By Staff, April 2018 Issue.
While she’s known internationally as the queen of dance music, in Arizona Kristine W is now known as the queen of the pride stages.
Phoenix Pride’s announcement of the Las Vegas- based recording artist as a 2018 festival headliner launched her into an elite group of artists who have performed at all three of Arizona’s pride festivals (Flagstaff, Tucson and Phoenix). For Echo‘s full coverage of the 2018 Phoenix Pride Festival, click here.
On the heels of her latest release, “Stars.” Echo caught up with Kristine W and here’s what she had to say.
Echo: Congrats on headlining all three Arizona pride festivals – the trilogy. What are some of the elements that set pride and LGBTQ audiences apart?
Kristine W: LGBTQ audiences are so fun and really celebrate their prides. You can feel the energy and the community as they celebrate their accomplishments together. It really is wonderful to be a part of the celebration.
Echo: You’ve been a staple on LGBTQ dance floors for more than two decades now, since you released “Feel What You Want.” Do you think the message of that anthem is still relevant today?
Kristine W: “Feel What You Want” is a dance anthem that has a message that is universal and timeless. I’m so thankful it was my first hit because it paved the way for more dance songs, from myself and others, that have great positive messages. It will always be relevant!
Echo: From your perspective, how have you seen the global LGBTQ community evolve throughout your career?
Kristine W: I think the LBGTQ community has become more organized and tolerant of each other [and] definitely works more effectively as a team. [It’s members] have realized that they are stronger together. I remember when the bears didn’t like the twinks, who didn’t like lesbians, who didn’t get along with the drag queens, etc. [The] bottom line [is that] people didn’t play well together. That has changed dramatically over the past two decades. There is so much good being done by a very diverse LGBTQ community and it makes my heart happy seeing all the togetherness.
Echo: What role would you estimate music plays in that evolution?
Kristine W: Music is a great way to communicate ideas and it definitely brings people together. Music is magic!
Echo: You’re in a unique position with your music – it’s a place people can celebrate despite what’s going on in the world around them – how do you use this platform to promote equality?
Kristine W: I try to express what I see others are feeling and, oddly enough, it usually ends up aligning with something that happens to me in the course of writing a song. We are connected in this journey, so I guess it only makes sense. Bringing positive messages through music is a tough, job so I focus first on lifting people up with my work.
Echo: Congrats on the success of your most recent single, “Stars.” What was your inspiration behind this song?
Kristine W: “Stars” is a really special song and it took a long time to write, produce and to get it released. It was a very personal song because so many things – good and bad – happened to me and others in the three years that I kept revising the song. It continued to evolve with all the remixes happening during that time, too.
Echo: Beautiful. Will you share some the process that when into the #VegasStrong Candlelight Remix?
Kristine W: After the song was released, the Oct. 1 shooting happened in Las Vegas and “Stars” took on yet another meaning. I was driven to create the #VegasStrong Candlelight [Remix] after … seeing so much of the community coming together and grieving as a community. It was a terrible time for us in Vegas, but also for the world, and I think we all did what we could to help each other cope with the loss.
Echo: Everyone’s waiting for details on your next album, any hints for us?
Kristine W: I have a new album coming and it’s been quite a journey, so I’m excited to share it. It’s living proof that we can dance through anything life throws at us as long as we keep looking up … see you at Pride. Love you all!
Kristine W will perform on the Phoenix Pride Festival’s Bud Light Main Stage April 8 at 6:30 p.m.