Into the Void with Blimpee

On Friday the 13th of this March, Blimpee emerged quietly and suddenly from the Void with his first single, “Blimpee is coming.” We at Ringtone were fascinated by his unique style, which he describes as “the heavy metal of pop,” his mysterious origins, and enigmatic online presence — he’s always hidden behind a neon green wig and flashy, metallic attire. Who is Blimpee, where did he come from, and why is he here? I spoke with Brooks Knapton, Blimpee’s creator — as well as Blimpee himself — about his surprising vision for the project and how it developed into something he never intended.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Blimpee in his signature green wig and metallic jewelry

Photo by the divine Blimpee

Ringtone Magazine: Can you introduce yourself?

Brooks Knapton: My name is Brooks Knapton. Blimpee is my creation — I was the brain behind Blimpee before he grew his own brain. I created him because I wanted to create a character that would allow me to incorporate something that I hadn’t seen in hyperpop, which was a Christian element. I also wanted to create a discussion between faith and the LGBTQ+ community, because the line there can be hard to walk. But Blimpee took on his own characteristics. I was with him there at the beginning, and now it’s Brooks and it’s Blimpee. We’re two different people. I can’t really control what he does.

I’m confused. Is Blimpee just you, or are there more people involved?

Blimpee is another person. Physically, we started off as the same person, but I’d say now we’re two different people.

How would you describe your own music? Musically, who inspires you?

One of my biggest inspirations is A.G. Cook. I’m always inspired by people who are just doing their own thing, when what they’re doing is so revolutionary. I’d also include people like SOPHIE, Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, and Kero Kero Bonito. Oh, and GFOTY — I’ve been obsessed with her; she’s the first big hyperpop influence that I got into. Blimpee will say he’s not inspired by anything, though, that he’s just himself. He’s pretty narcissistic.

What was your initial vision for Blimpee?

My vision for what Blimpee was going to be versus what he is now is almost completely opposite. When I was creating him, I wanted to take my faith and put it inside the hyperpop realm — but hyperpop twists and distorts things and totally reinvents things, and I didn’t take into account that that was going to happen to my views as well.

As I put in what I like to call the “Fruits of the Spirit” — the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — I thought it was gonna be this cute Christian hyperpop project, and what came out was Blimpee. Now he’s almost become a model of sin. He’s creating this false gospel that if you want to be closer to God you gotta have higher heels, you gotta have a bigger wallet. I’d liken it to the Powerpuff girls — I had all the ingredients in the pot, and then there was some Chemical X, maybe that’s hyperpop, that got mixed in and created something that I never intended.

“Cruciflex” feels almost like a satire of religion. Do you think Blimpee is still a fundamentally religious individual?

I think we’re both religious, but we see God in a very different light. For me, the original intent was to make a project that glorified God, taking the focus off myself and getting audiences to look towards God. I think Blimpee uses God as a soundbyte to make people look at him.

How does Blimpee view God?

That’s a tough one. I think Blimpee echoes what I would call bad theology: that if God really does love you, he’ll remove you from any pain or hardship. He makes God into who he wants God to be.

Does he view himself as above God?

I think in some ways he does. He definitely can be narcissistic. In Scripture, there’s a lot of talk about how pride is the root of all evil, how once you have too much pride you start to think nothing is above you, and I think that might be where he’s headed.

You mentioned trying to blend Christianity with the LGBTQ+ community. Could you talk about that a little bit?

For me, growing up in the Church, it was really hard for me to come to terms with my own sexuality, being a gay man. Growing up in a Christian community — Arlington, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas — I always heard about how bad gay people were and how destructive that culture was. It really made me feel like I had to choose between the LGBTQ+ community and my faith. There’s a lot of people that feel like they have to choose one of those camps.

I think the Church does a big disservice by not embracing members of the LGBTQ+ community. My goal was to bridge that gap using this music form that I feel is very cutting-edge, that maybe people in the Church wouldn’t understand. Instead of feeling like I have to choose, I wanted to bring those two together.

Do you see Blimpee as a darker side of yourself?

In some ways that could be true, because we started out in the same form. But I think that, much like in the Biblical creation story, I created him with the ability to make his own decisions. Originally, I made him in my image, but now he’s taken a path that I wouldn’t take. We’re definitely different people.

Would you say that your relationship is parental?

Yeah, I would say so. I see myself as Blimpee’s father sometimes. But I’m also more removed; I’m not really trying to control him. I don’t know how much power I have compared to him.

At this point in our interview, I said goodbye to Brooks. After a brief intermission, I was greeted by an otherworldly, almost divine being in a green wig, puffy silver jacket, and chunky golden chains.

Distorted image of Blimpee biting a gold cross necklace

Photo by the holy Blimpee

Hello, Blimpee!

Blimpee: Hello! Brooks came and got me out of the Void. Sorry you had to let him bore you; I didn’t even realize he was on this call. I hope he didn’t speak ill of me.

He had nothing but wonderful things to say.

I don’t believe it, but good, I’m glad.

You mentioned living in the Void. What is the Void like?

It’s empty, it’s formless, it’s the darkness that layeth over the deep. It’s just a place I go to recharge — like I said in “Blimpee is Coming,” it’s elusive and it’s exclusive. It's just a way for me to escape reality for a second, to dematerialize.

Who else is allowed in the Void?

I allow what I like to call my fanbase, the Blimps — but I have to bring the Void to them; they can’t just come on in. I’m the gatekeeper.

If somebody were to, say, defeat you in a trial by combat, would they gain access to the Void, or do you have complete control?

Yeah, I have complete dominion over that place. I don’t think there’s anyone powerful enough to defeat me — but if there was, I’d like to meet them.

Besides your control of the Void, what other powers do you have, and where do they come from?

My biggest power is the Blimpee energy that I give off. No matter if you want to look away, you’re always going to turn your head. And I am who I am because I’m a man of faith; I’ve gotten everything I have through Scripture, by getting on God’s good side.

What inspires you to leave the Void?

I want to educate people, to spread my truth. Brooks hates when I say that, but it’s my truth. It’s more charity work than anything. I don’t need to leave my Void, but it was getting kind of boring in there… so I decided I would come over here and create a Blimpee realm.

A Blimpee realm — what does that look like?

Well, I’m still forming it, because I haven’t yet completed my work on this earth, but when I do — I think there’s seven important things that need to be in every society. That’s envy, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, pride, and wrath. The seven deadly sins are really the foundation for everything that I’m creating today. If you can hone the power of the seven deadly sins, you can become the most powerful person in the world. As I create my music — and I hope Brooks didn’t already spoil it — I’m going through the seven deadly sins with each of my songs. "Juicy Coutoot?" It’s envy, although I don’t like to use the word “envy” for "Juicy". To envy someone, you have to feel like you’re below them, and I’m not below anybody. But it’s envy. Greed is "Cruciflex" — I love money, I love objects, I love possessions.

In what order are you going through the sins?

Here’s the order that I always put them in: Envy (I’ve always been obsessed with envy, because so many people are envious of me), and then greed, then sloth, wrath, lust, gluttony, and pride. That could change, though. Right now, I’m really focused on sloth. I’ve been doing a lot of work on "Cruciflex," and I thought, "Might as well make my next song about sitting down on my Blimpee booty and doing nothing."

When we can expect a sloth song?

I was supposed to get it done a long time ago, but the date keeps getting pushed back further and further. I’d like to see it out in early October. I do have some surprises coming before then, though. Some additional content for "Cruciflex" is coming out soon.

Are you planning on seven deadly singles, or are we going to see an album?

I think they have to be released one by one. I don’t think anyone can take the power of all seven at once. But I think once they’re all out, and humanity can understand the gravity of all of them, I’d like to put them together into a project.

What happens after you’ve gone through all seven?

I feel like I’ll probably just go back to my Void and come up with something else. At that point, I’ll have dominion over this place. For now, I’m just having a lot of fun.

Another distorted image of Blimpee biting a gold chain

Photo by the blessed Blimpee

Going back to your vision of an ideal world, if you were the Blimperor of the entire planet, what would you do?

First of all, Blimpee holiday. Maybe we could replace Christmas or New Year’s, do the Blimpee Ball Drop or something. Maybe even a Blimpee Sabbath, so it’s not just one day of the year, it’s every week.

Second of all, I’d be free from Brooks, I can tell you that. He can get kind of annoying.

Just between us, what do you think about Brooks?

He thinks he knows it all, and he tries to shove his version of the truth down my throat all the freakin’ time. Anyone who tries to tell Blimpee what to do is automatically an enemy of the Void. But I don’t really think about him much anymore; he’s kind of irrelevant. We exist in the same area, but I’m ready to leave him behind. Who needs him? Not me.

How are you planning to dispose of him?

I have too many ideas. Vat of tar, electrocution, tickling, all of the evillest things you can think of. I can’t decide. If you have any thoughts, let me know.

I’m wondering — you talk about wanting to encourage sin, and refer to yourself as an all-powerful being. To be blunt, are you the Antichrist?

No, no, no. I’m not the Antichrist. I have a great reverence for our Lord. I don’t see myself as God, either. Sure, me and God, we’re both up there — but I’m certainly not above God. I call on Him for the things that I want. With "Cruciflex," there’s a prayer in there. I’m praying to the Lord. I’m a man of faith. God gives me everything that I need. He helps me not struggle, He helps me thrive in this world. He’s the reason I am what I am. I think if everyone really honed in on loving the Lord, they would be where I am — but they just don’t do it as well as me, I guess.

How do you reconcile your being a man of faith with your mission to spread sin?

I don’t think sin is bad. To me, it’s more like a suggestion. One person said those things are bad. Do I believe that? Not really. I mean, if I want to do it, then it must be fine. I think my message is really positive — and if I believe it, and if God loves me, then God must agree with me.

If you’re not the Antichrist, then what kind of being are you? Are you a human, or something else?

I’m 100% human, but also 100% Blimpee.

Is Blimpee a separate species?

Definitely. I wouldn’t want to be confined to just humanity, would I? I’m 100% human right now because I have a job on this Earth, and if that means I need to come into the human space, I’ll do it. But to be Blimpee is to be separate from humanity. Being Blimpee isn’t even a material thing. When I go to my Void, I dematerialize, but I’m still Blimpee.

Do you see yourself as the second coming of Jesus Christ?

I’d say my impact is comparable. When I came here, there was a lot of talk. I wouldn’t be surprised if, on the WatchMojo Top 10 list for most important arrivals, I’m number two under Jesus.

Check out Blimpee’s latest single, “Cruciflex," here.

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