The Grammy-nominated “Body Positive” singer / songwriter / producer is ready to unleash new music upon us. But are we ready for J.R. Price!? (Spoiler: yes, def!)
Thotyssey: Hello J.R.! We just saw you on Saturday at The Q where you were helping to hand out free Uberlube samples at Tym Moss‘ 60th birthday party, and then you performed! That was a really fun night… any backstage Tea, lol?
Honestly, handing out the magical Uberlube–that works for sexy time, and also adds sheen to your hair as a styling product–was the most “Tea” of the evening! Everyone involved with the event in celebration of Tym Moss was nothing but professional and supportive of everyone else involved. I haven’t been a part of such a drama free event in NYC–my closest experience has been with “Vinyl Fantasy,” run by Vegas Valentine, Marcel the Artist, and Andrew Leonard! But everyone at the 60th birthday bash of one of the greatest men I’ve ever met, was nothing short of loving, caring, and uplifting. It was a magical night! Thanks for asking! I was just honored to perform at the Q… it was exhilarating!
Have you had a personal favorite venue or showcase you performed in, here in NYC?
Stonewall has been my all time favorite venue. I perform there with DJ Chauncey D‘s monthly show “Freak-Out!” I love it so much for the history; without the Stonewall Riots none of us would be able to be out and proud like we are today, let alone singing about our gay lives. As a performance venue, legends like Taylor Swift and Madonna have graced the stage. It was electric, and continues to be everytime I sing there. I am filled up by the history, and the promise of a brighter future. It’s magic! I fully recommend checking out any “Freak-Out” show, found one Thursday a month with Chauncey. He only books quality talent!
Where are you from, and were music and performing always a part of your life?
I was born in West Virginia, and moved around a lot growing up; I lived in several states, and went to a lot of schools. I went to the University of Kentucky, and studied theatre, vocal performance, dance, musical theatre and composition there. So I do feel like Kentucky is home… but don’t ask me to drink bourbon or talk about horses or basketball!
I have been writing songs since I was six years old–the first song I ever wrote was called “One Step at a Time” about how I would achieve all of my dreams by taking it one step at a time… I was in the first grade. So I’ve always been dramatic, and chasing the dream.
I am a professional actor, singer, and songwriter. I have been featured on an episode of Pose, in a national commercial campaign for the Blue Man Group, called back for Broadway shows, and worked in dozens of outdoors theatres. But the only time I’ve felt really authentically me is when I’m doing these performances of my original music.
I have performed at bear events, including North American Bear in Lexington, KY and at the Underground in Ptown during Bear Week, and recently have been enjoying sharing my music with so many people in NYC! Such an honor. [Performing] in person is always preferred by me, thanks to my musical theatre background. Singing live is all I have right now, and I am grateful no one can take that away!
I understand that you were a recent Grammy nominee as well!
Yes, as a co-writer of the brilliant song “I Am Not Afraid” by Feathers Wise, which was officially nominated in the Electronic Dance Recording Vocal category. I have trouble acknowledging that because it doesn’t feel real, but Jeff Jones (who is mixing and mastering my album) from the Grammy board confirmed it is true–I am a Grammy-nominated songwriter! Of course, it’s all because of the magical Feathers Wise; I am grateful to just be credited for the small part I took in helping her tell her story in this iconic trans anthem.
There is definitely a thread of anthemic positivity in your original music, notably in the single that you often perform locally, “Body Positive.” Is it your goal to inspire people with your music, or is this messaging more of a self-affirmation?
I mean, it started as an anthem for everyone. I haven’t always been comfortable with my body; I actually attest all of my confidence to one of my producers Freddy Freeman, who teaches a workshop called “Loving Our Bear Bodies.” I originally took it to feel confident enough to be naked on stage in a production of the musical Hair, but the experience changed my life. It’s about affirming your sexual energy, and honoring your shape and size with a room full of encouraging and supportive men. I actually help facilitate the workshop from time to time, and we have traveled to share that message. Freddy actually recommended I write a bop about it.
I of course hope that everyone is inspired by any message of any of my songs; they are all personal journeys, and lessons I have learned. I am glad that my body journey is helping others. I always hear feedback after shows–most recently a woman told me she was crying in a department store about her body earlier in the day ,and my song made her change her attitude. That is power. And I am grateful just to be the messenger. We are all beautiful. And we all have the ability to think positively! I’m just glad my music is sparking joy in people, and helping in some small way. It’s all I dream of.
Our next chance to see you perform will be this Sunday at Thirst, for producer Joe Mode’s “Half Time” at 4pm! You’ll be with other amazing performers like Jackie Dupree, Richard JMV and Sitanya Face, plus DJ Steve Sidewalk… what an amazing group of folks!
Absolutely! I met Jackie at Tym’s birthday, and we bonded over our love of classic melodies and disco dreams. I am so excited to perform with her! Such a joy, and Mother of the Den vibes! I am also in love with Sitanya Face; her book of poetry The Unicorn that Discovered Self-Love is so inspiring in so many ways. My favorite quote is “creamsicle skies melt because they feel appreciated and seen.” A word genius! I’m honored to be included in such a powerful lineup! And of course I have been hitting Thirst with my main Judy Marcel the Artist to support Casa de Galindo when he DJs at this up and coming spot!
Tell us about about the music you’ve released, and the new songs on their way.
My first album, available on all platforms, is called Daydream. I wrote this album pre-pandemic, so it’s full of hope and positivity… and naivety. My next album Nightmare, which is what we are celebrating [at the upcoming release party], is coming after two years of heartbreak, abandonment, and loss. The five song album is based on the five stages of grief after all that heartache. It’s a five song EP as opposed to a full album, because I hope that everyone’s daydreams always last longer than their nightmares.
The album release party, aptly called “Daydream or Nightmare,” will be at Brooklyn’s newly-reopened Macri Park on Sunday, June 5th (7pm)! What can we expect to see and hear?
I am so excited to perform at Macri Park, all thanks to my dear friend R0zegld who runs an event with my other close friend Danielle Cardona, called “Torch”–which I’ll also be performing with soon as well! They have really taken me under their wing, and taught me a lot about nightlife. I am soaking all of that up, and am also immensely grateful to have these strong women helping me.
People can expect a jam-packed setlist with Ricky Allson, producer of my new album and the sweetest and kindest man of all time–I would not be here without him. He saved my life by helping make this album. Other performers include icons like Danielle Cardona, R0zegld, Marcel the Artist, Tym Moss, Vegas Valentine, Coby Koehl, Cassie Nadeau, Kyle Motsinger, Robert Garcia and the amazing DJ Flo-Pilot… with some more great surprises. I hope everyone comes out!
What else is coming up for you?
I am performing at “Vinyl Fantasy” for the Katy Perry: The Complete Confection performance of “Teenage Dream” on May 23rd at 3 Dollar Bill. I’m also booked for “Torch” June 10th at Macri Park, and I’m at Pangea for Pride with Coby Koehl!
Any more info can be found on my socials! Follow me, I love all friends! I love you all! Remember, in a world full of nightmares, be a daydream!
To conclude: Kim Kardashian in Marilyn’s dress at the Met Gala! Yay, Nay, or Who Cares, lol!?
I am just heartbroken that she obviously had to alter it. There is a quote from the cult classic film 27 Dresses: “today, you’re just a bitch who broke my heart and cut up my mother’s wedding dress!” I think that applies here! Love Kim usually, though–I am very pro-sex workers!
Thank you, J.R.!