An Interview With The Native American Drag Pop Recording Artist, VIZIN!
Posted On 08 Nov 2017
VIZIN is a Native American drag-pop recording artist who went from 700 pounds to 200 pounds. And her new dance single for “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” that premiered at Billboard is a re-imagined version of the original disco anthem by Sylvester. The team that produced this track is Chris Rosa (RuPaul), remixed by world-renowned DJ Hector Fonseca (Over 20 #1 Billboard remixes including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Sia) and the video is directed by JoseOmar (Justin Bieber) and Leo Madrid.
See the video, including cameos from Manila Luzon and Mariah Balenciaga (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”, Season 3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57XkaYnzDSU
A version of her previous single for “I Was Born This Way” was also used for designer Marco Marco’s “A Night In The Red Light” show. She recently launched her “I Was Born This Way” USA club tour (dates below) including festival appearances in southern California where she shared the bill with Chaka Khan, Jodi Watley and Aaron Carter.
See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdafDSTaZ1w&feature=youtu.be&t=6m18s
Learn more about VIZIN in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What’s a song you are loving these days? What music instantly lifts you out of a bad mood?
Right now, I’m in between rehearsals, so I’m actually listening to my covers of “I Was Born This Way” and “You Make Feel (Mighty Real)” at the moment. However, whenever I’m not rehearsing, I’m usually listening to satellite radio and I’m really in love with Demi Lovato’s song “Sorry Not Sorry” and Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands”. I enjoy a wide variety of music but the pop scene is really giving me life these days.
Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year? What have been some of the highlights for you this year? What are you excited for in 2018 which will be here before we all know it?!
This year started off with a bang. With the release of my first cover for “I Was Born This Way” at the end of last year, the momentum coming into 2017 was major. I performed at venues that have graced legendary acts including Lady Gaga, Chaka Khan and The Pussycat Dolls. Traveling has definitely been fun and a great new experience. Performing and closing Downtown LA Pride was probably the highlight of the year.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there ever a time where you thought about doing something completely different? What do you think it finally was that pushed you to this career?
I was always that little gay boy in the corner playing with my Barbies and putting on mini concerts with my Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston tapes blaring loudly out of my Walkman. I never saw myself doing anything else but music. Even going into college, I planned on studying opera and music education. It’s always been in the cards. There have been a few times when I would give up on music and try to find more practical ways of making a living like studying psychology or English, but I’ve always come back to music.
I always like to know how a particular city has influenced an artist. How do you think your hometown has affected the kind of music that you are making today? How has your current city influenced your music?
I grew up in a rather small, conservative town and listened to a lot of country music with my single mother. However, when I visited family that lived out of town, I would be exposed to other genres. I never had MTV growing up, but being able to see Madonna and Mariah, whenever I was at a cousin’s house, was always the highlight of my youth.
By living in LA today, I hear influences from a lot of different genres and I find that as long as it’s good music, it doesn’t matter who is making it.
So how did you lose 500 pounds? What really motivated you to lose all that weight? Has this weight loss affected your voice at all?
In 2009, I was at my heaviest and my mother was really the one concerned. She secretly organized a doctor’s appointment to have me discuss Gastric Bypass as an option to get healthy. Losing the resonance in my voice was a concern for me, but the weight loss didn’t really change much. If anything, it made my voice stronger.
Let’s talk about your breakout single, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” What was it like putting it together and why did you decide to re-imagine this original disco anthem by Sylvester?
The covers have been a great a fun way for me to get my heels wet. Initially, we wanted to build a bridge from the original disco era of the 70s with today’s music. Bringing back these classic gay anthems, with a bit of a twist, was the catalyst for it all. Now, I’m writing and recording original music and getting ready for what’s to come with touring and my first album.
I’m also honored to be working with a great on this single. Chris Rosa (RuPaul) produced it, JoseOmar (Justin Bieber) and Leo Madrid directed the video and world-renowned DJ Hector Fonseca (Over 20 #1 Billboard remixes including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna) remixed it.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full collection of new material? How do you think “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” prepares listeners for more music from you?
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but 2018 is going to be a big year. I’m excited to give people a new and unique experience with my music but more so I hope people will be able to connect with the lyrics.
How was your I Was Born This Way tour? Where were some of your favorite venues and crowds? What makes an ideal show for you?
The summer was great. I worked with a lot of people I’ve admired over the years and got to travel a lot more. Performing in Florida for the first time with Hector Fonseca was really the highlight of my year.
Now that the summer is over, what was something fun that you did or tried for the first time?
I actually had never been to a Pride festival in LA, so sharing the festival stage at LA Pride at the beginning of the summer with Chaka Khan and Jodi Watley and then closing DTLA Pride at the end of the season really blows my mind.
How do you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Where do you think you are truly the happiest- on stage performing or elsewhere?
There’s no other feeling I can describe that is better than being on stage. I give, but also get my life up there and I can’t wait for the next show.
Do you believe that the music being created right now will be greatly influenced by the intensely politically charged times we live in right now? How has it affected you as a musician in general?
I would rather say that coming out as an LGBT artist from the jump is definitely a sign of the times. I’m excited that I can be myself and still make great music.
Which artists have continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’ve always loved big voices and I’m still inspired by them today. I would die if I ever got to work with Mariah Carey. A girl can dream…
What advice would you give to a young person who is considering becoming a musician one day?
Never give up. The journey is long and hard but so worth it.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I hope they see that you can be yourself and that anybody’s opinion on you doesn’t matter as long as YOU are happy.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
As the Native American Barbie, all I can say is be yourself and don’t let anyone tell you who you have to be. Live like the song says, happy and carefree, you were born this way.