Gay Agenda, Sept 22: Era Istrefi Takes Over Bushwig, Plus Lady Gaga, Jeffery Austin & More
Gay Agenda is a weekly column for Billboard Pride where we run down a few fab things before the weekend. Between new tracks, music videos and pop culture moments, we want our readers to be prepared for boozy brunch conversation.
1. First things first: are you following Billboard Pride on Facebook? Because as of this week, 50,000 cool cats are and we don’t want you to feel left out. (If you are already following, thanks! You’re beautiful, you’re perfect, you look like Linda Evangelista.)
2. New York City’s “brassiest of the brassiest” blonde rapper Bberlay is premiering her new music video for “Big Bank” in this edition of Gay Agenda. The empowering track features queer Baltimore rapper TT the Artist. Speaking to Billboard, Bberlay had nothing but praise for her collab partner: “TT is awesome. The realist of the real. I enjoy working with her the most because she's a powerhouse. From the jump, I needed a female voice on the track because it's about giving females credit for getting money and being hustlers. It's okay to be bossy and take control.”
She adds: “‘Big Bank’ is that “if you got it, flaunt it” track that is probably making M.I.A. proud. This track is a reminder that hard work pays off and to always follow your dreams while having fun.”
3. Bushwig takes over NYC’s Knockdown Center this weekend, and it’s going to be quite the spectacle. The drag fest -- essentially the Burning Man to DragCon’s Coachella -- is bigger than ever, featuring performances by RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorites Alyssa Edwards and Thorgy Thor, rapper and good-time gal CupcakKe and Kosovar starlet Era Istrefi. The later, who boasts over a half a billion YouTube views between her global smashes “Bonbon” and “Mani Për Money,” will be taking over Billboard’s official Snapchat (@billboard) at the fest on Sunday, so make sure to tune in. Check out Istrefi's latest track, "Redrum," below.
4. On the topic of Bushwig, campy queer slash flick Killer Unicorn will be premiering at the festival. We spoke to the film’s team about its classic horror movie influences, as well as its ‘dark, horny’ score. One of the songs featured in the future cult classic is Bronx-based Charlie Sheena’s “Thot Joose,” a track produced by Killer Unicorn’s composer, Tyler Stone. He described the track as “a juicy, boozie track to break the heat and tickle the panties.” Check out the song’s new music video -- which features fierce fashions from Patricia Field's ARTFASHION collective -- below.
5. If you’re not able to make it to Bushwig (read: you don’t live in NYC) Lady Gaga has the perfect solution: check out her new Netflix doc, Five Foot Two. The film is very emotional; in fact we made a list of the things we learned from it.
6. If binge-watching documentaries is your kink, you’re in luck: Kiki, a sort of update to the iconic Paris is Burning doc, is now available on Hulu. The film showcases contemporary ballroom culture in NYC.
7. Also on Hulu, Will & Grace’s original 194 episodes are available for streaming for the first time. The Emmy-winning comedy returns with a new season next Thursday (Sept 28) on NBC.
8. Jeffery Austin has released his latest single “Bulletproof.” Taking a break from the emotional ballads he’s known for, the season 9 The Voice finalist makes his way to the dancefloor with a twinkling, ‘80s-inspired track.
9. Meet our new fav: Bonzai. The Irish singer serves shades of Santigold and Charli XCX with her self-described “punk R&B” flavor. Check out her latest single, “I Feel Alright.” The singer told Billboard the meaning of the song: "Ultimately it was about feeling melancholy, but realizing it could always be worse and it can always get better.”
10. Female art duo Similar But Different latest video project serves as a music video to 300 Entertainment band Mainland’s track “I Found God.” The stunning clip sees 12 real-life couples frantically wandering the streets to find their better half. The featured couples represent a spectrum of identities -- from different races and ages, to non-binary genders.
11. Hot off the viral success of his hit “Big D*ck Daddy,” bilingual stud VELO has released a video for “Oye Papi.” The clip is full of queer cameos: RuPaul’s Drag Race's Yara Sofia, legendary drag queen DJ Chi Chi LaRue, Rhea Litre, James Majesty, Jessica L’Whore, Kaleena Markos and Andrew Christian models Pablo Hernandez and Jon Pastor all make appearances. Hot.
12. Philadelphia indie singer-songwriter Aiden James has released a new piano-heavy single, the uplifting “Colorblind.”
Need more gay? Follow Billboard Pride on Facebook and check out past editions of Gay Agenda below.