"Rap cabaret" artist Boyfriend drops her new track “Wash That,” which riffs on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” from South Pacific, November 2. A theatre kid who spent her high school days in show choir.
“In my heart of hearts, I’m a musical theatre show choir nerd who wants to tell stories. I still stutter a bit when folks ask me if I’m a musician,” she tells Playbill. “Yes, I write songs, but I’d never dream of performing them without a costume change or a prop up my sleeve. I always try to present a narrative, even if it’s on a music festival stage where no one is expecting it. I feel like I’m sort of tricking people into seeing a musical and hopefully opening some minds in the meantime.”
Now, the feminist rapper melds her current music with her Broadway sensibility. Take an exlusive listen to her new track below.
But why the South Pacific tune? “Beauty ritual and hair maintenance are some of my favorite themes to explore, so this was in perfect alignment with my ongoing thesis statement about the burden of beautification and the processes we undergo as women to be deemed ‘presentable,’” she explains. “So often it’s the opposite, where we’re plucking and tweezing in order to snag a man, but this taps into the empowerment that is nested inside all of these rituals—wash him off! Put that lipstick on for you!”
Boyfriend is also the creator of a semi-scripted interactive musical in New Orleans’ Preservation Hall, which has welcomed attendees like Mumford & Sons and David Grohl. Using music from her catalog, she keeps “one foot planted in the realm of concert, which is important to me, because I don’t want to scare away those silly people who already have their minds made up that they don’t like musicals.”