Linnea brings her 'bad' self back to Nashville
Linnea shouldn't be a stranger to the Nashville community. The dance music diva in training showered Nashville with love in June during her Pride performance as well as a follow-up later that evening at Play Dance Bar. The performer just released her new single "I'm Bad" (download a free remix for the single here) and will kick off a club tour at Play on October 25. O&AN caught up with Linnea to chat about the new single, coming back to Nashville and more.
Loving the new single, tell me what makes Linnea bad?
I think what makes me bad is that I'm not scared to do what I think is right, whether other people agree or not. I'm extraordinarily loyal to my loved ones and go to great lengths to protect and support them. I also have never been afraid to take a risk when it comes to my career. I've believed in myself and what I have to bring to the table. I knew what I had inside and how hard I was/am going to have to work to get to where I want to be, but I'm not scared of it. It excites me. I have a fierceness inside that needs to be let out fairly often.
In a blog post you mention “good, country roots” when talking about home. Can you talk a little bit about growing up in Missouri?
Growing up in Missouri was amazing! We lived a very simple, "country" life. I grew up fishing, riding 4-wheelers and horses, going to the river, playing baseball. I also grew up with a huge family! There was a family function just about every other week, so I grew up very close to all my cousins and family. I have some great roots that come from there, and I'm very proud of that!
From a young age, it seems you were destined to perform? Can you talk about some of your earliest moments performing?
Yes, I started dancing before I could walk. I started in dance class when I was barely 3 and I remember getting very frustrated when the other kids wouldn't stay focused and do the choreography correctly! There's not much in life I take too seriously, but apparently that was one thing that I did! I also have been putting on shows for the neighbors and friends and family in the garage or the porch for as long as I can remember. Everything from making up skits with my sisters to choreographing multiple dance routines for a show. That was my big outlet, performing. And it still is!
You performed this summer at Nashville Pride, can you talk a little bit of that experience?
Nashville Pride was amazing! That was my first pride fest and it felt so good to be able to stand up there and sing for what I believe in and to be able to support the gay community. Everyone involved was so welcoming and accommodating! It was really such a fun experience for my whole team!
Is performing for gay audiences/fans different?
I would say that yeah it's probably a little different. I feel like the gay community is so accepting and just excited to go see a girl go out there and work it. They're very receptive and I love and appreciate that so much. I know I can take things a little closer to the edge with the gay audience because I know they love a good booty shake and hair whip!
I think you said you were a little under the weather during Pride, are you bringing it this time around?
Well, sick or not, I ALWAYS bring it! But yeah my voice was most definitely shot. I had bronchitis and laryngitis. It was pretty brutal doing back to back shows, and for my first pride fest. Of all the times to lose my voice. But I FULLY intend to bring it this time and I'm taking good care of myself so I can be nice and ready. I just hope mother nature continues to stay on my side.
You’ve found success on the Billboard Dance Charts, is there a softer side to Linnea?
There's absolutely a softer side to me. The performer side to me is really an alter ego that only comes out when she needs to. I'm actually very low key in my life outside of entertainment. I'm so attached to my family and love just spending time with them and my close group of friends. I often just stay in and play board games and do puzzles, or go to the movies for fun. I really have two completely different sides to me, because the fierce little vixen that comes out on stage is definitely a real, living part inside of me.
The lyric video for “I’m Bad” has been released and you are touring clubs through the fall and winter, what is next for Linnea? A full-length release?
That's definitely a goal I'm working towards! My music video also just premiered on VEVO, that was a huge focus. And aside from that, right now I'm just in the writing process and working with some other new writers and producers and really enjoying the artistry of making music. My immediate goal is just to be out and performing as much as possible and then when I'm not doing that, I'm behind the scenes working on the next big project!
There is so much talk about female empowerment vs. the music industry’s perceived propensity to exploit female in overtly sexual ways- what are your thoughts?
I think there is a fine line in using sexuality as exploitation vs. using it as your own empowerment. I have a sexuality that has always come very natural, and I've never been pressured to use it in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. I do use sexuality a lot when I perform, but only because when I do so, it empowers me. Women are given a gift of sexuality, and I would never judge someone based on whether they choose to use it or not. However, I believe what makes the difference is the reason you are using it for. I feel strong and confident when I feel sexy. I think every woman does. I just choose to use my sexuality on a bigger scale. It's makes a huge difference in my performance and how the audience perceives it. The more confident I am, the better show I'm able to put on.
Where do you see yourself in the landscape of contemporary pop/edm?
I think I kind of fall right in between the two, with an urban touch. I've always wanted to make music that doesn't just fall in one category. I kind of created my own terminology for it years ago, "genre-mashing." My music taste has always been extremely diverse, and there's not just one type that I like. My personality is also very multi-faceted, so I like to add all kinds of different vibes of music to satisfy every side of myself. I've been so excited to see more and more artists and DJs "genre-mashing." Specifically people like Avicii, who is mixing bluegrass and folk pop with his EDM. I love an unexpected mix, and that's what I hope to be able to continue to do. I've always been a HUGE fan of hip-hop and urban sounds, and live instruments are incredibly important to me as well. I'm also a dancer, so my music always has to be something you can move to. If I can continue to somehow incorporate all of those things into my music without it sounding like a mess, I'll be a very satisfied little girl!
I remember you covering an Adele song during sound check for Pride, so I wonder about your influences?
I have SO many influences when it comes to my music and performances! I'm constantly being inspired by new people. Adele's voice is parallel to none, and I love how raw her music is. Then there are performers like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake, whom I believe are some of the best entertainers in the world. I'm all about putting on a show and that is what they do! And all three of those people are dancers, and that is one of the most vital components of every show I do. Sonically, my music inspiration comes from everywhere! Everything from Latin musicians like Sergio Mendes, to Lorde whom I'm LOVING right now, to Miley Cyrus who just put out one of my favorite albums of the year. I'm just such a fan of music in general. I'm happiest when listening to music.
I know you’ve mentioned Janet Jackson…. So favorite Janet song, Go!
I would have to say my favorite Janet SONG would be "Son of a Gun." I once spent hours a day choreographing and ultimately performing to that song for a talent show on a family cruise trip when I was about 11 years old. Interesting song choice for an 11 year old, I know, but I was interesting kid, and still love the song. And her video with Michael for "Scream" is still one of the greatest music videos of all time in my opinion!
What song do you most wish you’d written?
Currently, it's a toss up between "Royals" by Lorde and "Roar" by Katy Perry. Both of those songs are so catchy! I love them so much!
Who are you listening to now?
I'm listening to so many different things right now! Again, loving Lorde and Miley Cyrus' albums, as well as Justin TImberlake's Part 2 of 2 20/20 Experience. I'm also really into MS MR. For some reason I love listening to slightly darker music in the fall and everything about their new album is amazing. I also REALLY love a good dance beat! I'm super into Disclosure, Subfocus and Nero right now. I'm a little obsessed with the Subfocus song "Tidal Wave." It makes me think of my best friends because we always have dance parties in the living room to it and it just takes me to my happy place thinking of that.