There's nothing D Smith can't do. The producer and singer has made her mark on the music industry, working with everyone from Lil Wayne to Ciara to Keri Hilson—not to mention appearing on Love and Hip Hop. The Florida-born multi-threat artist has been an Atlanta native since 2009, and she talked to PAPER and American Express about what makes the Atlanta LGBTQ community so special and how she expresses love everyday.
What projects are you working on as of right now? Are there any upcoming show, events, that people can catch you at? Any albums or singles?
I'm working with 2 Chainz right now and we're about 3-4 songs in. I've been talking with Andre 3000. Me and Lil Wayne have been talking over the phone trying to get our times and schedules back so that we can make some more magic and history. I'm working with Cee Lo right now. And of course I'm working on my music.
There is a huge announcement I wish I could tell you, but I will tell you this. I did Google Talks, and I made the announcement there. It's historical. My personal project. That's what I'm dealing with.
What do you think are the strong parts of Atlanta's LGBTQ community? The parts that make it so successful and vibrant.
Atlanta as a whole is just filled with raw talent. Even though I should be somewhere in Europe, I don't want to miss out on what's about to happen in Atlanta. It's just so much raw talent and there's no difference in the LGBT community at all, from the drag queens to what we call the witch queens to the trans girls. Everyone is so damn creative down here and so inspiring. I think even going to Lenox Mall, you're going to get a good taste of Atlanta culture. There's always an expression somewhere in the room. I think it's a hub for creativity here right now.
That's great. So, next, what do you think is the next big step? Both for Atlanta's LGBTQ community and LGBTQ rights in general? What's the project, movement, or issue we should be looking to tackle and change.
Thank you for asking that question. It's a really good question. First of all, we have to vote. That's number one and we have to continue the legacy of Obama. Continue to be present. The more present we are, the more it tells the world that we are a part of this world and we are a part of this community. We have to vote and stay present, and don't disappear and lose the momentum. We cannot let up. I say this a lot. Being tolerated is not the big picture here. The big picture is to be respected and accepted. Accepted for who you are. Black people have to be accepted by white people. Gay people have to be accepted by the world. Not tolerated like "Okay well, gosh…I have to tolerate it because we're in the same space." We have to reach the core of the issues and gain the respect where people will give a damn about helping us and supporting us.
How do you express love every single day?
I'm gonna keep it very real with you. Me working my ass off is me expressing love. At the end of the day, my life and legacy is to help everyone that I can from my family to my friends. Transitioning has shown me who really loves me- who truly unconditionally loves me, family or not. So, I've got to put the hard work in, the elbow grease in, to be able to help my family when they're in need.