It’s that time of year again: Pride is upon us. This will be my 9th year working with Seattle PrideFest in curating talent. Each year comes with its own challenges. Who should we bring? How much money can we spend? How do we keep things fresh? It’s a lot of hard work, and you can never please everybody. However, with Big Dipper, I think we have a real crowd pleaser!
Big Dipper has been described as “fresh, funny and raunchy”, and compared to the likes of Nicki Minaj, Kid Sister or fellow gay rapper, the New York-based Cazwell. He has been touring and lighting up events like the StarGAYzer Festival and SXSW. His videos are amazing and entertaining. Boy works hard. Sincerely can’t wait for his appearances both at Kremwerk (for a DJ set on Friday, 6/26 with DJ Tony Burns) and at Seattle PrideFest (headlining the Mural Stage on 6/28). I had the opportunity to bat a little Q & A around with the man himself in advance of his Seattle appearances later this week. Read on for all the dirty bits…..
L.A. Kendall: Where did the name Big Dipper come from?
Big Dipper: It was truly sort of random. I’m a big guy, so big worked and dipper is sort of sexual, and the name is somewhat iconic, so it just made sense. Then after looking into, Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major which is a big bear, so it made even more sense.
LAK: I feel like we’ve seen your music grow and evolve. Describe that journey for us and how you got to your latest?
BD: Well, the first song I ever made was “Drip Drop” and we made a music video for it and put it online. So basically I’ve been sharing my music with the world since day one. There isn’t an incubation process, no sort of private development of music and vision and looks….I just share as I go. There has definitely been an evolution and as I meet new music producers and get exposed to different nightlife situations, other artists, new inspiration, the sound evolves. I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, so I enjoy working in different genres. This year I put out a release of club tracks that I collaborated with a bunch of DJs on, a release that was grimy and dark in its production and more rap based, and this June I’m releasing my debut pop EP called EXTRA GOOD with 5 pop tracks on it. I like to try new things, and I think people support my versatility.
LAK: You’ve had a lot of collaborations with some pretty big names. What’s it been like working with these folks. Like Cazwell for instance?
BD: Cazwell is a sweetheart, truly like a brother to me. He gives me advice, I give creative input, he is like a great sounding board. I was so happy to meet him and realize how supportive he is. Everyone in the game that I interact with is supportive and kind….there are some shady people but I don’t really see them. The world is too big to let those people hold you back.
LAK: What is your creative process? How do you write rhymes?
BD: I love to actually write in the studio. I love when it’s really organic, like off the top of my head, very freestyle inspired. That’s how I started when I was in high school, just writing in my head, whatever came into my brain, and what I could remember. But after my first song, I would spend a long time writing and rewriting and making things smarter and tighter….and I think there is a place for that….but my favorite is to just get in the studio, vibe on a beat for awhile and then write… I will write verses and a hook in like 30-45 min. Just let it all fall out, then go back and tweak things.
LAK: The body pos/bear pos piece to you is extremely appealing in that I really respect how you just don’t give a fuck and are sexy anyway sort of way. How on earth do you keep it up?
BD: Lol. I was a late bloomer with all that. Something clicked when I was in my mid twenties and I was performing with a dance trio. Prior to that I was very ashamed of my chubby body and all my hair, and I didn’t understand my assets 🙂 Then when I began performing I realized that if I tapped into it, I had stage presence and sex appeal and confidence….so I’m just following my natural instincts I guess….I never really thought I’d end up stripping all over the country lol.
LAK: You’ve been rocking music festivals from coast to coast and making big splashes. How does it feel to be on the road, recognized for what you love to do?
BD: It’s an amazing feeling and I’m super grateful. It is still 100% a hustle and I’m a one person machine. So when I say I need you to buy my merch it’s cause a tank top equals lunch the next day 🙂 My shows keep getting bigger and better (I’m going to Iceland in the Fall!!) and I have big ideas/dreams for the future, so this truly is only the beginning.
LAK: Favorite performance this year and why – go!
BD: I started the new year off with a fantastic performance. I opened for Andrew WK in Chicago on New Year’s Eve. It was a huge crowd (like 800 people I think) and I played a full set with dancers and costume changes. The show was really tight and awesome, but it was also a truly mixed crowd, tons of straight people, and lots of people who had never heard of me. And by the end, they were singing along, tipping me, and having a blast. It’s always an amazing feeling to win over a big crowd.
LAK: What are you most looking forward to in regards to Seattle Pride? What can fans expect?
BD: I haven’t been to Seattle in like two years I think, so I’m excited to come back and see the city! Everyone in Seattle is so nice I just want to say hi and give bear hugs and hang out……and eat donuts!!! As far as the show, I’ve gotten better and my music is new and my confidence is elevated. I feel like I offer a really stand out professional, fun, high energy, sweaty and sexy concert and I can’t wait to deliver. I was a baby last time I was in Seattle, and now I’m all grown up.
LAK: If you were trapped on an island with 3 people for the rest of your life, who would that be and why?
BD: Like actual people that I know: My sister, my best friend, and a fuck boy.
And celebrity famous people: Nicki Minaj (entertainment) Elizabeth Warren (education) Chris Meloni (sex education)
LAK: You had me at Elizabeth Warren! Amazing! Any words of advice for artists who are looking at you and being inspired to follow in your footsteps?
BD: Hustle hard and don’t let a “no” stop you.
Be authentic and honest and don’t play games. Shady people get a reputation fast and you’ll get the boot.
Don’t force anything that doesn’t feel right or you think will advance what you are doing.
Be patient with yourself but also work at it every day.
…and that, my friends, is a peek into the man, the myth, the legend in the making: Big Dipper. Do not miss either of his Seattle appearances. Both completely unique, so you’ll be missing something if you do! The last thing you want is to be filled with regret after Pride. Mmmm hmmm. I’ll just leave it at that, girl.
See Big Dipper:
@ Kremwerk: DJ set with Tony Burns on Friday 6/26.
@ Seattle PrideFest: Live Set on the Mural Stage Sunday 6/28.