Fun Fun Fun Fest Interview: Big Freedia

Queen of twerk spreads the gospel according to bounce

Fun Fun Fun Fest Interview: Big Freedia

Big Freedia had a visitor at her 2011 Fun Fun Fun Fest set. His Excellency Ryan Gosling, who inspired a near manhunt while filming around the music festival with legendary director and recluse Terrence Malick, hung backstage even as a mob of rafter-swinging dancers joined the New Orleans bounce queen onstage.

The best part? Everyone was too busy gyrating to give a shit about the actor. Indeed, “Queen diva” stole the show with boundless energy and “Azz Everywhere.” Sans Gosling, Big Freedia returns to Auditorium Shores on Friday to spread the gospel of bounce.

Austin Chronicle: How are you feeling now that your show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, has aired on FUSE?

Big Freedia: I’m excited and overwhelmed that all of this is happening. It’s the perfect timing, so I’m just grateful and very thankful.

AC: You seem so comfortable on camera, but was everyone in your crew okay with having their lives documented?

BF: Pretty much. Everybody had to get used to it and warm up to it. None of us were used to. I don’t think we ever got to a point where we were fully comfortable having our lives documented, but the team got to a point where they were very happy about the crew that we had.

AC: I heard you weren’t happy about Miley Cyrus’ twerk disaster at the VMAs, but then said she shouldn’t stop.

BF: Well, I mean, she didn’t do it properly then, you know? She should continue to practice and keep trying to twerk.

AC: What do you think she needs to work on specifically?

BF: Well, the whole dance [laughs].

AC: It’s pretty clear from both your show and documentary The Queen Diva that your mother’s a huge support system for you. She says in the doc she thought you would be a gospel singer, but you’ve gone in arguably the complete opposite direction.

BF: She was supportive of me no matter which way I went. She was supportive of everything I did – as long as I stayed positive. She was a little concerned about the type of music that I was doing, but as long as it wasn’t going to change me, she was totally down with it.

AC: It seems that journalists refer to you as “she,” but your friends and family use “he.” Do you have a preference?

BF: I don’t have a preference, just whatever people are comfortable with. I’m comfortable with who I am. I know who I am, so “he” or “she” doesn’t matter.

AC: You’ve got a busy fall ahead. Tell me a little about your plans.

BF: Well, the tour. I’m excited about that. We’re going to be traveling to 28 different states showing love and spreading the goodness of bounce music. I’m just amped that the TV show is airing right now. Since I’ll be on tour, people will get to see me while the show is airing. It’s going to be very exciting.

I’m bringing out the full crew – DJs, dancers, tour manager selling merch. I plan on recording while I’m on the road. I may have opportunities that come to me, but I will definitely be recording some things on my own when I get a chance and have a gap.

AC: If your Fun Fun Fun Fest set is anything like 2011, Austin’s ready for you to get back.

BF: That’s right. It’s always Fun, Fun, Fun.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Big Freedia
Bounce House
Bounce House
Azz Everywhere #2 goes down (and up)

Audra Schroeder, May 14, 2010

Let Me See That Sissy Bounce
Let Me See That Sissy Bounce
Big Freedia holds court

Thomas Fawcett, March 12, 2010

More by Abby Johnston
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018


Big Freedia, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013, Ryan Gosling, Terrence Malick

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle