Big Freedia hopes to inspire
others with new memoir _lowres

Photo provided by Nicole Balin -- Big Freedia

Big Freedia, reality TV star, recording artist and queen diva of New Orleans’ hip-hop-based bounce music, is doing a rare show in Baton Rouge this week.

Freedia’s Friday performance at the Spanish Moon is the second show on his Fall Bounce Shakedown Tour. Stops include New York, Chicago, Boston and Houston.

The Fall Bounce Shakedown Tour began Tuesday at the House of Blues in New Orleans.

“It always feel good to start at home or finish at home,” Freedia said.

Even so, the first show of any tour is always stressful.

“It’s exciting and tense, all at the same time,” Freedia said with a laugh. “Of course, me and my crew, we’re gonna be ready. It’s a shakedown. New music, new looks, new energy, new fans. We’re ready for our next round to hit the world.”

The Bounce Shakedown Tour includes Freedia’s debut at one of New York City’s top concert venues, Irving Plaza.

“New York is like my second home,” Freedia said. “The fans there love us. Every time we go to New York we just have a blast.”

Thanks to national touring, recordings and his reality TV series, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” Freedia’s once local following has grown exponentially in the past few years. His phenomenally popular Fuse network series launched its fourth season Sept. 30.

“It’s the best season yet,” Freedia said. “The look, the quality. We step it up each year. Season 4, we really stepped it up. I spent a little bit more money. I know you can see it.”

This summer, Freedia published his entertaining autobiography, “Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva!”, co-written by his Beverly Hills-based publicist, Nicole Balin.

“It could have been a little more detailed and structured, but for the most part, I love it,” Freedia said. “It tells my story. Nicole helped me get my point across, even though we had such a short time to put a whole book together.”

The memoir includes the harrowing experiences Freedia and his family endured after Hurricane Katrina.

“I used to get really emotional about it,” he said. “I still can get emotional about it, but now I’m here to live and tell the story. Katrina is something that God wanted us to go through. Even during the tough times trying to rebuild our lives after losing everything, it was a blessing to go through Katrina, because Katrina changed my life and a lot of people’s lives in New Orleans.”

While Freedia hasn’t played Baton Rouge often through the years, he always enjoys performing there.

“Most definitely,” he said. “That’s right up the street from New Orleans, so that’s just like home. And I’ve played Baton Rouge enough that, when I come back, more people are excited for the next round.”