Need To Know: Jont' Moaning
By Noah Michelson
In the press I've read about you, you're often referred to as a drag queen or a tranny. How do you think of yourself in terms of your gender presentation?
I'm just an androgynous male. That's it. I look good in women's clothes so I might as well wear them, you know? That's what it is. I'm really not a drag queen. Although I love drag queens, that's really not me.
Totally -- I just wanted to hear it from your mouth. People love to label stuff --
Of course. I just don't get it. But Gaga's opening that door.
I saw her last night. What's your opinion?
I haven't seen the concert yet but I think she's amazing because people are starting to open their minds a little bit about' looks. I hate to say it, but in this industry everything's about a look. They look at you first and then decide if you're good or not. It's sad. But I'm thankful for her -- that she's opening the doors for people who look different.
How does gender play and gender manipulation manifest themselves in your act?
You know I don't even focus on gender at all. I make it very neutral: I am what I am and that's it. When people come see my show they don't even think 'gay' or 'faggot,' they just think it's amazing. And that's how it should be -- it shouldn't be anything about sex. Because once they think sex then they think 'you're this,' or 'you're that.' It should just be about the art. I am the art.
You have gotten a lot of attention for choreographing other artists, like Beyonc' and Janet Jackson, as well as yourself. What inspires you when you're choreographing?
Music inspires me. As soon as I hear a song I already have this vision in my mind: Oh my god, this would be perfect for this sound, or that voice. I do everything on the spot too, like when I worked with Beyonc' or Janet, everything is on the spot. I have to go into the room and hear the music first and then I also like to see if they can handle what I'm doing, because it has to look good on them. I hate to go home and choreograph on myself because it's me. [Laughs.]
What do you have planned for 2010?
I'm going to release an album in Japan. It'll be my first album release this year, so that's my plan for this year. To see how that goes. Take it from there, probably go to Europe next.
How far along are you?
Oh my God, I have about 30 tracks that I've done. It's just trying to select which ones are going to be on the mini-album. About eight or nine songs.
And when's it going to be out?
We're saying April'beginning of May.
Are you going to do a video?
Of course. Of course. You want to be in it?
Trust me -- that wouldn't be good for anyone. But we'll put it up on Out.com the minute it's finished.
Jont' will be performing along with Cherie Lily, Bad Brilliance, Narcissister, Roxy Cottontail, Andrew W.K., and Dante's Fried Chicken at Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street, NYC, on Thursday, January 28 from 7 to 10:30 P.M. The event is 18+, tickets are $10, and there's an open bar (for those of legal age) from 7 to 8. For more details, head here.