Out today, their collab is a "celebration of inner power" and arrives with a music video that bathes the Los Angeles artist in a shower of wild, flashing lights. "Bitch I walk that walk, and nothing nice about this strut," Big Freedia raps on her verse, proving yet again why she's considered the reigning Queen of New Orleans Bounce.
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"'Strut' is a daily reminder to all of us, myself included, that the power we hold within ourselves is infinite," Elohim says, adding that working with Big Freedia "makes the song even more meaningful. Her music and story have inspired and continues to inspire humans all over the world."
Echoing Elohim, Big Freedia says "Strut" is about "owning your attitude no matter who you are." Elohim "is something else," she continues. "I was so excited to work with her.
Below, PAPER asked Big Freedia and Elohim to interview each other.
Big Freedia Interviews Elohim
Big Freedia: Who is your strut icon?
Elohim: All the unique badass people that have been strutting their stuff in the front row of my shows since day one, inspiring me to own who I am and to believe in myself. Even when I was at my lowest they lifted me up! They are my true strut icons forever and always. Real people full of love.
Big Freedia: This track is about loving yourself as you are. How do you get into that mindset?
Elohim: Over the last three years it took a lot of therapy, facing my fears, doing hundreds of shows and LETTING GO to get to where I am now. I feel better than I ever have. I feel the most confident and the most me probably since I was five years old. It is very empowering. When I feel empowered I feel so much love towards myself, my spirit and my body.
Big Freedia: Who did you get your style from?
Elohim: Since I was a baby I was changing outfits multiple times a day! My parents always let me dress myself. I love finding basics and cutting them up adding patches or painting them. Lately I'm really influenced by fashion documentaries such as the Alexander McQueen documentary that came out in 2018. Looking at high fashion runway models from the '90s is so cool, check out the Jean Paul Gaultier 1994 runway show.
Big Freedia: What accessory do you own that makes you feel instantly beautiful?
Elohim: I have this Dylan Lex chunky choker necklace that has been a saving grace in so many ways. Sometimes there is just that one piece that if you're feeling completely down will lift you up. I could be in a t-shirt and jeans, and as soon as I put on this Dylan Lex piece I feel beautiful and fierce.
Big Freedia: What's your favorite place to go in LA to get away from it all?
Elohim: My house is this magical fairy cabin surrounded by nature, and that is such an escape and safe place for me tucked away in LA. But right outside of Los Angeles, my most favorite place in the world to escape to is Palm Springs. Something about the desert sun and air makes me feel beautiful, relaxed and at peace.
Elohim Interviews Big Freedia
Elohim: What is the greatest part of inspiring so many humans all over the world to own who they are?
Big Freedia: Knowing that I have had such a positive influence on people makes me so happy and brings me so much joy.
Elohim: If you could tell someone one thing about bounce music what would you tell them?
Big Freedia: Shake your ass and your mind will follow.
Elohim: As a leader and innovator in bounce music what excites you most about the genre and new music coming out?
Big Freedia: Spreading the spirit and culture of New Orleans all over the world.
Elohim: What would you say to someone who is trying to find their strut?
Big Freedia: Remember you are a unique person and you have something to offer this world.
Elohim: How did NOLA influence your fierceness and fashion? (I LOVE YOU!)
Big Freedia: Oh my god — New Orleans is one of the most exuberant and stylish cities in the world! Everywhere you go there is wild architecture, art, and the people are no different!
Stream "Strut" by Elohim and Big Freedia, below.
Photo courtesy of Big Freedia/ Elohim
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