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 safe.
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.