In 2004, I was a featured performer at PeaceOut East the International LGBT Hip-Hop Festival in New York City. I was one of two folks from Minneapolis at the festival; the other individual was Tori Fixx.
I was blown away by his performance during the festival, and I thought it was hilarious that I had never met him in Minneapolis. In fact, it would be another three years before our paths crossed again. In 2007, I started hanging out with some fantastic human beings in the Twin Cities. I ended up playing softball with these peeps (SLAMMERS, YOU KNOW!) and volleyball. My life, for two years, was built around these amazing humans, and at the center of this community was the artist known as Tori Fixx aka DJ Naughty Boyy aka Lar'Isha Mae aka my friend Larry.
It is my honor and pleasure to share with you an interview with Tori Fixx. Also, DOWNLOAD ALL OF HIS MUSIC! I am currently listening to three of his newest tracks, and I am bouncin' in my chair like a drag queen in Atlanta during Freak Nik. His music IS the definition of HOTNESS!
I love you Isha.
Tori Fixx Bio
One of the pioneers of what is now called “out hip hop”; Rap, funk and R&B artist and one-time personal DJ for Prince - Tori Fixx is the Timbaland of out hip hop. The Minneapolis based Recording Artist, Producer, DJ; Vocalist & Emcee has been heralded as the “most ready for prime time” by music critic Ernest Hardy (Vibe, Rolling Stone) in the nationwide publication, The Advocate and he has appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and CNN’s Paula Zahn Now show.
1.. The first time I met you was in 1994 at PeaceOut East, the queer hip-hop festival (which was funny because we were both living in Minneapolis, and I met you in NYC). Talk to me about that experience, what was it like to be around other out and proud LGBT hip-hop artists?
Not to quote Paris Hilton, but that was a HUGE weekend for me. For all of us, actually. Not only were there a bunch of out hip-hop artists and a massive concert weekend (by our standards) but we were filming a documentary that eventually became "Pick Up the Mic". I cannot explain how high I was that weekend, from the energy and love that was all around. Not really that "kum-by-ya" type of love but you could feel the power of the entire movement. We were all there for (and unified through) one purpose, Out Hip-Hop and to be amongst so much talent is indeed a Blessing. Even more so, in being an artist who's allowed to "be who I am" and still be allowed to take the stage and obtain the utmost respect is something that I'll never tire of and this happens everytime I'm at a function like Peace Out East.
2. How did you come up with the identity of Tori Fixx? Why Tori and not Larry?
It's a spiritual thing, really. Larry is like the "home base" for so many different talents and in the beginning of my career I found it difficult for people to accept one person utilizing so many of their talents all at once. For instance I'm a Dj, Producer, Remixer and Recording artist who makes House, Dance, Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, New Age, and Movie Score music and that just doesn't sit right with people so one has to divide it all up. It just so happend that Tori Fixx "found me" after a battle with suicide many moons ago. I survived, thankfully but in being given a chance at life again I wanted to start over and do it right and eventually Tori Fixx was born as an outspoken hip-hop/activist who was both a person of color and openly gay. Plus it just had a nice ring to it. LOL.
3. Like many of the people that love you, I was transfixed to the television set the day that you were on the Tyra Banks Show. What was it like to have such a mainstream figure as Tyra do a show about homo-hop? Did that appearance have any impact on your career? Did it have any impact on the way that the general public thinks about hip-hop and R&B?
The taping of that show was great. It was one of those moments where I "just know" that this is the life for me. Tyra was so fierce. Plus she loves her gays. That first show was a "good start" but I think we actually needed an entire show and she even said so herself. I really felt like we had a short time to try and convince the world that we exist. It's been helpful with the career this far, but unfortunately more is needed. I'm still wishing for another show to come along (like Ellen) and pick up where that left off. Maybe get some performances in there as well. THAT would really let people know that the Out Hip-Hop community and music genre is ALIVE AND WELL......and it's just as HOT as anything on the radio, today.
4. You are a proud (and pretty) black man. How has your music been received in the black community?
It's been received pretty well, thus far but I really want to penetrate the community further. No, I'm not on the radio next to Beyonce. I don't have Beyonce budgets for things like fierce videos and other marketing so that means I have to do all that I can to try and get the attention of DJ's and potential fans and consumers alike. Right now all I care about is getting the music to the people, especially glbt people of color because this music that I make is truly FOR US and I'm trying to go every route possible just to get the music and the name further into the community and all around the world.
5. Your music exudes a sexuality and sensuality that is palpable...sometimes I listen to "Good Morn'ting," and think about the twins that were in the video and have to have some private time...how does your sexuality inform your music?
OMG. Thank you. I've always wanted to know if I could turn someone on with my music. My sexuality is a major part of my life and my life informs all of my musical creations so you're going to get it all. I can't help it. Sometimes I write things and later on go, "oooooh did I write that? Ooops!" I usually always write a song starting with the music and then I'll just play the instrumental for awhile until the lyrics come to me and that's how I get something that turns into "Good Morn'ting".
6. Finally, if people want to get them a piece of Tori Fixx or DJ Naughty Boyy (your DJ persona), where can they get some of you? Do you have any tours coming up? New albums coming out? Space for new mens in your life? Spill the T.
There is still space for a man in my life and if you know of someone in need of a good piece of chocolate in their life please send them my way. For better or worse they make for really great songwriting. LOL. As for the music.....umm, well I have about 4 projects in the works right now, maybe a few more. I just finished producing a NYC native named Jesse O. His CD Love & Go Crazy can be found on iTunes, also Shunda K (of Yo Majesty) is about to drop her new album featuring a handful of T. Fixx produced tracks. There's 2 Tori Fixx solo records in the making, and two duet projects as well. One of the projects is a group called LGTFX and its myself and another New York emcee named Lester Greene doing some serious out Hip-Hop/Electro-dance realness and we've been working on it for the past year and it's pretty much done now. Yet there's still MORE to come but I won't try and tell it all here just visit both of my websites (www.torifixx.com and www.djnaughtyboyy.com) and I always encourage everyone to feel free to spread the word.
Thanks again, BLC. Love uuuuuuuuuuuu!!!