I spent a decent portion of last weekend in bed watching back-to-back episodes of “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” on FUSE.
As if I don’t already have enough shows on TV I like to watch, I find great joy in seeing what else is on that I can possibly latch onto. About a month ago, I saw this series was on and starting recording all of the episodes.
I let them pile up and then started from the beginning on Saturday – it was the perfect excuse to turn my head away from the protests and political craziness for a bit.
The thing is, I’d heard of Big Freedia, and have done some dancing to her songs at the studio, but really didn’t know much else. That changed, and I’m hooked. Here’s the trailer for season 1:
There’s at least five seasons, if not six, so there’s a good binge-session waiting for you. Anyway, who the heck is Big Freedia, the Queen Diva, YOU already know!!!! Okay, I’m sorry, I really do just love her positive energy!
Big Freedia is from New Orleans, where Bounce music originated, and has been popular since the 90s. Although many other artists have dabbled in Bounce before moving on, Freedia has been credited with taking it out of NOLA, and throughout the world.
Bounce music is difficult to describe – you’d know it if you heard it – but it’s music to twerk to, clap to, shake ya rump to – that’s the best part about it, it’s a genre of music that’s meant to be positive, meant for everyone to just cut loose without judgment.
Freedia started performing Bounce with drag queen and Bounce legend Katy Red in the late 90s. Hurricane Katrina sent Freedia to Texas, but when the city recovered from the storm, Freedia was performing several times a week, and became very well-known.
The television show catches Freedia just as things are really kicking up in her career. She’s about to embark on her first international tour, and is trying to figure out how to affordably become mainstream and go global.
Of course, the focus is on Freedia, but Katy Red is also in the show a lot, along with Freedia’s managers, dancers, producers, and family.
What I really love about the show is how it really shows this homegrown artist – a person who was born and raised in New Orleans, performing music known mainly in New Orleans; a person who has designed her own outfits and hair and styling for performances… and watch as they attempt to make it big.
The managers have one opinion, Freedia has another. But which decision will be the best for the career? For the tour? For the music?
It’s bittersweet to see because Freedia is just so awesome and humble and has this unique view of the world; but it hasn’t gotten her global (until now, of course).
Freedia started appearing nationally – in the New York Times and on HBO, in 2009, and is very well known for her performances at SXSW and her collaborations with RuPaul. She has set the Guiness World Record for twerking, and serves as the opening voice for Beyonce’s “Formation” Tour.
I’m only two seasons in, but I’m excited I still have plenty to watch, and plenty to learn. I don’t think I can quite convey how awesome the energy is – whether it’s in the music, the dance, or just the way Freedia talks (you’ve got to love a deep New Orleans accent, okey beh-beh) – it is just what I needed in these dark times.
So… if you need me, I’ll be twerking. YOU ALREADY KNOOOOOW.