By Andrew Werner, Photographer
I recently had the pleasure of working with Billboard recording artist, and duly noted the “bad boy of dance music,” Jipsta. We had an opportunity to chitchat about his latest celebrity projects and music success while shooting in my studio that entire fun-filled afternoon. After we wrapped, Jipsta and I relaxed and spoke candidly, where he told me some of his career beginnings. I mean, this is a guy who has been on the New York scene since the early ’90s. We know his music, and now you will have some insight to the man behind the music.
How did you get your start?
Actually, I was signed to a development deal with a major label right out of high school as the “next hot white rapper.” As I was recording an album, the label expressed concern that an openly gay artist may not be received well (it was the early ’90s). I ended up losing the deal and feeling frustrated. I did the typical 9 to 5 thing. I was still always passionate about music, and I was still writing and secretly recording demos. My “big break” was when I was at this cool after-hours party in DC in Chris Cox’s hotel room where people were just playing music and hanging out. Though I was nervous, I slipped in a song of mine into the mix, and Chris Cox (of Thunderpuss) was like, “What record is that?” After that, Chris took me under his wing, and with additional help from Joey Cole, Ranny and Manny Lehman, Jipsta was born.
I’ve been hearing your name a lot lately, including you collaborating with RuPaul.
Yeah, I was recently asked to be a featured artist on RuPaul’s new song “Sexy Drag Queen,” which is on her Super Glam DQ album. That was a lot of fun to record, and I feel honored to have the opportunity.
Speaking of RuPaul, I see that three of the cast members are in the video for your new single “U Got (What I Need).”
That video shoot was so crazy! [laughs] Yeah, people are really responding to that song, and I think the video really brought it to life. Pandora Boxx, Sahara Davenport and Jessica Wild are in the video getting all sorts of cray-cray! They are so talented and amazing to work with. Go check it out on YouTube or on LOGO’s “NewNowNext Pop Lab” show!
For those people who are unfamiliar with your music, what is your biggest hit?
Well, in terms of chart success, I would have to say it’s my cover of the George Michael classic “I Want Your Sex.” It reached #4 on the Billboard Dance Chart here in the US, and was #1 in Brazil for eight weeks. But I think the song people know most from being played in the clubs is my “Nasty Boy” track, which really took on a life of its own last summer when Jamie J Sanchez did a mash-up of it with the Inaya Day “Nasty Girl” track. That mash-up was nominated for Just Circuit‘s “Dance Anthem of the Year” award, and I almost won (lost to Kelly Rowland’s “Commander”).
Where can people find your music?
Everyone should go to iTunes immediately and buy my album “Bandoozle!” It’s chock full of sexy talk over hot dance beats. I’m known for my witty lyrics and devious song content, so I think a lot of gay boys will be into it.
Are you performing anywhere soon?
Yes! I’m lining up a little promo tour for “Bandoozle,” and the first stop is at Club Feathers in New Jersey on Saturday, November 12. You will definitely want to come because Sahara Davenport and Jessica Wild will be there performing with me.
What other projects are you working on?
I recently co-wrote Pandora Boxx’s debut single “Cooter,” which is ridiculously fun! She is a riot. I can’t even describe the crazy antics in that recording session. I also have two new singles coming out – one with Ranny called “Body Pop” and also a duet with legendary dance diva Reina called “Lover Who Rocks You!”
What’s the best part of being an artist?
Hearing your record played in a club. Seriously, it’s the biggest rush! It also validates all the hard work, and makes me feel good for not letting the fact that I lost my first record deal for being openly gay deter me from my passion and dream that a gay rapper could be successful.