It’s been several years since Frenchie Davis last performed XL in New York. It was at the old and much smaller XL, the one that used to be on 16th Street. Since that time, the super-belting songstress has performed in the Grammy-nominated revival of Ain’t Misbehavin, competed on NBC’s “The Voice” and released several chart-topping singles. Frenchie’s latest is “Love’s Got a Hold on Me,” and she’ll perform it December 8 when she makes her triumphant return to the new and much grander XL.
How did you begin your relationship with XL?
When I was doing RENT on Broadway, my friend and cast mate, Jai Rodriguez, did a cabaret show there on Monday nights. Jai would later go on to join the cast of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and when he did, he asked if I would cover for him in his cabaret show. That’s when I met Beto, and I started doing my own Monday night cabaret.
Performing Broadways and your own weekly cabaret show had to be exhausting.
Yes, it was, but I love the discipline that it forced me to have.
Then, of course, you returned to TV, competing on “The Voice.”
I think “The Voice” helped me find clarity on a direction for my album. I had to sing a lot of dance songs, and while they wouldn’t have been my first choices of songs for a competition, they made me realize I could sing whatever genre I wanted. That, coupled with my love of dance music, my huge gay following and the fact that all the songs I performed on the show charted in the top five on the iTunes dance charts made me think that dance music was a good move for me. It definitely has been so far!
You moved to LA to do the show.
I actually grew up in LA, but yes, that’s when I moved back.
Do you miss New York?
I do! I miss my friends. I miss the lights. I miss getting hot cocoa from Dean and Deluca after watching the tree lighting at Rockefeller. I miss going to Broadway on Broadway every year. I don’t miss the cold or the rats on the subway, though.
Will this be your first time performing the new XL?
Yes! It’s going to be a full-circle experience. It will be like reuniting with a childhood friend because we have both grown so much since last we saw one another.
What do you have in store for fans?
As always, they can depend on me to sing my heart out.
Frenchie Davis performs XL Saturday, December 8, 2012. Visit FrenchieDavis.org.
– Chris Jenkins