Featuring content from the hottest gay and gay-friendly spots in New York, each (free!) issue of Get Out! highlights the bars, nightclubs, restaurants, spas and other businesses throughout NYC’s metropolitan area that the city’s gay population is interested in.
Cazwell, the direction of the music on “Blend” is different, yet definitely still fits in the Cazwell style and brand. What is the direction of this package specifically like? Cazwell: I did take into consideration that Peppermint was on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” I took the demographics into consideration, but I wanted it to have a sound of “right now” and have a popular point of view. I wanted to take the sound that people would gravitate to and also create a song with a message. There is a line, though. Sometimes you can take a song with a message, and it can be a bit of a yawn; if it’s too political, some people can’t balance pop appeal and thoughts? Cazwell: I think that to a certain extent, RuPaul has said some things that make me think she has a very old school way of thinking with some gay issues and trans issues, like with the use of the word “tranny.” I think she can be a little stubborn to let go of that and move forward with the times. I can definitely understand that to PHOTO BY BOB BOTTLE definitely wanted to also make some music that we could also do in gay clubs. It would be a straight-up hip hop track or a trap track. I know what music that queens that watch the show want to hear. Part of me wanted to appease them; that’s part of the reason “Blend” sounds the way that it does. I figured I should try to make a contemporary pop song, which I had never tried to make one before. Anything that had a pop feel to it usually happened by accident. I definitely keep it having a message. It’s a hard thing to balance out. I worked on the song for months, and it took so many versions. It was really difficult. I am the type of person that has to try everything until I hit the right thing. I am a perfectionist. “Blend” was a real achievement for me. RuPaul recently made some comments about trans contestants on “Drag Race.” Peppermint gave some well-thoughtout comments to Billboard. What are your a certain point; I used to say “tranny” all the time myself. I lived in New York and knew all of the girls downtown, and they all called themselves “trannies.” I think a new generation of trans women saw the word as derogatory, because hateful heterosexual men who wanted to make fun of them would use the word — you would have to talk to a trans woman to see why they really hate the word so much, though. My point of view is that I never meant it in a negative way, but I can change.
I never mean to offend anyone. It was simple for me, but there are other people that wanted to hold onto it. I listen to RuPaul’s podcast, “What’s the Tee,” and I sometimes think that she needs to be surrounded by some younger voices to maybe affect her opinion on things. There are also things to consider—like, for example, would having nine men and one woman in the workroom working together change the dynamic of the show? I can understand that concern. To some extent I can see where she is coming from; she has found a formula that works for the show, so I can understand why she would not want to change that also. You are very vocal about the world in general and are able to put your finger on what is important to the community. From a creative perspective, is it harder to keep staying inspired with the LGBT community having to fight harder now more than ever in today’s climate? Cazwell: Actually, no; I almost think it’s easier. I am actually inspired more when I am up against something. When we are having our rights, our safety and our healthcare taken away from us—with gun laws for example—and our money and our taxes are being fucked with, we feel we need to fight back, and write up a big sign and march. I think in times like this we are inspired more, when we have to fight. There are so many things we took for granted when we had a president that actually fought for gay marriage and won. Now that we have someone who wants to take that away from us, or take trans people out of the military, who is openly transphobic, homophobic, racist, Islamophobic, you name it, we have so much more to be loud about. Once he became president, the first thing I said was that I vowed to be as gay as possible. I think it’s important for gay people to be as loud and as vocal, and for trans people to be as loud and as vocal as possible; they want to shut us up so we appear invisible, and it then appears that their side is winning. It is so important to go against the grain. That’s the great thing about our country. It proves how much you want to fight for your country. We have this “accidental president” that obviously does not belong there. It’s like hiring a restaurant manager who you find out two weeks later is wrong for the job; he just should not be doing it. If he hadn’t won, “Loose Wrists” would not have happened. I don’t know that there would have been as much of an urgency for me to write “Blend.” I may have just written happy-go-lucky, bottle-popping club tracks. The good old days! [laughs] PEPPERMINT/CAZWELL - “BLEND” WWW.YOUTU.BE/ECSAVEDOP58