Boyfriend is the newest rap cabaret artist to break into the music scene. Bold and unashamed, Boyfriend is here to point out things that ‘polite society’ doesn’t want to look at too closely – menstruation, masturbation and unrequited love, among other provocative issues. In the process of sending a message through her music that eschews shame and embarrassment, she lays bare –not women’s issues, rather issues society has with women.
Click here to listen to her song, “Attention (Boogie T Remix)”– https://soundcloud.com/xoboyfriend/attention-boogie-t-remix
Learn more about Boyfriend in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s 2016 been treating you so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
2016 has been lovely, if fleeting. I’d say a highlight of 2015 was touring our great nation with Big Freedia – such a joyful time, with the holidays approaching and all.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was your family supportive of you?
Growing up I wanted to drive a hunter-green Jaguar and lay by the neighbor’s pool all day and I recall hearing vaguely tropical music waft over the fence along with the scent of suntan lotion. I’m very close with my family, and they’re very supportive (although they gave me a navy-blue BMW, which was a little tone-deaf in my opinion).
I’m curious to know why you decided to go by ‘Boyfriend’? Why not just go by your own name?
Boyfriend is my own name, and I chose it for myself because it is a word with great weight & significance. All around the world there are folks chattering about me already and they don’t even know it yet!
Can you describe what your unique style of cabaret is all about? Where did you come up with it?
I simply reached up and snatched a few tangible images from the collective unconscious. The boudoir and Broadway settings were within comfortable reach for me, as if I were always meant to be lounging in satin… I suppose you could say I came up with it in the bath.
How did your song “Tomorrow” come together? What was the inspiration for it?
Carpe Diem honey, don’t try to buy my future. I’m very put-off by the sense of entitlement certain lovers feel to my intimacy, as if access to the bedroom allows them access to all the rooms. (It doesn’t.)
So how was your show at SXSW? What was the cupcake fight all about? How did it get started?
SXSW was delicious, if controversial. I typically bring treats for the audience members – candy, prizes. Lately I’ve been bringing a few cupcakes for the loyal handful on the front row, but I decided that wasn’t fair, the back row should have a taste too. They were gourmet, cream cheese icing, the works! So rather than 6, I brought 6 dozen (it was actually 300 cupcakes but “6 dozen” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?).
What’s been a favorite show of yours in the past? What’s been a favorite show that you’ve attended and watched?
Honestly the SXSW show was a highlight, perhaps because we ended it outside, marching down 6th street covered in icing. I recently saw Burt Bacharach with the Nashville Symphony – it was a favorite certainly.
Where do you get the inspiration for your music and ultimately your performances as well?
Oh from living and surviving here! From growing up under the expectations of the female gender, escaping the oppression of conservative morality, overhearing conversations at the grocery store, etc.
Who are some of your favorite artists? What musicians have continued to inspire you year after year? Who would you love to work with in the future?
I love Carol Burnett & Elvis Costello. Babs has stayed with me through the years. I’d say it’s not too late to work with all three of them if we can simply get our schedules aligned!
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope listeners take away the call to listen! I fear most folks consume media in quite a passive, nonchalant state of mind, not really noticing the messaging that creeps its way into their inner sense of reasoning.
Oh just to stay tuned, as always, and to take time for a bubble bath every now and then (even the fellas!).