I caught up with Freddie Ross, aka Big Freedia (pronounced "FREE-da") the Queen Diva, by calling her at home in New Orleans, Louisiana—the official birthplace of jazz, and more recently of bounce music. If you're not yet familiar with bounce—a style of New Orleans hiphop that absolutely requires you to move that booty—it's best to watch and learn. Get thyself to the internet and watch Freedia's videos for "Azz Everywhere," "Y'all Get Back Now," and "Excuse," then learn to pop it, twerk it, and bounce it. Practice makes perfect, and don't you go being shy—you must be one with your booty! It's YOUR booty—love it, own it, whatever its size, Big Freedia style.
Your "azz" really is everywhere! You're about to head out on tour again, of the United States? Yes ma'am, I sure am!
What's the best thing about performing in your hometown of New Orleans? Ooh, it's FUN—mostly because everyone is so familiar with the music and all the dance moves. Everybody's really in tune to it.
Who are your favorite NOLA musicians? Of course, Lil Wayne, he's steady killin' it. And Luke James, he's been the opening act for Beyoncé—he's amazing and awesome. I listen to a lot of different things—I love Quintron and Miss Pussycat, brass bands, Sissy Nobby, Katey Red.
Tell me about the new reality show I keep reading about! Well, it premieres on September 18 on Fuse TV. The production company is World of Wonder. It's very exciting and also a little overwhelming at the moment. You'll get a peek into my life, on a personal level, and also on a business level. There's definitely some really emotional moments, and some funny ones, too—all different sides of Team Freedia, which is all of my staff.
How about the Almost Famous documentary about you? It's almost finished—we're still working on it. It's such a work in progress. There's so much to include, we're just steady filming all the time.
And are you working on a dance instruction DVD, too? Yeah, that's definitely in the works, too! The Big Freedia Workout DVD.
Any advice for people like me who are afraid to dance—sometimes too shy? Baby, you just got to let go and release yourself. Get into your moment.
Did you hear about those 33 high-school students who got suspended for twerking in San Diego? I did. I thought the video was cute. The instructors and staff over there took it too far, though—you know, people just want to have fun. And sometimes they want to express themselves, no matter where they are. I really don't see any harm in twerking for a YouTube video.
Do you have new dance moves for this tour? Oh yeah, definitely. We're gonna bring out some new stuff, change it up a little bit, bring out some new people.
What are the names of some of these dance moves? Well, we definitely twerk! And P-pop. Then there's the "wobble," the "wiggle-wobble," and the "mixer." The mixer is like mixing bowl—you make your ass go around and around in a circle.
What do you look for in backup dancers? They have to know what they're doin' on a dance level, but they also have to be positive—they have to have a good spirit. I don't want anything or anyone who's negative.
Your music makes people really happy. What makes YOU happy? Seeing people dance makes me happy. Getting people out of their normal zone and bringing all different walks of life together on a dance floor, that's what really makes me happy. Straight, gay, black, white—and ALL different colors, shapes, and sizes! I love my audiences, and I love them to just be a big ol' mix of people. And most of the time, it is.