Big Freedia! The Queen Diva!
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 challenging yet 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 has counted the Mayor’s office as a client), Freedia has begun traveling outside the city regularly with her dancers, The Divas, and live DJ, Rusty Lazer, playing to sold out audiences from the East to the West Coast alongside (or onstage with) artists such as Spank Rock, Ninjasonik, Monique, The Rapture, 7 Seconds, Snoop Dogg and many more.
Hess is More
The brain-child of Danish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Hess, this seven-piece p owerhouse balances the spontaneity of a Brooklyn warehouse rave with the complex scope of an orchestra drawing comparisons to everyone from Erlend Oye and Jon Brion to CAN. Their 2011 Nublu Records release "Creation Keeps the Devil Away" continues to receive global acclaim with Hess himself actively composing and performing with the Royal Danish Ballet and being included in the soundtrack for the Amnesty International 50th Anniversary Film.
Brooklyn by way of Chicago based DJ and producer, Brenmar, represents a strange musical paradox. Somehow defying the odds, he marries the artificial gloss of commercial R’n’B with the urban grittiness of underground styles like Chicago footwork and UK bass. His releases on the Discobelle, Grizzly, and Enchufada labels have taken him to both coasts of the U.S., Canada Japan, and the EU – frenzying crowds with his up-tempo, neon-drenched tunes. Brenmar’s more ‘unofficial’ online releases have also been gobbled up by the taste-making blogs and DJs of the world. His recipe for success? Take a pinch of Mannie Fresh snares, a handful of DJ Rashad toms, a dose of basslines from the UK, a generous portion of Hot 97 vocalists, poach it all in a synthesizer broth, and garnish with some Timbaland sheen. You’re getting close.