As COVID-19 cases continue to increase globally, social-distancing
measures and hygiene regulations have changed life as we know it. The uncertainty
that the pandemic has brought about has made it very difficult to determine
when we will be able to return to everyday activities once considered normal,
especially those involving large crowds. For instance, the music and
entertainment industries are among the economic sectors that have experienced the
biggest financial losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has forced artists not
only to further their artistic expression and legacy during a difficult time,
but also to adapt to a world where crowds, concerts, and touring are no longer
In a recent interview, New Orleans bounce-music legend Big
Freedia discussed some of the hardships that the coronavirus outbreak has
brought about for local musicians, as well as what she has been doing in order
to keep busy and adapt to this ever-changing period.
When asked about what she misses the most, Ms. Freedia
stated that it was hard not to be touring, not only because she misses the
"planes, trains, buses, and talking to fans," but because touring represents a
large portion of her income as an artist.
"This is my life," said Miss Freedia, when asked about the
music industry and COVID-19's overall impact on her profession. She stated that
she has shifted to virtual platforms in order to stay connected to her fans and
to continue sharing her music. Big Freedia has done a number of virtual
performances, including several appearances in virtual pride celebrations. She
said that she "is very grateful for the people reaching out to these
performances." The singer also stated that she is making an effort to rebrand
herself in order to adapt to the pandemic and to "keep uplifting people," which
has always been her mission.
Apart from turning to technology as a form of furthering her
music career and keeping in touch with her fan base during the pandemic, the
performer started doing live cooking shows from City Park. In her series
"Garden Cookout With Big Freedia," the singer livestreams herself preparing a
variety of recipes for her fans to enjoy. Ms. Freedia has broadcasted the
majority of her past cooking classes via Facebook, although a limited number of
tickets have also been made available for fans who wish to attend her cooking
events in-person, while following social-distancing and hygiene guidelines.
When discussing her favorite meals to cook, she replied that
she has particularly enjoyed making her "Bend-Over Benedict Biscuit, barbecue
fried chicken, Booty-Poppin' Potatoes, and so many other different recipes."
Miss Freedia stated that she hopes that festivals and
concerts can be safe again in 2021. "When we go back, it will be epic—the
energy, the rooms, the people." She discussed how music does so much to bring
people together and how it "is needed to feed the soul."
Even though she stated how adapting to the pandemic has been "a little rough," Big Freedia's outgoing and kind personality remains intact as she finds more ways to keep connected to her fans, while furthering her artistic talent.