Published on April 7th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson0
Boyfriend Finds Comfort On Stage With Cabaret Rap
New Orleans cabaret-rapper Boyfriend was kind enough to take a break from working on new music in Utah to talk with The Local Voice about becoming Boyfriend and her upcoming show at Proud Larrys’ on April 9.
Boyfriend’s conception, marked by a music video released on her YouTube account, was a quick decision for the performer.
“There was probably only a month before I unleased it on the public eye…there wasn’t too much of a percolation period,” said Boyfriend. “I consider the birth of it to be when I released my first music video in February of 2012.”
In the early stages of Boyfriend, the elements of cabaret had yet to be fully realized.
“At first I felt I had to do what everyone else what doing, which was wear an interesting vintage shirt and do an interesting hairstyle and go somewhere interesting,” said Boyfriend. “I decided, ‘You know what? Being at home in my living room is just as interesting,’ and I’m way comfortable in slippers than I am in stilettos. Thus Rap Cabaret was born”
The teacher turned rapper has come a long way in the time since launching the Boyfriend project via YouTube video. Now a full time artist, she’s able to express herself without concern of repercussions from her day job.
“I was ready to leave the kiddos behind because I was too afraid they would discover that I walk around in my underwear sometimes,” said Boyfriend. “It just became uncomfortable so I decided to be able to fully embrace who I am without being afraid anymore.”
Thus far she has avoided any awkward encounters.
“No one as intimate as a student or parent of a student [has learned the identity],” said Boyfriend. “I’m sure it’ll happen eventually, but in the meantime…New Orleans is a good host for the cult of personality.”
In both her music and live performance, she says that comfort is the most important aspect of the project. She goes on to explain the inclusion of hair rollers and creating her look on stage.
Continuing the trend of theatrical elements, Boyfriend’s performances will frequently include costume changes.
“I suppose on the one hand it is just aesthetic and wanting to show off,” says Boyfriend. “But, on the other hand, as the show progresses it calls for different looks.”
More than just a showcase of music and outfits, Boyfriend shows are a collection of all her artistic efforts and ideas.
“The fact that you’re seeing it, hearing it, smelling it, and if you’re on the front row feeling it,” said Boyfriend. “I find it to be the most coherent place for all my work to exist at once, if only for a day.”
Her most recent release, Love Your Boyfriend, Pt. 3, is currently less than a month old. Rather than being nervous about performing the new material, she’s anxious to show everyone the work.
“It’s less than a week old,” said Boyfriend. “It can’t even see colors yet.”
Whereas her previous releases have been produced by SEXPARTY, a New Orleans based team, her newest release features a large selection of producers remixing records from her Love Your Boyfriend EP and Love Your Boyfriend, Pt. 2.
“Love Your Boyfriend Pt. 3…actually features 10 producers,” said Boyfriend. “Moving forward I’m working with some names I can’t disclose just yet.”
Diversifying who she works with is an important element to Boyfriend.
“That’s the fun part of collaboration,” said Boyfriend. “If you have a dinner party with the same people every night, the conversation is going to grow dull.”
After Boyfriend wraps up this string of tours, she plans to finish working on her new material
“I try to keep my perspective shortened, because things can change.” said Boyfriend. “For the time being I’m looking forward to playing in the South again.”