Fletcher Talks Queer Representation, Going Back to Her Roots For Dive Bar Show & More

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Mike Stears and Boom Shot for Bud Light

Pop singer-songwriter Fletcher is having a moment. The 25-year-old New Jersey-born singer-songwriter smashed her way into the Hot 100 back in April with “Undrunk,” her breakout single about wishing you could leave your ex in the past. She’s also been busy slowly releasing new singles from her forthcoming EP, eyeing a future as a pop superstar. 

But on Wednesday (June 26), Fletcher is taking a moment to go back to her roots, as she performs in the latest installation of Bud Light’s Dive Bar Tour. Joining a past roster of artists including Top 40 marquee names Lady Gaga and Post Malone, Fletcher is bringing her music to a yet-undisclosed dive bar in San Francisco, CA for a special, intimate performance. 

Fletcher, who began her career singing in dive bars, says that the new show feels “like such a full circle moment for me,” remarking on the massive talent who came before her. “Getting to stand on the same stage as some of those people, and be a representation for queer youth... steps like that are so key and so important.” 

Representation isn’t all the LGBTQ community will be getting from the show — in honor of Pride month, Bud Light is partnering up with GLAAD for the show and exclusively selling their special-edition Pride bottles, where $1 of each sale is donated to the organization. 

Fletcher chatted with Billboard ahead of her San Francisco show about coming full circle, the importance of representation, and her upcoming EP:

You wrote on Twitter that your first show that you ever performed was at a dive bar in New Jersey. How does it feel to be performing again at a dive bar, this time as a successful pop artist?

Honestly, it feels like such a full circle moment for me, and it felt like such a natural thing for me to do, because that's where I started playing my first shows -- at dive bars in Asbury Park, New Jersey. So to be able to go back to that and to really get to connect with fans in this intimate setting again is still my favorite way to play shows. So the fact that Bud Light's helping me make that happen is so cool, and it's really important to me. 

The other beautiful thing about your show is some of the proceeds are going to GLAAD -- is it important for you, keeping that kind of charitable representation at your shows?

I think growing up as a little girl, I never felt represented by an artist. Looking to all of the other female pop stars that existed, I never really saw myself, and I have always said, I need to be the artist that I needed as a little girl. So the fact that this major company is partnering with GLAAD, and the fact that it's happening during Pride as an LGBTQ artist, it's just kind of all my worlds colliding, and the representation has such an impactful effect on so much of the LGBTQ youth in our country. I genuinely feel so honored, and this is the coolest thing ever. Little Fletcher is freaking out about it. [Laughs.]

Yeah, it's great to see that kind of representation during Pride. With this particular Pride month centered around the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and activism, I wanted to know, what do you think is still missing in the music industry that we need to continue fighting for?

There's still so much work that needs to be done. It's incredible how far we have come, but I still think we have work to do in terms of representation and inclusion. Specifically for the trans community, I think there is still so much light that needs to be shed on those artists and issues. Trans people of color are the most marginalized and underrepresented group within our community, and I think if we just continue to lift them up and highlight those stories... it's just about more inclusion and representation and having those conversations, because the more that we do that, the less taboo it becomes. That way people can actually start moving forward. 

It's also, like... the fact that an LGBTQ artist is getting to do a show like this, and joining the ranks of people like Gaga and Post Malone, those are artists that I am such a huge fan of. So getting to stand on the same stage as some of those people, and be a representation for queer youth... steps like that are so key and so important. Like, this never used to be the case, this never used to happen. Like, that's why little Fletcher is freaking out, because it's important for people to see themselves. 

Right, although you certainly earned your place on that stage, seeing as you have been having a massive year, especially with the success of "Undrunk." Looking back on the last few months, how do you feel that level of success, especially as someone who identifies as LGBTQ, changes the way you approach being an artist?

It has absolutely given me a lot more confidence, to be able to see a return of my really hard work. But it's always just been about the music for me, because the fact that I am a queer artist is ultimately a small part of the story. I hope the world, one day, is a place where nobody has to come out ever again. But I do need to recognize my privilege in being able to speak about my sexuality and my identity as openly as I do.

I recognize that privilege, because of all the artists that have come before me who paved the way for people like me. So it's really my duty to use that platform to continue speak out and to normalize my identity. So I'd say I move consciously through this industry and the way that I speak about this stuff, because if you're not using your platform for something good and impactful, then what's the point of having it?

I know you've got an EP on it's way, and you've been slowly releasing some singles — what can fans expect from this new project?

Yeah, I've been releasing the EP as singles to get the music out there. I really wear my heart on my sleeve with my music, and this one is really a page ripped from my diary, it's really personal. It's all about the same person, so ... it kinda has a continuous narrative through the entire thing. It's just a lot of vulnerability and too much information and my genuine human experience. [Laughs.] I think if we all just bared our human experiences a little bit more, the world would probably be a way better place. So that's what I'm trying to do with my music, because I need to tell my story. If it helps one person, then I succeeded. 


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