Classically trained ballet dancer KFIR is currently appearing in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera. But it's what he's doing off the Great White Way that has piqued our interest. His new track —“Drama Queen," the lead single off his upcoming debut album Free Delivery — is a catchy, funky, and "almost a futuristic throwback to the disco era."
“Drama Queen” aims its critical finger at people who fail to acknowledge others. “One thing I hate is when I come across someone and they act like they don’t know me,” Kfir says. “I hate that with a passion. Maybe it’s because of how I was raised but even if I do not remember a person’s name, you can bet that I will acknowledge them with a smile, every time.”
Debuting the music video for the first time ever, we chatted with KFIR, who opens up about an experience on set that helped him get into character and why it's important for queer visibility to continue to shine in the otherwise very heteronormative music industry.
Why did you decide to do this video in full face but in a suit? What does your look say about you and the message?
The "Drama Queen" music video is only one part out of a 12 minute music video. A visual album exploration that represents this entire project. "Drama Queen" represents my personal experience and current movements happening throughout our world. While we have made tremendous strides forwards as a society, we still have a long way to go to have true equality on all fronts.
I chose to have my face in full makeup only, since it was really important for me to capture the persona, nerve and fierceness that comes with it. I never intended to be a full drag queen, and that’s why I don't have the hair or the clothing per se. I didn’t want to distract the viewer/listener from the lyrics and the message my song is trying to convey. To me, this face represents power, confidence, and undoubtable self belief that allows you to speak your mind, telling others what you think.
What are the challenges to being an unabashedly femme, queer performer in the music industry?
Capturing drama queen in this full femme face was a challenge for me. Since it made me confront my own fears, stereotypes and insecurities that are projected on us daily. Me on the other hand, I was raised in the most protective nurturing environment for an artist, the opera houses and theaters and I have never seen myself in any other light other then who I really am, an artist. Though stepping outside of the theater with this face on was stepping into the real world. Frankly, I was extremely nervous. But when two teenage girls came up to me while I was waiting to be filmed and said how beautiful I looked those fears went away and I gained some confidence back.
Getting my art right is bigger then just me. It is important that I represent the strength that diverse groups like the LGBTQIA communities and even women rights deserve. I also know that by being an unabashedly queer performer I run the risk of my audience being limited, but at the end of the day, I am an artist and I have to be true to myself. I believe art without conviction and a compass is simply white noise. I feel like the time in the industry is perfect for artists to be who they are, for people to be accepted and appreciated for their talent, and not their skin color or sexual preference. We’re living in an era where we are fighting for all of it, so the timing for this is perfect.
Who is your music for?
My music and this piece in particular is truly for everyone. On the surface, it is a really fun song with a great beat and sexy bass line. On a deeper level, I believe that everyone can identify with this song, and that is part of the message. Everyone wants to stand up and speak their minds. We are all human and equal and should treat each other as such. My music is for anyone who loves life, music, art, and self expression, and everything that comes with it.