Artist Interview: Big Freedia is bringing bounce to the Riot Fest and will be in fantastic shape when she does
We regret to inform our readers that as far as the diabolical mass media frenzy behind twerk is concerned, it's over. The lauded dance that swept White-Girl Nation is now officially dead. We repeat, twerk is dead.
But while it was around it had a fairly historical run. The ass gyrating, wall slapping, kegel substituting dance did wonders for our popular nomenclature and scared parents shitless worldwide. The trend may be gone, but The Queen of it all is still Big Freedia, a hip hop artist bred from the ever-inspiring streets of New Orleans, LA; and she’s hardly at a point to slow down now because of its demise.
In September of 2013, Freedia and 358 of her closest friends fervently twerked in New York’s Herald Square for two minutes, setting the world record for Most People Twerking Simultaneously. Gimmicky, sure, but Freedia claims that it had to be done to show people that twerking was around longer than Miley’s appropriation, and that the genre responsible for the craze, bounce music, was taking it back.
Since, Freedia has been working tirelessly on her music, on her fashion line and filming for her Fuse reality series “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.” The show was recently contracted for two more seasons after it was proven to be the dedicated music channel’s most popular series… ever. Season three will start airing in early 2015.
Before that Big Freedia and her troupe of energetic dancers will stop in Denver on Sept 19 for the Riot Fest alongside acts Weezer, The Flaming Lips, NOFX, Die Antwoord and others. We spoke with her beforehand about her position as a role model, how she consciously delivers her art and just what kind of shape she’s really in.
You’ve had a massive couple of years with your career; how are you feeling through all of it?
Fine, fine. Things have really picked up in my life and in my career and it’s been keeping me busy!
With all the madness that ensues with fame, being put into a ‘role model’ position can sometimes be thrown at you without asking for it. Are you taking that position in stride?
I’ve always taken as it comes, but I’ve always been a role model in the community before I started rapping. On the gospel side of things, and just being involved at school and all the things I was involved in I always was a role model and a very positive person that people always wanted to be like and follow.
Are you still involved in the community like you were?
Oh yeah, definitely.
Are you conscious now about how you deliver your art and how others can interpret it who aren’t in the ‘Big Freedia’ know?
It definitely has a little part to play; you never want to come off the wrong way, especially on TV. So I definitely would say that I’m very mindful of all that is going on with me and all of my surroundings and my actions because it can effect me and all the people who surround me. I just watch it and try to minimize the things that I do.
The persona you are now would probably have been taken far differently in, say, the 90s than it is today, yes?
Oh… ya…definitely. Things have changed a whole lot.
You’re coming to Denver with the Riot Fest, which is touted as a rock festival, but obviously you’re a hip hop artist; how do you feel about being one of the few representing your genre?
I love being the different performer at festivals, and at every function that I do. I definitely see it as a positive thing mixing and matching, you know, bringing different flavors and walks of life together. That’s what Big Fredia and my theme is about. We do a lot of festivals on a whole lot of levels.
On stage and on TV it seems like you just don’t stop moving. Are you in the best shape of your life now than you ever have been?
(laughs) I would say I’m in good shape. Right now I’m a little lazy, but I’ll be getting back all the way fully in shape once the tour begins.
Are you always on the grind? What can we expect out of the future of Big Freedia?
Of course, the next line of work will be the new album and releasing another round of my Chili Beans Sunglasses. (I’ve got) a lot of products coming out, a few more videos… I’m steady making things happen… a few movies. I’ve been contacted for a few movies and a few collaborations. A lot is happening and will still continue to happen. I’m just taking things as they come.
Well we’re excited to see you soon Freedia, please hurry.
Let ‘em know, we comin’ for the riot!