On the surface, Boyfriend does not fit the M.O. of your typical rapper: a small, white female who is just as likely to interject an esoteric literary reference into a verse as a sexual innuendo. Don't let her looks fool you - she carries herself with the same confident swag as any hip-hop superstar. When asked in a November 2013 interview with Where Y'at Magazine how she gains respect in a field where she is the demographic exception, Boyfriend simply replied: "I just demand it."
It's limiting to think of Boyfriend as just a rapper. She is a heroine whose narrative is continually expanded through her music, videos, and live performances, each showcasing varying degrees of her personality. Her stage show, in particular, is the defining illustration of Boyfriend's persona. "I approach it like a rap cabaret," she told Where Y'at. "I get comfortable and really BECOME Boyfriend.When Boyfriend goes crazy, it's not replicable, it's something you have to come and see in person.
Boyfriend performs as part of the This Is NOLA's monthly art showcase this Friday, December 12 at the Joy Theater alongside other local talent including Quickie Mart, TYSSON, and Sweet Crude. Where Y'at caught up with her to discuss her recent album, as well as her upcoming performance.
Where Y'at: You have been releasing streaming music and music videos online for some time now. How did the decision to release an album come about. Is the album intended to have a particular theme or feel as a cohesive whole?
Boyfriend: Both parts 1 and 2 of the Love Your Boyfriend EP deal with themes of love and commitment, new territory for me. I was ready to add my voice to the conversation about love that goes on in nearly every song we hear.
Where Y'at: You are known for having theatrical live performances. What can we expect from your show coming up on Friday?
Boyfriend: Prizes, poses & sequins.
Where Y'at: Speaking of theatrical performances, you have several music videos online now - many released shortly after the other. How do you feel these build upon your musical persona?
Boyfriend: The videos are little realities, exercises in setting, character and theme. I like giving each song its own eternal moment, available 24/7 as long (as YouTube exists).
Where Y'at: Local dance/rap group Sexparty, who you have partnered with many times in the past, produced your latest EP, Love Your Boyfriend. What is it like working with them? How did you first collaborate with them.
Boyfriend: We have a blast together. For the LYBF EP they helped me keep things sonically consistent so that there'd be an overall vibe, love songs in the key of subtle analog aggression. We met at a sex party, actually.
Where Y'at: Do you have a tour/promotion schedule planned to promote the new EP? What is your performance schedule looking like the next few months?
Boyfriend: I just played Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin and wrapped up a southeastern tour in support of the EP. Now I'm focused on the This Is NOLA show on 12/12, a homecoming of sorts. Then I'll be kickin it with Santa Claus till January!
Everyone who RSVPs for the This Is NOLA will receive a free download of a single from part 2 of the LYBF EP, which is being released the week of the show on December 9.
Where Y'at: You received a lot of national press last year (Huffington Post, SXSW). What doors has this opened for your for the new year?
Boyfriend: The national press is rad… the power of the name-drop. All I have to do is say "The Huffington Post" to skip people in line at Starbucks and use whichever gendered bathroom I want.
Where Y'at: What would you like to achieve in 2015? Anything big planned?
Boyfriend: Oh it's all big… stay tuned.
Where Y'at: What would you like readers to know about Boyfriend? How would you describe your art to someone who has never heard of you before.
Boyfriend: Boyfriend is what Marilyn Monroe really sang to J.F.K. on his birthday…
Created by Winter Circle Productions and taking place at The Joy Theater, This is NOLA is a free monthly event series, showcasing the sights, tastes and sounds of New Orleans. With the intention of offering a snapshot of the local contemporary culture of the city, This is NOLA features performances by local musicians, visual art installations, street food, craft cocktails and other elements representative of New Orleans' more progressive side. The second event will take place this Friday, November 14th at 8pm. RSVP for preferred entry at www.thisisnola.org.