Big Dipper has emerged as one of the biggest and brightest LGBTQ talents over the past decade. He’s also super cute which is a fun added bonus.
The Illinois native has developed a massive following thanks to his unique and incredible music abilities that go beyond what is usually heard on the top 40 radio stations. He’s also found success in the podcasting world with shows like Unbearable with drag queen Meatball and Sloppy Seconds on the Forever Dog Network.
Now the “Drip Drop” performer is giving millions of people something new to enjoy as he’s hosting a weekly show called Big Dipper Live exclusively on the GROWLr app beginning tonight, May 7, at 9:00 PM EST.
What makes this programming different from most other performances being offered during this time of quarantine are these shows are free to viewers and they support queer artists as GROWLR isn’t asking the performers to donate their time. The app is paying them for their performances, just like a brick and mortar bar or club would do.
He spoke to us exclusively about what fans can expect from the new show, his thoughts on the music industry, Bear Week, and so much more.
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I’m so excited to partner with @growlr_app to use their LIVE feature every Thursday in May! Join me to say hi, ask questions, and talk about anything and everything. My user name is ‘Big Dipper’ Just download GROWLr and find me LIVE 🐻 Thursdays at 9pm EST /6pm PST #ad #livestream
Tell us about your new show Big Dipper Live and can fans expect you to be naked on it at some point?
Well it’s not really a show. I’m not performing music or dancing, I’ll be talking to GROWLr users and using the new LIVE feature. More of a conversation, and the only real structure is that I’ll be going LIVE every Thursday night in May. I want to get to know people who follow me and are interested in the music and videos I make, and this is a great way to connect. I’m also excited to introduce myself to people who have never heard of me or my music. Also I want to know what the guys on GROWLr want to talk about. I’ll answer any questions they have for me, and hopefully connect with people all over the world. I want to make it a fun interactive experience that people will come back to week after week.
And no, I won’t be getting naked. It’s not allowed on the LIVE feature.
Shall I assume that you have a penchant for bears seeing as you are doing this show with GROWLr?
Well, I’m pretty much a textbook definition of a bear when it comes to my body; I’m thick and hairy and have a beard and belly, so that all lines up. And yes I use the app to meet people and connect, especially when I’m traveling all over the country for shows. I think it’s a perfect partnership.
Has your opinion on the music industry changed over the years?
Of course. The more you work in a field and learn from your mistakes and your successes, the more information you have to form an opinion. So much of the commercial side of music is based on access, industry plants, and playing to the lowest common denominator. Selling music is like a master class in marketing, product placement and trend forecasting. That can be fun as long as you know what game you’re playing… I’ve always been inspired by people who are able to break through while still being true to themselves, but it’s definitely hard. For a while I really tried to hustle and my goal was to operate within the industry, but I’ve learned that being myself and making the kind of content that I really connect with is more important to me. So if the industry wants to f**k with me, then great! I’ve got the chops to back it up! But I’m not waiting for like some major artist co-sign or a million-dollar record contract lol. I’m happy being an independent entertainer and I’m proud of the work I’ve made with my friends, the music and videos I’ve put out, and the shows I’ve been able to play all over the world.
It’s still fun to be a dreamer, and that’s a huge help when putting out content on the internet. I still get so geeked up for my new releases. I’m putting out new music at the end of May, THE HAM AND CHEESE EP, and it’s fun to hype yourself up with every new idea, song, or video. I feel really lucky that I get to share my creative ideas with the world!
What are your thoughts on the rise of LGBTQ artists in the rap and hip hop worlds?
I get more attention from certain press outlets because I don’t fit the stereotypical packaging when you think of “rapper,” but there are so many artists and peers of mine who I have played shows with and who have made major moves in the music industry, all while being true to their identity. I think now more than ever people feel more free to be their true selves publicly, though I’m sure there are still people out there who feel the need to hide themselves for fear of acceptance or their own safety.
Here are some amazing indie queer and trans artists to check out: Mister Wallace, TT The Artist, Cakes Da Killa, Miss Boogie, Mykki Blanco, Divoli S’vere, KC Ortiz, Micahtron, Le1f, Big Momma, Young KSB, Kid Kenn…not to mention so many LGBTQ artists who have come from the RuPaul’s Drag Race world: Shea Couleé, Aja, The Vixen, Peppermint, Widow Von Du, etc.
Do you respect others like Lil Nas X who have come out on the international platform that they are on while not giving a f**k about people’s response?
Yes totally! I think it’s amazing that the biggest song of 2019 belonged to a young queer black man. That’s music history! Also he came out on his own terms, and though it was a historic moment in queer history, the majority of his fans didn’t care. That’s a much bigger mark in social progress for the world, which is awesome. And I really like his music.
Bear Week is canceled this year. I know you’ve been in the past so name three things you’ll miss the most about it.
Yeah I went a few years ago and it was totally awesome. I see why people go year after year. There was something really special about walking around Provincetown and seeing lots of people who look alike…I know that’s kind of the joke, but it’s also really empowering to see hairy fat dudes celebrated and lusted after. Things that I miss from Bear Week: fried dough, pool parties, and biking around town with my shirt off!
What are you looking forward to doing the most once you aren’t in self isolation anymore?
PLAYING A SHOW!!!! I absolutely love being a performer and playing live shows. It’s my favorite thing! I have no idea when parties and concerts will be able to happen again, but I can’t wait to get on stage and put on a show. I get so energized from the crowd and love meeting people after my shows. That’s one thing I’m excited about pairing with GROWLr LIVE is that I can talk with people on video and invite them into my livestream. It makes it super engaging.