Big Freedia Is Bouncing To The Top

Big Freedia Is Bouncing To The Top

Big Freedia talks dance music's influence on pop, the LGBTQ community in the 70’s, and how she went from club-act to mainstream.

Big Freedia talks dance music's influence on pop, the LGBTQ community in the 70’s, and how she went from club-act to mainstream.

Text: Czar Van Gaal

Blessing the airwaves 7 years ago with the chart-topping hit “More Than Friends” Big Freedia has since become a house-hold name. Playing a primary role in popularizing NOLA’s underground genre of dance music known as Bounce, Big Freedia solidified her titled as Queen of Bounce. Freedia bounced her way into our hearts with her upbeat tail-feather shaking music, and shortly after she found her way onto the small screen. Staring in her own reality show documenting her trajectory into mainstream music, the larger than life personality garnered the attention of Industry Icons Beyoncé and Drake. In 2015 the bounce-rapper collaborated with Beyoncé on the Grammy-Nominated single “Formation” and was featured on Drake’s “Nice for What”. Publishing her Memoir “Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva” this past year, Big Freedia peels back yet another layer; Reminding us just how far she has come and how much further she will go.

Gearing up for the Holy Ship Music Festival where she will be performing, the “More Than Friends” singer sits down for an exclusive conversation with V. New Orleans very own Queen of Bounce talks Dance Music Influencing modern day Pop, the LGBTQ community in the 70’s, and how she went from club act to mainstream. Read all about it below

In terms of popularity, where is dance music now? 

It's very popular. You hear its influence in all pop music today.

How was it perceived when you first came into contact with dance music

It was different from rap and R&B, but I always loved it. So many gay clubs played the music, so i got familiar with it early on and always wanted it to be integrated into my own music.

How do dance music and the LGBT community go hand-in-hand?

The LGBT community is in large part responsible for making Dance popular today. Early on, gay clubs were the first to play EDM. Either way, Dance music clubs have always been places where LGBT kids could go and feel safe.

How did the queer scene in New Orleans during the 70s/80s compare to now? 

It’s thriving, as it was back then! New Orleans has always been very open to the LGBT community.

What does the word “diva” mean to you? 

Fabulous and in-charge of my destiny!

How did you transition from performing at clubs to being known in a relatively mainstream why? How did this larger audience initially react to you and your work?

The same way any artist does. You build brick by brick, city by city, country by country.

You’ve had the opportunity to work with tons of artists in different capacities. Do any of them stick out to you in terms of having a profound effect on your life or your artistry? 

Beyonce and Drake.

How do you incorporate visuals into your work? Are you ever thinking of imagery at the same time as writing a song or does it always come after? 

Sure, I’m always thinking of video concepts when I’m writing music. I love food, art and fashion too so I’m always thinking in those terms when writing music.

Do you do New Year's resolutions? If so, what is your resolution for 2019?

Yes, mine is to let go of people that drag me down!

Can you sum up your 2018? 

Lit! New EP, feature on Drake’s "Nice For What", Toured in South Africa. So many high points.

Enjoy the Big Freedia curated playlist below.

Credits: PHOTOGRAPHY BY HUNTER HOLDER

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