By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

The LA recording artist, performer, and producer, Big Dipper, continues his upward trajectory – even during a global pandemic – with a new live show, a soon-to-be-released EP, and his award-winning podcasts. Peach caught up with the busy bear to talk about how he keeps so productive.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown?
As a performer, nightlife, concerts, and Pride events are the main places that I perform. My summer shows all got canceled, and everything got moved online to the digital space. There’s been a bit of a learning curve for me to perform online. I record myself all the time when I produce my music videos, but a “live” one-take digital performance using only what I have in my apartment is a whole new ball game lol. It’s been fun to challenge my creativity and to do new things as an artist and performer.

Photo: Rene Rodriguez

You are still very busy with a lot of pf projects – how have you adjusted your way of working in the new normal? 
 I’m really lucky that so much of the producing work I do can be done online. We are recording Race Chaser with Alaska and Willam remotely and also making new episodes of my podcast with Meatball: SLOPPY SECONDS. I’ve also been preparing the release of my new EP and getting my new music videos edited as well. So I have tons of things to work on at home. I’m also working on some choreography with a friend of mine in Brooklyn and just trying to keep motivated and productive.

Tell us about your collaboration with GROWLR and your new weekly show Big Dipper Live?
I’m super excited to be a part of the launch for the new LIVE feature on GROWLR. I know so many people who use the app, and when I’m traveling for shows, I have met people through the app from all over the world. So I was really happy to try out the LIVE feature and connect with people. My weekly live show is just an opportunity for me to talk with people, answer questions, and I really love the Guest Broadcast feature where you can chat one-on-one within the livestream. So I can take questions in the moment from other users on the livestream. I was really happy GROWLR wanted to work with me; it’s exciting that they are launching new features in their tech!

You were recently almost in Atlanta when you hosted a virtual Bearracuda dance party and bulge contest – What is your connection to the Bearracuda party?
Lol. I guess you could say I was recently almost in a lot of places…but yeah, I was excited to host Bearracuda on 5/16 and judge the bulge contest! I’m friends with Matt, who throws those parties, and I’ve hosted and performed at a few of his parties in the past. I’m also good friends with Mateo Segade, who is one of the resident DJs.

Have you ever been to Atlanta (we have a great bear scene here)?
I have been to Atlanta and DJ’d at the Eagle a few times. I’ve never performed there…that I can remember, but I’m sure I would have a lovely time.

Why do you think people respond so well to your message of body positivity?
Hmmm. I think my “message of body positivity” is well received because it’s not aggressive. I believe wholeheartedly in loving myself and celebrating my body, but that isn’t the reason I make music or why I perform. The messaging is just a byproduct of me being myself and sharing my music and videos with the world. I’m happy to be a spokesperson for thicc hairy guys because I think we are sexy. I think people respond well because I don’t take myself too seriously, and I’m not shoving anything down anyone’s throat. 

Besides your new show with GROWLR, what other exciting projects can we expect from the Big Dipper?
I’m very excited to announce that I have a new EP coming out on May 27th. This is my first project since 2018. The Ham and Cheese EP has five songs that I made with my producer friend So Drove (we made the song Lookin together from my 2018 album Late Bloomer). The EP has some really fun features on it, and I’m really proud of all the songs! Also, along with the EP, I’m going to release a music video on May 27th as well!

Ok, where can we get more of Big Dipper? 
In addition to my GROWLR account “Big Dipper,” I’m also constantly on my Instagram @bigdipperjelly. 

Photo: Rakeem Cunningham