- Liberal defies Abbott on gay rightsPosted 11 hours ago
- Foreign same-sex marriage bill defeatedPosted 11 hours ago
- Commission in Brazil approves overturning ‘gay cure’ banPosted 12 hours ago
- SA Parliament thanks NZ for gay marriagePosted 14 hours ago
- Russian anti-gay law condemned internationallyPosted 14 hours ago
- Pakistan leads world in gay Google searchesPosted 14 hours ago
- DLP Senator wants constitutional marriage equality banPosted 14 hours ago
- Sydney gay politics overhaul?Posted 2 days ago
- Overseas recognition bill vote nearsPosted 2 days ago
- Bernardi doubles down on polygamy commentsPosted 2 days ago
Ricki Lee for Harbour 13
Star Observer spoke to pop star Ricki-Lee on gay rights, Mardi Gras and her latest album Fear and Freedom. The former Australian Idol finalist, who announced her engagement to boyfriend Richard Harrison earlier this month, has just been announced as the headline act for Mardi Gras’ Harbour Party.
Q: You’ve always been a really strong supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. What motivates you to speak out so strongly?
A: It’s just something that I’m really passionate about. I find discrimination just so disgusting and ignorant. So many people around me – my closest friends, the people who I consider my family – identify as gay. I really feel like a lot of my fans in the gay community have supported me, and it’s only fair that I support them. I think fighting ignorance is so important –a friend of mine moved here from the Bronx in New York and moved in with my choreographer Marco, who’s camp as. It’s amazing how much his perception has changed – when he first met Marco he was all “what the hell is this guy doing? Is he gay?” and now he completely embraces it. People who aren’t exposed to the gay community don’t understand that it’s not a choice – it’s who you are, you’re still a human being. Everyone’s got a sense of humour and a life story, and that’s what you should judge people on. I’ll never stop using my voice to try and raise awareness.
Q. You’ve finished a national tour for your latest album Fear and Freedom and just been announced as Harbour Party’s surprise guest. What have you got planned for Mardi Gras’ biggest party?
A: I’m so excited! I’ve wanted to do Harbour Party for as long as I’ve known about it. Mardi Gras’ just one big party for me. My friends and I always play dressups – last year I was running around the house in a sequin jacket and thigh-high boots, drinking champagne, dressing all my guy friends up in my dresses. I’ve lived in Sydney for three or four years now, and the atmosphere when Mardi Gras’ on is just electric – there’s celebrations in the street, everyone’s just happy and free. I think Fear and Freedom will go down really well at Harbour Party, it’s been getting a great reception. We’ve worked so hard on putting together a spectacular show – the costume changes, the choreography, the dancing – it’s all incredible. Performing’s my favourite thing to do in the world, I never feel more comfortable than when I’m onstage. I can’t wait to perform for Mardi Gras.
Q: In your more recent career you’ve exercised a lot more creative control than you used to. Does that have anything to do with your experiences in the music industry?
A: The industry’s full of bullies – people try to convince you that they know everything, and you get pressured into making bad decisions that rub off on you. You have to know your shit, otherwise you just get walked over by people who are just in it for themselves. It’s happened to me before – I’ve had a lot of people take advantage of me and rip me off. I’ve had terrible decisions made on my behalf that my gut instinct told me was wrong, but I ignored it and trusted people who never deserved that trust. For any artist, I think the most important thing is to get hands-on – immerse yourself in the decision-making process and surround yourself with good people who you trust so that kind of thing doesn’t happen.
Q: Once Mardi Gras’ done, what else does 2013 hold for Ricki-Lee?
A: I’m going to Japan to release Fear and Freedom later this month, and I’ll be doing another national tour come mid-year. I’m also starting to feel a little inspiration, so later on I might head to LA and get together with some cowriters and start writing some new stuff. When inspiration calls it’s like going to the toilet – when you need to, you need to! I have a really good feeling about 2013, it’s going to be a great year.
PRESS PLAY: Check out our awesome Ricki Lee video playlist right here featuring this awesome star’s biggest hits to date.
INFO: Ricki Lee performs live at Harbour Party on February 23. For full Harbour Party details click here.