A GoPride Interview


Cazwell interview with ChicagoPride.com

Tue. September 21, 2010  by Jerry Nunn

Cazwell, the openly gay rapper from the Big Apple, is coming to Hydrate Thursday, Sept. 23. ChicagoPride.com went to meet him at the Ice Cream Truck.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Good morning, Cazwell.

C: (Cazwell) Sorry I woke up late. I had to run out and get a coffee before this.

JN: Are you excited about coming to Chicago?

C: Yeah, I love Chicago. It will be the first time playing somewhere that is not Berlin. I have played Berlin Nightclub like four or five times. So this will be a new experience for me.

JN: Hydrate is a fun place to play.

C: I think Amanda just played there a couple of months ago.

JN: She did. I got to meet her. I was going to tell you that.

C: How was her show?

JN: It was great. Amanda Lepore is a good friend of yours, right?

C: We are best friends. I just got off the phone with her.

JN: We have to talk about your video. It is blowing up everywhere. They have been playing it at all the gay bars here in Chicago.

C: Awesome!

JN: I am glad everyone likes it as much as I do.

C: Me, too.

JN: It received a million hits on youtube.com when you put it up correct?

C: I got a million in the first six days I think. I am about to hit two. We were hoping for a hundred thousand and then it took off. The whole process was completely different than any other video because usually when I make a video I prepare for a couple of months and there is so much organization. Between all the editing and back and forth then getting it ready for TV, iTunes and the single it takes another two months.

JN: Sounds hectic.

C: I had actually written this song for a movie called Spork. It came out for a film festival and a good friend of mine had directed it and written the script. He wanted me to do a song for it. He wanted something eighties sounding, summertime sounding, hip-hop, old school. He wanted me to do something about an ice cream truck. He wanted the sounds in the beat, you know?

JN: Yeah, which you did.

C: I tried it one more time and went to the studio in Connecticut in June. It was a whole process. We ordered food then took a nap then worked on it for two hours then stop again, we were lazy. (both laugh) My manager said to make a really quick video, get a few friends together and take over an ice cream store or something. The whole thing was shot in my apartment.

JN: Really?

C: Yes, I painted the corner of my apartment pink or actually Mexicana rose. All the backgrounds are fabric that I clipped on a board to the wall.

JN: No way. It doesn’t look like that at all. It is very professional looking. Wait, those are your friends? They are the hottest guys ever!

C: I love to objectify hot Latino guys. When me and Marco the director got into it we said let’s do a video that’s dedicated to hot New York Latin boys. This is the reason people move to New York! Since me and Marco both work at clubs, we knew all of them. We just invited them over one Thursday afternoon in Manhattan.

JN: That’s awesome. Are you bringing any of them with you to Chicago?

C: I don’t think I am. I don’t think it is that kind of gig. It’s just me.

JN: You are still Djing around? I heard there is a circus space that you play tunes at.

C: Well, there is a party called Carnival. It is Amanda Lepore’s Big Top at Carnival. The stage is really ill. It looks like a carnival. There are games like that thing with the hammer that will test your strength. There is another part that is more like a club but under a tent. People love the space. I just did a party there last night. That is what I am recuperating from.

JN: What kind of music are you listening to right now?

C: I listen to a lot of beats in general that I got from my manager that I am trying to write to. I also listen to David Bowie and to Sleigh Bells a lot. It is pretty sporadic. It’s not that often that I listen to someone’s entire album. I like that song M.I.A. did on the Christina Aguilera album.

JN: Oh, yeah off Bionic. It’s called ‘Elastic Love.” Are you going to have a new album with “Ice Cream Truck” on it?

C: Thanks for asking. Me and Amanda have an EP that we are dropping together that comes out this month. It has my song called “Get Into It” that she is featured on and then her song “Marilyn” that I am featured on. There are videos and remixes that are all available online for ten bucks. We are pushing that for the next eight weeks. We are premiering “Marilyn” at a club. A month later we will do the “Get Into It” video. That is my immediate thing and doing shows as well. I would like to get a new album out for February.

JN: Where can people find out about all of your stuff?

C: Cazwell.com.

JN: What is your nationality by the way?

C: Polish.

JN: I am too!

C: There are a lot of Poles in Chicago, right?

JN: The biggest Polish population next to Warsaw! I will bring my Polish friends out to support you when you are in town.

C: See you soon!

Cazwell will be performing and spinning until 4 am on Thursday, Sept. 23 with a showtime at 11 pm. Tickets are available at hydratechicago.com or at the door. (Event Details)

Related: View Cazwell's viral music video "Ice Cream Truck," directed by Marco Ovando. The single written and produced by Cazwell and Chris Bracco.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.