A GoPride Interview

Kristine W.

Kristine W. interview with ChicagoPride.com

Thu. July 20, 2006  by Justin Boltz

Kristine W.
photo credit // frank failing
Some Lovin’ with Kristine W

What’s Chicago without Daley? What’s New Years without Dick Clark? More importantly, what’s a massive gay spectacle without Kristine W? You name it... Pride Parades, White Parties, AIDS Benefits. Really, go to any high profile event with a tan toned gay boy waving his hands in the air like a nelly and chances are Kristine W is headlining. Whether you’re a fan or not, you have to admit she’s the crème de la crème of our gay icons. Kristine is the first artist in the history of Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play to produce a string of 9 consecutive #1 singles. She’s even surpassed records made by Madonna and Ms. Jackson, two other divas we also bow down before. No doubt then she’d be begged and pleaded to perform at the closing of this year’s Gay Games. When I heard she would be coming to town to perform with a legion of back up dancers, I myself begged and pleaded with my contacts to get in touch with this dance pop megastar to get the lowdown on her arrival and her part in the event that’s got all of Chicago abuzz.

JB: What are your feelings on being asked to do such a massive event such as the gay games?

KW: I think it's going to be a thrilling experience. I am always excited when the gay community comes together for a big event, like a family. Being a straight person myself, I've always envied the fact that gay people are so enthusiastic about building a world community. This is a great way for the world to come together for each other in a positive light. Athletics brings out the best in everyone.

JB: Is there anything about the Gay Games themselves that sticks out in your mind differently than say gay pride or any other gay event?

KW: Yes, it sticks out in my mind that this is one of the first gay events that I'll be performing at that majority of the crowd will have their shirts on. Hee hee.

JB: I heard there’s going to be quite a few back up dancers behind you, what can we expect from your performance?

KW: I'll be able to answer that after Friday's rehearsal. I can tell you it will be 110% energy - and I know the dancers are going to be amazing. The committee’s really determined to put on a great show.

JB: You’ve conquered cancer gracefully in the public eye, gone over it in a number of interviews, now that’s it’s been sometime that it’s been over, does it still influence your music or artistry in any way?

KW: Yes, I'm always very sensitive to the fact that I'm lucky to be here. And I really appreciate the love and the support of the fans, and I try to appreciate every moment on stage as well as off stage that I have with my friends and family. No one is promised tomorrow, so give today all that you have.

JB: It seems that other artists begin to embrace their gay audience after the height of their career, when everyone else has stopped supporting them, yet you’ve embraced the community from the begin and your career has grown beautifully with them, do you mind being a sort of "gay icon" from the start?

KW: I've always been blessed that I was embraced by the gay community. I think I appreciate the gay community more, by having spent 10 years performing in Vegas for straight crowds. We certainly had a lot of fun in Vegas, but the gay crowd is much more openly enthusiastic from the start of the show - where I always felt the straight audience needed to be coaxed into having a good time. However, I've always loved the challenge of both.

JB: You’ve been here quite often, what are some things that you love about this ol’ city that keeps you coming back?

KW: The people of Chicago have amazing energy. And of course it is the home of House Music, which I adore. I have many fond memories of performing in Chicago.

JB: What’s your personal message that you want to convey?

KW: Music is a wonderful way to connect with people, it's also a good way to spread good energy around the world. I love seeing people dance and have a great time. Nothing brings me more joy. Besides my children, of course.

JB: Let me in on your loves beyond singing?

KW: Song writing, gardening, I really love horses. I get enthusiastic about anything that involves helping children, animals, and the elderly. The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society is near and dear to my heart. I am also currently restoring an old car that my grandpa bought with me for 300 dollars when I was in high school. It's a 1947 Pontiac. I've drug that old car around with me all these years, and I'm having it re-done from bumper to bumper - it will be making it's debut in one of my videos.

JB: What direction do you think your current music is going?

KW: My dance music is leaning a little bit more funky and soulful, and with the jazz music is leaning more organic and strip-down. Just a five piece rhythm section so far.

JB: What’s in the works for you?

KW: I am currently working on a dance album, and a jazz album. They are both very challenging and I have my hands full.

Kristine W performs at the Gay Games Closing Ceremony Saturday, July 22nd at Soldier Field. Also catch Kristine W singing her hits later that night at Hunters.

For tickets to see Kristine W and more entertainers and legends at the Gay Games Closing Ceremonies, visit http://tickets.gaygameschicago.org

Want More? Read the questions cut from the final interview as Kristine talks about her favorite people to work with and living in Sin City, all on justinboltz.chicagopride.com

Interviewed by Justin Boltz