Having been around for decades, New Orleans– spawn music genre, bigger than ever, thanks Great Freedia: self-assigned Queen Diva’s appearance on Beyonce’s singles “Formation” and “Break My Soul” It gave him, his music, and his community a visibility previously unimaginable outside their shared New Orleans hometown. But his world-class collaborations with Drake, Lizzo, and Kesha are a reflection of his growing profile, not because of it; Since releasing her debut album in 2003, she has not only worked steadily as a recording and touring musician, but also on two TV shows (“Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” and “Big Freedia Means Business”), both of which aired on Fuse. starred. She has appeared dozens of times for a documentary about gun violence (“Freedia Got a Gun”) and as a spokesperson and advocate for LGBTQ+ issues.
“central city”—today—Freedia’s first full-length album in nine years, proving the breadth of its success. In addition to bringing together a killer lineup of guest stars like Lil Wayne, Ciara, Faith Evans, and Kamaiyah, the tracks feature a variety of voices and subgenres from outside of this bouncing musical foundation. Before the recording was released on June 23, Big Freedia spoke Variation about her eclectic inspirations, the opportunities these high-profile partnerships have created for her, and the continuing responsibilities she has had in her career to make “a bigger leap forward” both musically and culturally.
When beyonce He did “Break My Soul” and sampled your record, giving you a new degree of visibility even after appearing on “Formation”. How if you have ever tried to take advantage of it?
I try to take advantage of everything that is great in my life. And we are definitely pushing the limits. We have put in every way we can so that we can certainly benefit from it. And most importantly, we keep raising the price.
This album seems a little more difficult than your previous works. How much have you developed in the last few years as an empowerment or challenge response to attacks on the LGBTQ community, and how much was that to fully express yourself without an agenda?
I definitely wanted to come in with more hard work and let them know what’s going on in the LGBTQ rights world and also that I have the skills and can do what I need to do. So it was time to rap So it was both – to bring out the empowerment and let people know that I can change when I need to change and I can get tougher when I need to get tough. Don’t underestimate nails and hair.
Given the significant visibility you have in music and your television show, how willing are you to take on the role of spokesperson for that community?
It’s definitely one of my duties to speak for my community and use my platform for great things. I am happy to be a voice that continues to fight for social justice and equality for my community. Many people think they don’t have a voice or a platform to talk to. So I definitely want to make sure I use mine in every way I can and keep pushing boundaries, knocking down doors and breaking down barriers for people like me. I come from a place in the neighborhood of New Orleans where there was no one really fighting for our cause back then, so I’m happy to be able to get out there and fight for the younger generation and young queens like me. in order to do.
You spoke very specifically about certain elements of your identity, such as not being so specific or focusing on pronouns. How difficult or easy is it for you to adapt to the different generational attitudes that people now have in defining themselves?
Respecting that area of gender identity is still important to me because I represent that community, but it doesn’t matter to me. I can answer anything because I know who I am. So I think it’s all about respecting people’s wishes, what they want to be called. But when I was growing up, that wasn’t all. Back then you were either gay or homosexual or they called you a vagrant or a housewife or a faggot. And right now, I want to embrace our community and properly respect everyone’s identity, but I want to keep fighting for everyone to do what they want to do. I will continue to fight for this cause.
The recording feels much more eclectic musically than some of the things you’ve done in the past. How did you approach the concept of “Central City”?
It’s been nine years since I’ve released an album, so it was time to do something that would expand the sound of what I was doing and expand the sound of splash music. But I also took him back to the old school of New Orleans hip-hop from the Cash Money era. I also wanted to make some futuristic sounds that I haven’t done in the past. So he was going with an open mind to think of some hot, cool things to come up with. I have great rhythms and great producers to work with, so I think it also helps steer the record in a different place musically. And then, from Big Freddie back then, I went to Big Freedia now and put this business together.
Your music feels like an organic extension of your live performances. How hard was it to balance the storytelling of “Life Lessons” and the more stage-friendly soundtrack of “Booty Like A Drummer” on this album?
I go in and start making music. I had made more than 40 songs and it was really difficult to choose an album, but I wanted to be able to give variety. I wanted to tell some stories. I wanted to be able to do some club bangers. I wanted an R&B splash feel. Daisy wanted to do something. So I went in and started creating all these different sounds and those were the songs that went into the album. But I went in and had fun and did whatever the rhythm prompted me to do. Most of the time, we got the rhythm and started to find concepts and emotions and I started to let everything flow.
Something like “Pepto Interlude” coming from here? I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to hear the word “diarrhea” on your album.
I was like, “Let me do something so people can take a bathroom break”. And that’s something I wanted to be too, saying, “It’s going to be a different concept. It’s going to be a little funny and funny – but I want people to know that the album is crap.
What kind of temporary gap is this record or a start for more touring?
I’m on tour right now so it fits perfectly. All programs, interviews, tours, everything goes together. I also plan to continue touring in the future. So with the fall of “Central City” this is just the beginning. I’m excited to see where this will lead, as my pre-Covid EP came to a halt due to the hit of Corona. I was on my promotional tour to catch the record excitement, I was on Wendy Williams’ show in New York, and the world was closing in, and I had to leave and go home. Now I’m excited to see what he’s going to do to be there and really introduce it and put it out for the world to see and hear.
Do you think this album reflects an energy that you felt contained during the pandemic?
During the covid period, I definitely started going to the studio and making a lot of songs, I cooked a lot, I did a lot in my backyard to survive. So it definitely boils down to just wanting to have a new business group, but I also had downtime when things started to reopen. So I took every opportunity I got to keep creating.
How do you feel that you have changed throughout your career? And what connects you to that person who was there in the beginning?
I think change is important because if you stay the same, how can you expect to rise and reach a new high? I’m still the same when it comes to certain things but musically I want to continue to grow and expand the brand and expand the sounds and make a bigger leap forward. And that’s where this album is going, a bigger leap forward. And even if I’m leaving “Central City” behind, I’m going to have a great time for every music, every style, every generation, etc. I will try to make a bigger splash where there will be timeless music that can fit.