As the room screams out Peppermint, Peppermint, Peppermint, her must-see shows will make you laugh, smile and ask for more. “Make Me Moan,” a music video parody of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” featuring Peppermint and fellow performer Sherry Vine, has reached nearly a million hits on YouTube and has been featured on PerezHilton.com.
Frankie C: Peppermint, tell us, how did you get started in music?
Peppermint: In 2005 Jonny McGovern asked if I would be interested in doing a song. I said yes, and with that he had Adam Joseph produce a track and it came out on the “East Village Mixtape.”
Frankie C: Where does the energy come from when performing for a room of 10 people to 500 people?
Peppermint: Well as you know, it’s always great when you are performing to a packed house, and on a smaller scale if the energy is fun it excites me, which is what I pull from. It all works, it’s just knowing placement and how to position yourself.
Frankie C: Where did the ideas come from for the new CD?
Peppermint: After doing my first song with Jonny and Adam I was hooked. I wanted to do more music and videos and I set forth on it. It was such an amazing feeling to do something original rather than lip sync to another artist’s voice, and I was happy to have had the opportunity to do so. I did my second song in 2006, and the album was 2 years in the making, but we got it done. The album was produced by Adam Joseph. When we sat and talked about ideas, I wanted it to be a mix of styles, which can offer something to everyone.
Frankie C: Are you just the vocalist?
Peppermint: I co-wrote most of the songs with Adam and I wrote and produced “Straight Boy” and “Let You Have It.” I co-wrote “Before Your Eyes” with Corey Tut.
Frankie C: Do you feel you gained knowledge from when you first started the project to the finishing of the album?
Peppermint: Yes I have. I’ve always loved music and have gone to school for it. I have learned about the business end as well as the production end of it. I also learned how the gay community supports independent artists.
Frankie C: Who do you admire as an artist?
Peppermint: Well I must say RuPaul has created a trend and has opened a lot of doors for drag queens and gay artists. I will say my #1 is Janet Jackson, but as you know we will always love the divas.
Frankie C: What was it like making “Make Me Moan,” and working with Sherry Vine?
Peppermint: It was a lot of fun. It was the first time I’ve ever done a parody. I was so nervous but Sherry made it very easy for me. We e-mailed back and forth, wrote the song, went in and recorded it. I want to say, we had a lot of help from friends who worked hard on it to make it all happen. Much Love.
Frankie C: How do you feel about the drag community?
Peppermint: The drag community has changed along with the rest of the entertainment industry. We are living in the time of reality TV; it’s all about the realness and how people can be shocked. Back in the day Cher was shocking, but now Britney Spears is shocking for not wearing panties. The industry has become a lot less glamorous. It was at one point big hair and being over the top, and now it’s just about dressing down. I will say things are changing for the better, at a slower pace, but in a few more years we are going to see drag explode. Once again, RuPaul being on the cutting edge of things has created a hot show called “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and has give the drag community a new voice. The styles have changed—as you know, shoulder pads worn in the ‘80s are back, as are the big costumes such as Lady Gaga’s. I see us progressing for the positive going forward.
Frankie C: What would you like to see change in nightlife?
Peppermint: The nightlife industry is always changing. So many people have said the NYC nightlife has changed and is not what it used to be. Yes this is true, but the scene is changing along with everything else. I will say the new people who are coming up are jumping in on the scene and within a few weeks are expecting to be stars of NYC. I know we all feel like we are stars, but you have to put the time in and do your homework. I always say: Build a solid foundation for yourself and it will allow you longevity in the nightlife industry. I am not a know-it-all on all of this, but [it’s the same as] if someone wanted to become a lawyer, doctor or teacher—they put their time in and work hard to get it, and it shows in the end result.
Frankie C: Tell us something most people don’t know about Peppermint?
Peppermint: In my down time I like to see moves and eat ice cream. If you have both, call me…it’s a date.
Frankie C: Where are you performing these days?
Peppermint: Sunday at XES – Karaoke, Monday at Barracuda – The Peppermint Show, Wednesday at Therapy – Cattle Call talent contest, and Thursday at Barracuda – Star Search Drag Contest.
Frankie C: I am told you have a concert coming up?
Peppermint: Yes, and I want to invite everyone to come down on Tuesday, June 29th. I will be performing with a full band, and I will be selling tickets for the event at all of my shows. For more information everyone can go to my website.
– Frankie C