There's no breakfast more delicious than sex, at least in the world of Mike Taveira, who wrote his latest single after an "intense morning" with a guy he'd fallen into a masochistic love game with. Despite their best attempts at pretending the spark between them was meaningless, the queer artist admits they're both "so bad at lying, we're not even trying to stop."
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Aptly titled "Sex for Breakfast," the '80s-inspired track is Taveira's second release off his forthcoming EP, Cut Velvet, due out in early 2022. He's joined by pop star Allie X, who's recently been lending her theatrical vocals to other artists' work like on "Mistress Violet" with drag sensation Violet Chachki. The two pair perfectly, as Allie sings about that "magnetic psycho feeling" we all know well.
Below for PAPER, Taveira dives into all things "Sex for Breakfast," which follows his lead Cut Velvet single, "Switch."
How did you connect with Allie X on this track?
I was a bartender in the NYC gay scene for five years and I've been slipping her music into the DJ's playlists since her first EP. She's been a huge inspiration of mine for a while. My creative director and I had been working on Cut Velvet, and had one song that felt like it was incomplete. He offered to send it to Allie to see if she connected with it. I got an email back from her saying she was into it when I was out getting coffee and literally dropped my cup on the street.
What was the collaborative process like?
She'd actually just left the country so we couldn't cut the vocals together, but we worked in person with Jordan Palmer to get the track finished. I didn't know what Allie's verse was going to sound like or where she'd take the lyrics, and I still remember the moment she sent her verse over. Gagged. I think I took a video of my reaction, actually.
What did you bring to the song individually?
After writing the track with Skyler Cocco (one of my best friends/ the producer of the track), I thought we just needed a bow on top of the song and we'd be finished, but Allie rewrote the second verse from the ground up and added synths. She made the song her own. Her voice is fuckin' dope. She really is a superstar and I think it shows on the track.
"'Sex for Breakfast' is an homage to all the sleek '80s pop I heard my mom play on the radio growing up."
How is this single a reflection of your EP to come?
"Sex for Breakfast" is the opening track on Cut Velvet, so it was important to me that the sonics felt like an introduction. Sort of like a night drive into Los Angeles. The EP is a really diverse collection of my influences, all rooted in '70s sonics. I've got a punk funk track called "Switch" (which is already out, #justiceforswitch), a stadium rock ballad called "Comedown." Every track is tied together by a vintage Roland EP-30 a lover gifted to me.
You identify as pansexual. How did that perspective play out in the creation of this song?
I'm glad you asked. I wrote this song about a boy I was falling in love with, but I wanted a female vocalist on the track so that the person I'm singing about could be more ambiguous. Cut Velvet is a very queer EP top to bottom, but it's generally more gay than pan. I thought this song could add some balance.
Sonically, what inspired the sound for this single and EP?
"Sex for Breakfast" is an homage to all the sleek '80s pop I heard my mom play on the radio growing up, with some contemporary R&B and vaporwave influences. It's probably the smoothest "pop" song on the EP. Cut Velvet started with Bowie, Prince and George Michael, but as the songs came together I looked at more contemporary acts like Bleachers, St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers and Caroline Polachek.
Is "Sex for Breakfast" about a specific person or memory?
The idea started after an intense morning with this guy i was head over heels for. We couldn't keep our hands off each other, spent every night and morning together — essentially dating, but we kept pretending that it was just a fling. We ended up in this almost masochistic cat-and-mouse game, knowing we were so right together but both being too uncomfortable to admit it... but we're gonna find out what we're gonna find out.
Photo courtesy of Brendon Burton