perfume Genius – Biography,
  5. ^ Perfume Genius – Learning,
  6. ^ "Put Your Back N 2 It: Perfume Genius". MP3 Downloads. ASIN B006WH8VOM. 
  7. ^ Michelson, Noah (January 25, 2012). "Perfume Genius Video Gets Banned From YouTube For Not Being "Family Safe"". Huffington Post. 
  8. ^ Perfume Genius & Calendar, Mw [Moment Magnitude], Frye Art Museum. Accessed online 2012-11-27.
  9. ^ a b Matthew Wright (11 June 2015). "Perfume Genius / Jenny Hval, RFH". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Anwen Crawford (22 June 2015). "Soft Apocalypse". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Ben Ratliff (17 June 2015). "At Basilica Soundscape Festival, Electronics, Post-Punk and Noise". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 

External links[edit]