The queen diva of bounce is about to hit our shores. Sabine Brix speaks with Big Freedia about inspiration, life and being two people at once.
Rapper Big Freedia is the self-proclaimed queen diva of bounce music. If you aren’t familiar with that genre, then look no further than New Orleans where it all began. It’s an apt name for a style of music which takes its roots from hip hop and propels the listener to bump, grind, thrash and twerk to fast-paced beats characterised by heavy bass, sampled loops and call and response vocals. It’s crazy-quick and there’s a lot of ass up in your face – you need only to YouTube ‘bounce’ before a myriad of booty videos appear.
Freddie Ross is a gay performer/musician who goes by the stage name Big Freedia. She is viewed as an ambassador of bounce music and will be busting out the moves during her forthcoming Ass-tralia tour. There are no ifs or buts about it.
“I’m definitely coming to entertain and make people shake their asses. We’re coming to turn it up,” she asserts.
Freedia will be bringing her powerhouse dance posse ‘The Divas’ down under for what will no doubt be a show full of frivolity, fun and freedom of expression. The rapper has a deep passion for bounce music which stems back to her early childhood.
“It’s the music that I was born and raised off. And then when I got into the game it was something that I definitely put my love and all of my affection into,” she says.
“I want to see it go as far as it can go and keep reaching people all around. It’s dancefloor music and it’s music that everyone can relate to and enjoy.”
Boasting a loyal and diverse following, part of Freedia’s appeal is her ability to unreservedly be herself. Onstage she wears make-up and long hair, but identifies as a man.
“I am a little bit different from every other gay person out there in the world. I gotta be two people in one. You might see me from my head up with make-up and my hair done but from my neck on down is boy down!” she clarifies.
It is this sentiment which has struck a chord with her fans.
“They accept me being myself and I don’t try to be a drag queen or any of that. I just be me and I have a good time and people accept me for who I am.”
Freedia’s no-holds-barred attitude is a distinguishing trait, she exudes a quiet confidence and her charisma permeates her music in a way which sets her aside from others in the scene.
“I am a different individual when it comes to my music, my sound, my personality and my character on stage,” she says. We’re all unique in our own special way, but even if we have the same type of music, the same type of sound, every individual voice is different. I put my all into it I love my craft.”
And you only have to push play on a recent track like ‘Explode’ lifted from this year’s Just Be Free album to uncork the magic.
Watch Big Freedia’s Explode
Article was first published on Gay News Network on 10 December 2014.