Big Freedia’s Ready For Increased Visibility…Including In The Beyoncé & Drake Videos
Even if you don’t know her face, there’s a good chance that you’ve fallen in love with her voice. Featured on tracks by two of the most popular artists of our time, Drake’s “Nice For What” and Beyoncé’s “Formation,” Big Freedia has broken barriers with her voice literally and figuratively.
Still, despite her opportunities, Big Freedia, a bounce (“a call and response type of music that is a subgenre of Hip Hop, originally from New Orleans”) artist from New Orleans, is pushing for increased visibility.
During her interview with the Huffington Post, she spoke about the concept, her collaborations and what she’s looking forward to in the future.
“I create music for myself first of all because if I’m not happy with the music I create, I can’t make anybody else happy. I create for the platforms that I need to speak to and not just the LGBTQ audience, but also for people who just love to live their life out loud.
And I create just for inspiration [for] people of color. I come from a community plagued with so much poverty and violence and homophobia. Now I can express myself, make my music how I want. I choose my visuals how I want. I don’t have to ask anybody for permission.”
Her feelings on not being included in the Drake or Beyoncé video.
f course, I feel like I should get more visibility. Who wouldn’t want to be in a Beyoncé or Drake video? But I mean, I’m just happy to be a part of those projects. It’s a starting point. It takes baby steps and it has been taking baby steps throughout my whole career.
I’m getting more recognition and, you know, everything is not always visual. I tell people all the time, “I may not be in the video, but as long as that check came, I’m good, I’m OK!”
I’m breaking barriers. I’m really one of the first out, gay artists to work with two of the most huge artists in the music industry. That’s a big accomplishment, you know? You may not see me visually but as long as you hear this voice. They gonna find out who I am one way or another. I’m pushing through regardless!
The barriers she faces
People think because I’m black and gay that I won’t get to the next level. The next level is when I have truly proved them wrong.
People are still scared of working with a gay artist. They’re so scared of what people are going to say. As soon as somebody collaborates with a gay person, it’s, “Oh, they must be sleeping with each other.” You know, just a lot of bullshit that be very unnecessary.
I never even got with Drake in person but just for him to want to work with me for whatever reason, it was such a blessing for a straight male to want to work with a gay artist and not worry about what the world has to say.
Who she would like to collaborate with in the future.
I’ve been dying to do something with Ms. Patti LaBelle because she is so iconic. I grew up listening to her with my mom in the house. She is such a big inspiration to me.
I would love to do something with many artists, you know: Fantasia, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, J.Lo, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson. There’s so many of them! All of them are iconic in their own way and to collaborate with any of those artists of that magnitude would be such an honor for me because I grew up listening to them and I love their music.
What she wants the future to look like for queer people
More visibility, more people living out loud, more people joining the force of the movement and making a statement. Back when I was growing up, people were not very accepting of gay people and now you see gay people on so many different talk shows, so many different TV series. I mean, baby, we are pushing through and we are breaking barriers and we letting them know that we’re here and we’re here to stay!
What makes you feel pride?
To me, Pride means being who you are, being yourself, being free, living your best life, not being apologetic and just showing your true colors. Feeling the rainbow, honey, and feeling every color in it!
I feel proud every day I wake up just to know that I’m still living and can live out my life the way that I want to. I feel proud every day that I open my eyes and I feel grateful that I’m still living and can still have a platform to tell my story.
I’m so happy to be able to represent the LGBTQ community. I just want everyone to just be free. Free like Freedia.