Beyoncé’s Renaissance-inspired Kevin JZ Prodigy at Pure/Honey

Photo Illustration: Clip; Photos: Parkwood Entertainment, Rodan Ekenrose/Getty Images

On the song “Pure/Honey,” Beyoncé’s voice is not heard until 20 seconds into the track. Instead, we were introduced to the voice of two other people: Kevins. Nightlife staple and drag legend Kevin Aviance hits the beat for his iconic 1999 classic “Cunty.” Then there’s the voice of Kevin JZ Prodigy, once known as the voice of the dancehall generation, from DJ MikeQ’s 2009 song “Feels Like.”They lead the star to the most direct reference to the ballroom scene regeneration, Her electronic ode to safe spaces.

Kevin JZ Prodigy Status ballroom commentator He has worked prom across the globe, providing live chanting for the ballroom segment of the 2022 BET Awards and voicing the Mugler fashion show, making him the regeneration“This is one of the greatest artists in the world, one of the greatest talents of our time,” Prodigy said of his voice being included on the album. “In fact, she heard my voice and thought ‘I need that’…she said yes as soon as she thought about it.” His work was clearly important to Beyoncé: the superstar used the first 20 seconds of the song ( only featuring Aviance and Prodigy) for the video trailer for her full album.

During his dancehall career, Prodigy’s voice has become a vocal representation of the trendy women’s category, often preferring grunts or other onomatopoeia to evoke the mood of the beat or inspire movement in the trendy women.That voice has been composed Some viral video Prodigy stands out from the dancehall scene – like a fashion art form, Prodigy’s voice is the embodiment of queerness, combining male and female energies while adapting popular phrases and songs into something new.

Here, the ballroom legend talks about how he got into the scene, his approach to making music for the ball, and what it’s like to be sampled in Beyoncé’s repertoire. “I feel like we’re doing a good job of making music that’s going to be on ‘Billboard,'” Prodigy said of the dancehall subgenre. “I can’t stop now; I have to follow the path God has given me.”

When I first approached your work a few years ago, you were called The Voice of Philadelphia in the field. In 2020, ballroom retro Calling you the Voice of the Generation. Can you tell me how this all started?

I accidentally entered the ballroom. In 1997 I was hanging out with two of my friends who were going to the club. There is energy everywhere.I will never forget that I watched three fashionistas: Dee Dee, Niambi and Amina. I was like, what the fuck is this? I’m so amazed by what I’ve seen! I was like, what should I do, how should I study? My friends Dennis and Lloyd started teaching me and introduced me to Aamina. That’s how I learned fashion. I ended up joining Movado House. This is not an easy journey. It’s been a long and painful journey full of emotions, but one that I won’t change for the world.

You learn fashion first – I think that’s how you really connect with the people on the floor because you know what people want to hear – but how does it become chant?

This is also accidental. I used to make music on a karaoke machine as a kid, but I never took it seriously. VJ DJ is why I make music. We would hang out, laugh, and talk a little. In 2001, he called me and said, “Bitch, we have a CD.” At the time, I didn’t realize what was going on, but you know, God works in mysterious ways. If it’s for you, it’s for you.

For many years, I only sold CDs. No one knew I could comment, except the people hanging out around me. We would play around and someone would give me a mic and I would say, “Oh, cu-cu-cunt cunt cunt,” and people just knew it was a good feeling. When I see my favorites, it becomes something more like Niambi and Aamina. I would go, “Ni-ni-ni-nininini-ni-ni” or “Ah-ah-Aamina, mina”. I get so excited to see my friends and my favorite fashions that I want to give them something to make them do something.

Jay Blahnik started putting the mic in my hand on the mini ball and just said, “Come on, bitch, do it.” Then the iconic Meechie Lanvin asked me to do it LSS Icon Ball in 2004. That was my first time commenting at a big dance party. I’ll never forget.I start walking Reviewers and Reviewers The second year, 2005.

and yours hymn, sampling is so important.You’ve sung songs from movies like Harlem Night and boomerang. Even in “Pure/Honey”, “I can’t get through, I should go, I should go, I should go left” from Janet Jackson.

Here’s the thing: Janet was a huge influence on me, and it wasn’t real. That line is from the song “I Want You”. I remember when I first heard the news. I was in bed with my ex and he said I should sing a song.

I feel like if I was going to do something, I would be doing something completely different. Make it to the point where you won’t even notice where I got it from. When Mary J. Blige sings a Chaka Khan song, she owns it. When Whitney Houston sang “I’m Every Woman”, she took it to the next level. If I’m going to do something, I have to take it to the next level. It’s crazy that no one knows where my “I’m a woman” catchphrase came from. “I Am a Woman” from Batman. I was on the phone with my gay mother Madeleine and I was watching BatmanI was like, “Bitch, Michelle Pfeiffer just got Batman together.” Michelle said, “Batman, how can you? I’m a woman!” do my version.

What was the reason for creating the “pure/honey” sample?

It’s like you’re creating magic, but you don’t realize what you’re doing. You don’t know where it will take you. You’re just doing one thing on it – I just used to play and make music with MikeQ. Greg Evisu was also there. That was the same night we did “Voguing Train”.I said, “Mike, let me do something Regular “ha”. Back then, my voice wasn’t as loud as it is now; I didn’t have that much vocal technique. I just went, “cun-cun-cun-cunt. Pussy to feminine?” I didn’t know what I was doing, but then Mike Q…he turned it into that. You really never know where it will go.

I’m a big fan of Madonna and Janet. Those two, I breathe them, I live through them. So when you see artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna, you feel proud that they continue to pass on and build their legacy. Beyoncé auditioned my song “Feels Like,” which is over 10 years old and people still go back and listen to it, and I’m in tears, to be honest.

What does being sampled on this track in particular mean to you? “Cunty” by Kevin Aviens, This is one of the most sampled songs in the dance hall, and “Miss Honey” by Moi Renee?

Hell yes! “Cunty” is one of the most iconic songs. It’s a complete honor to have my voice next to Kevin Aviance. “Cunty” is the ballroom. “Cunty” is Niambi and Signia. “Cunty” is…I need to calm down! However, I have to go there. “Cunty” is fashionable woman. This is the goblin queen’s show. This is art. It’s an honor to be a part of it. “Miss Honey” is one of the most classic songs of all time. Most importantly… Beyonce Knowles Carter. Let me tell you one thing. Boy, words cannot describe how I feel.

I cried to myself several times. Beyonce is music. She can sing, she can dance, she can make, she’s top notch. If you hate Beyoncé, you’re a hater. you are jealous. I respect her foundation, I respect everything she does, and she hears my voice and says, “I want that”…fuck, yeah. use it! Use it, Beyonce. She thought about it, and the answer was yes. God blessed that woman many times and made me a part of that blessing. You can only imagine how I felt, but I kept my cool because I didn’t want to explode.

Your most well-known attribute is your voice, but it seems to me that you have slurred speech or language barriers. I wonder if I heard it right. If I were, I think it shows that you have been able to turn your voice into your power.

I do have lisp. This is not good. I have a language barrier and sometimes I really hate talking. It’s actually starting to show up now. I had to concentrate on speaking and not slur, and it made me nervous. But I noticed it helped me because I was very focused on what I was doing.

Am I shocked by the state of things? I’m. Am I shocked by the way I’ve commented? I’m. But I find it helpful. This is where a lot of tongue vibrato comes from. I was able to do this because my tongue moved in a certain way. Sometimes I stumble over words, but I can do this: Cha-ch-ch-cha-cha, cun-cu-cu-cu-cu-cu-cunt asshole.

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