Interview: Ladyboi a crazy soulful Arab punk who’s taking over the world
I think we all agree that the grand coming out of Omar Sharif’s Jr on late March gave the vibes for a huge milestone throwing sparkles in the air on the future of LGBT community in Egypt and rest of the Arab world or Almost. However, this time we’re excited to bring to the spotlight a rising star, Ladyboi, the self-described crazy soulful Arab punk who’s taking over the world.
Ladyboi is an openly gay Lebanese singer and performer currently living in the US. I enjoyed his music and it is really fun communicating with him.
Here we bring you this interview to share an enjoyable discussion – let us know how much you like him in the comment section below. Wink Wink!
Gayday: Tell us a little about the little devil you are. Or better the side of you that the public never sees.
Ladyboi: The devil side of me is always undressing anyone and everyone upon first introduction. Don’t care if you’re a guy or girl, gay or straight, 18 or 92 yrs old. I’ve undressed you in my mind, done things, all while cordially smiling like a saint.
The side that not too many people know about me is I’m a reality show junkie. I’m a bit of a voyeur, so getting an intimate glimpse into someone’s world is exciting. I know how edited and scripted those shows can be, but it’s still a person being molded. And I find that fascinating as they transform from a regular everyday person, to a pop culture icon.
Gayday: Where did the Ladyboi nickname come from?
Ladyboi: The name Ladyboi was actually given to me by fans. I had created a band called “The Hollabacks” which was a 60’s pop/rock act. We were getting recognition from participating in the 2010 Slurpee Battle of the Band competition. We won, and this small following of Asian girls that got to know our show, came out to a performance, and started chanting, “Ladyboi! Ladyboi!” I was shocked. They kept pointing and calling me Ladyboi over and over, while excitedly taking pictures. I barely had on some eyeliner, so I don’t exactly know why they chose that name, but I loved it! I immediately took that as a sign of something, and assumed the name. Now everyone either calls me Ladyboi or Lady.
Gayday: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Ladyboi: The most trouble I got into was when I used to sneak into studios in Los Angeles. I was trying to get my acting career off the ground when I initially moved to California. So I created a fake management and messenger service to get my foot in the door. I would drop off my headshots/resumes to casting directors on a friend’s vespa, and my face was hidden cause of my helmet and glasses. This way, if they opened the package and saw my picture while I was there, they wouldn’t be able to tell it was me. I got away with it for about 5 or 6 months. But when I tried to sneak into Universal Studios, I almost got caught and I was terrified. The security guards stopped me, inspected my bike, tried calling around to see where this non-existent management company was located. I literally had to lie my way out of the situation. I started yelling at the guards that they were wasting my time and if they make me miss my “delivery appointments” that I was not going to take the blame, and they would deal with the repercussions from my “boss.” They delivered my headshot themselves and let me go. It was all worth it cause two days later I got the call to audition for “American Dreamz.” I booked it and I got to star alongside Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore.
Ladyboi: My sound is a combination of Eurhythmics and George Michael, with a touch of No Doubt. I also have some punk elements, and my producers (Michael Bland – Prince and The New Power Generation; Ryan Liestman – The Jonas Brothers) and I incorporated our influence from various bands we loved from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. Some have referred to my music as Glam Doo Wop.
Gayday: What stories would we stumble upon on your blog?
Ladyboi: The stories you would stumble upon in my blog are literally the delusional world I am desperately trying to manifest on a daily basis. The world I live in is somewhat dramatic as I am always fantasizing about torrid love affairs, flying off to exotic locations, being mobbed by fans, and buying expensive things that I don’t want or need to fill some void I refuse to address. Now I am not endorsing or encouraging any of this as a fabulous lifestyle. I am just publicly admitting to an irrational and unstable mindset that I am currently immersed in. Which can be fun, til it gets ugly. You know what I mean?
Gayday: What are the five things you can’t live without?
Ladyboi: The five things I can’t do without are:
a.) Coffee. I love it. I adore it. Sometimes you will see me standing in a cafe just sniffing a bag of beans while making sensual sounds. That’s when the owners kindly escort me out.
b.) My sisters. They are crazy, and occasionally I think of ending their lives with my bare hands. But when I don’t feel like killing them, I realize they make my life fun and happy.
c.) I would like to say my husband, but he currently does not exist. But I’m putting him on the list to make a cause to the universe to bring him into my life sooner rather than later.
d.) Music. I love hearing it. I’m always analyzing it, trying to figure out where it resonates with me so I may expand my life through my art.
e.) My gohonzon. I am a Nichiren Buddhist, and the gohonzon is a scroll that we chant “nam myoho renge kyo” to. The scroll is a mandala that keeps you focused and centered on awakening to your highest potential while you’re chanting. And the whole faith is based on assuming full responsibility for your destiny because you are the one that designs it.
Gayday: What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke?
Ladyboi: I’m a little obsessed with Motown music, all sounds of the 60’s and 70’s. I am always imagining myself as a skinny black girl in a 60’s girl group. One that never really got her chance to be in the spotlight fully. And let me tell ya, I’m owning that spotlight this time around. I ain’t living no tragedy.
Gayday: If I was to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Ladyboi: If you turn on my iPod right now you would see a lot of Amy Winehouse. I loved her. I still love her. I feel her music changed me, gave me the courage to live my own dream as a musician. You would see Tina Turner. She’s phenomenal. Charlotte Sometimes. I love her voice. I always get such colorful imagery when I hear her music. I feel like I am experiencing New York right along with her. Mark Ronson. I pray he will work with me one day. The Black Keys. Paloma Faith. Elton John. To name some. There’s a lot more.
Gayday: If you hadn’t been born in this century, when and where would you like to have lived?
Ladyboi: I would have LOVED to have been a scrawny teen in London, England during the 60’s. To be able to witness the world change as dramatically as it did through art, fashion and music, people uniting together. But I feel we are currently in the midst of another revolution. From government, to the financial state of so many countries, to same sex marriage rights, to simple human rights. So I am kinda happy to be born when I was to be alive for these changes unfolding. I wanna be part of this fight. I want to challenge and show the world we as a gay community are equal to everyone else. We are human. We are perfect as we are. Not flawed or less than. But worthy to walk alongside anyone else.
Ladyboi: Actually, my goals are constantly about world domination. Or at least dramatically shifting it. I am obsessed with fame and people. I just want to always entertain them. If I am not the focus, then I need to be helping or volunteering, or encouraging, which I hope my music does.
Gayday: If you have a super power (pretending here you don’t for security purposes), what would it be?
Ladyboi: My super power would be like that of Rogue from X-Men. I am fascinated with people and how they function, what causes have lead them to be the person they are in that space and time. I am always asking so many questions of anyone I meet, and to have Rogue’s power would make it so easy. I would just touch them and absorb all the info I want. Of course, her power actually kills people, and I don’t need to go that far. I’m just nosey. Not a killer.
Gayday: Ten years from now you will be….
Ladyboi: Ten years from now I will be happier by a 10-yr fold from this moment.
Get his tweets to your timeline – follow: @iamLadyboi