Known for her eye-catching style, quick wit-driven rhymes and frenetic hooks, native NOLA femme fatale lyricist, Boyfriend, who’s currently out on the road as a supporting act for the Queen of Bounce herself, Big Freedia, is definitely one to watch out for in the coming weeks and months. Her next/latest solo EP, Love Your Boyfriend Pt. 3, the third installment in the series of the same name, arrives before year’s end.
When did you first become interested in music?
I was conceived in a Nashville recording studio. When I first began speaking, I only used rhyming couplets; “Mama, Papa,” “Ow, now!” I then spent my entire third grade year in a musical theater immersion course where we were only allowed to address the teacher in song, and hall passes were assigned as a series of choreographed dance steps; jazz hands on the way to the little girls room, step ball change to the water fountain, etcetera.
Coming from the Big Easy, who did you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Loud brass bands can be heard above conversation. You can hear a trumpet while you dance and catch up with your friend and flirt with a stranger. But it’s just my voice up there, the words are my instrument, so in developing my live show, I had to consider a new form of engagement with the audience to command their attention. It’s not a concert, it’s a rap cabaret.
At what point in time, specifically, did you opt to pursue music on a professional level?
It wasn’t a plunge so much as a gradual dip into the hot tub. The Boyfriend hustle was relegated to the nights and weekends for a while, and slowly my calendar shifted so that now I am BF 24/7/365.
How do you classify your overall sound/or style?
I call my work “rap cabaret” because while, yes, I’m rapping, it isn’t strictly located in the rap genre to me. I think the genre is undergoing a crisis now; without organized aisles at Tower Records, we’re all scrambling for niche adjectives, even as we are forced to borrow points of reference from the mainstream.
Where did your moniker originally derive from?
Boyfriend is a powerful word, because you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t had a strong opinion, or even an emotional attachment to that word; be it love, jealousy, lust, anger, regret, annoyance…But I got tired of hearing that word ping-pong around the conversational periphery. So I took it, and now they’re all talking about me!
You’re currently gearing up for the third installment of your Love Your Boyfriend series, what prompted your decision to come out with a succession of same themed EPs versus entirely different projects?
Most songs are love songs, at some level, and I was ready to join in on that perpetual conversation about love that most media is and always has been engaged in. There’s a lot to unpack there … I like the idea of cohesion across a project, especially since they’re short EPs.
Conceptually, why did you decide to title the record this?
I like that it’s a command.
In addition, you’re about to hit the road with Big Freedia, how are you feeling about that right about now? Are you super elated?
Elated and inflated, ready to blow this hot air all over the country! Big Freedia is, to me, pure joy personified. So thrilled she brought me on board.
For someone who has yet to witness you performing live, what would you tell that person can be expected from it?
Martinis. Lingerie. Ferns.
Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
Well, sure. Every day presents its own series of tasks and challenges, but it’s nothing a bubble bath can’t fix.
What do you want people to get from your music?
The urge to pay attention!
If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Bettie Page. We actually share a high school alma mater; she was meant to be valedictorian, but skipped a P.E. class for drama club and got bumped down to salutatorian.
If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Bill Clinton’s living room.
One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
“Love Means” doesn’t really define me, but it defines the Love Your Boyfriend project well enough, in that it plays with the definition of love itself.
In terms of longevity, what do you feel has been the key to your overall success so far? And, of course, what do you think it is that will continue to sustain you in this grueling business of music?
Bubble baths, champagne and silk robes certainly help keep a lady fresh against the gruel.
Do you have any other outside/additional future aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
EGOT [Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony].
To date, what has been your biggest career moment, at least thus far anyway?
Being invited by Dennis Hof to perform for Vince Neil and Tony Clifton at the (Moonlite) BunnyRanch.
On a more serious note, is it fair to say that you are happy with the current state of hip-hop? And, even more specifically, woman in rap, or the lack thereof?
I don’t consider myself a Hip Hop artist, which takes a bit of weight out of my opinion, but I’m excited about the widening of any platform for women.
Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
Sipping Prosecco in one of my seaside cottages, thumbing through my little black book of global paramours, deciding who to visit next.
As for the immediate, what’s next for Boyfriend?
The final installation of the Love Your Boyfriend project! Stay tuned …
Any closing thoughts for our readers?
I’m your Boyfriend.