There wasn’t much good news coming out Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in 2005, but bounce music queen Big Freedia changed that narrative when she returned to the Big Easy to uplift community spirits with her high-energy stage performances.
She was already well known in the area, having made a name for herself on the Crescent City club scene, and she was just starting to break out nationally. Fast forward a decade to 2016 and she’s a full-fledged star featured on Beyoncé’s “Formation,” and Drake’s “Nice For What” in 2018. In 2021, after a lengthy hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Freedia is bigger than ever, with a current tour and a new album, “Big Diva Energy.” The Black Bombshell discusses that and a little more in a casual chat with Mikey Rox.
You have a penchant for purses. What's a favorite in your own collection, and what's one you can't wait to get your hands on?
Big Freedia: Michael Kors is one of my all time favorites, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Tory Burch tote that I ordered. It’s burgundy and I cannot wait for it to arrive!
You always have the wildest looks. Where does your style inspiration come from? What's one place you love to source your pieces?
BF: My looks are inspired by anything and everything I see. I can be at the grocery store, watching a movie, or touring in a new city and get ideas and style inspiration. My secret sourcing spot is on Melrose Ave in L.A. I won’t tell you the name though; it’s my secret.
You're also a gun-violence activist. Your brother was killed a few years ago by gunfire, and you've been shot yourself. A documentary on the subject called "Freedia Got a Gun" – starring you – is available to stream on Peacock. Was this a cathartic project for you?
BF: I haven’t the slightest idea how to solve the awful gun violence problem we have in America. I do believe in prevention though, and I know that mental health is a very important part of it for our Black and LGBTQ+ youth – all youth. If kids have hope and opportunities, a life of violence will be much less likely. I am very much an advocate of mental health services and support in our communities.
What do you have planned for your fans that have waited so long to see you on tour?
BF: A Big Freedia show is a big party, so they can expect an even bigger party since we’ve been in our homes. Extra energy, extra Bounce! All I can say is please BE VACCINATED if you come to a show and let us all celebrate safely.
Tell me all about your next album. Are there any fire collabs in the works?
BF: I’m very excited about my new project. It’s called “Big Diva Energy.” I wanted this to be my album and reflect my voice, so I didn't get collabs. My homegirl, Boyfriend, is on one track. We’ve worked a ton together this year, but she’s the only one.
Big Freedia plays Chicago on September 18 at Riot Fest.
About the Author
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels