About Big Freedia
Big Freedia (pronounced “Free-da”) is the undisputed “Queen Diva” of Bounce Music, and performs six or more times a week in various venues throughout her home town of New Orleans.
Bounce Music is an original urban music rising up from the intimate and fun-loving nature of the New Orleans housing projects which dominate the city’s street culture, and Freedia performs a derivative of Bounce reserved for self-proclaimed “Sissies” (a locally used name for biological men with varied and ambiguous sexual identities) that has risen to prominence in recent years and features explicitly gay and cross-dressing musicians and themes. Big Freedia, like other “Sissy” artists, has achieved mainstream success with several New Orleans hit singles such as “Gin in My System” and “Azz Everywhere!” from her albums “An Ha, Oh Yeah” (1999) and “Queen Diva” (2003). Freedia began her musical career almost 15 years ago at the Walter L. Cohen High School in New Orleans, where she was enlisted as choir director from her Sophomore to Senior years. She sees her performance as a Bounce artist as an extension of this work, often interacting in a call and response/teacher and student, fashion with her audiences.
While also running a successful decorating business (for which she counts the Mayor’s office as a client), Freedia recently developed a musical about her life entitled “Catch That Beat” which featured cameo appearances by a who’s who of New Orleans Bounce artists alongside the story of her upbringing in New Orleans 3rd Ward. Since 2009 Freedia has begun traveling outside the city regularly with her dancers and live DJ, Rusty Lazer, playing to audiences on the East and West Coast alongside (or onstage with) artists such as Spank Rock, Ninjasonik, Japanther, Monique and many more. Big Freedia has always acted as a mentor for many younger artists and is currently at work on her third album. This year Freedia performed on the West coast with New Orleans band Galactic, recreating her collaboration on the critically-acclaimed 2010 album “Ya-Ka-May”, and at North By Northeast alongside Kid Sister, De La Soul and her New Orleans neighbors Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Freedia has performed at FYFest in Los Angeles, shared the stage with Major Lazer at MusicfestNW in Portland, headlined the Windish Agency Showcase at CMJ and done many major festivals in Austin including SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest and GayBiGayGay.
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Phish closed out the second show of their two-night stand at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland with a six-song second set and a four-song encore that will not soon be forgotten.