Erika Jayne’s never performed in Michigan before, so naturally when she does – at 6:30 p.m. June 5 at Hart Plaza (Main Stage) for Pride – the dance-pop vixen will make her Detroit-area debut in front of a bunch of gays.
Recently, Jayne gave us a buzz to talk about her big gay following, being inspired by Madonna and what to expect from her set (hint: “sass and ass”).
What is it with you and gay men?
Well, I think I’m a gay man trapped inside a girl’s body. (Laughs)
That’s what they all say.
I hate to say it, and I know it’s cliche, but it’s really true.
And it’s not just because you like to have sex with men?
That’s part of it. Probably 90 percent of it. We have a lot to talk about – like penis sizes.
Who’s the first gay person you ever knew?
I’ve been exposed to the gay community since I was a kid, because I was in musical theater. But honestly, I didn’t know anybody was gay then. When I was about 12, I understood that people were gay. I’ve been mentored by gay people from age 3 on.
When did you know you had a big gay following?
When I started doing a lot of Pride events and people would know the lyrics – that was really cool. That’s when I kind of figured it out.
What do you like best about playing Pride?
The energy. That Prides around the nation have everybody coming together to celebrate. And gay people are a good time.
You have a lot of gay friends I assume?
I have tons.
Do you like going to gay bars then?
It’s the most fun because I can dance around, have a good time and really not worry about anything. I’ll tell you a funny story: (My friends and I) went out to a straight club, and I’m totally in shallow water. I feel so uncomfortable, and they’re like, “You’re not having any fun. Let’s go to Big Dick Thursdays at Fubar.” We went to this total gay club and I was happy.
What’s Big Dick Thursdays?
It’s in West Hollywood and you take pictures of your penis and they vote on the biggest one. It’s kind of hot. And it’s fun, crazy and really cute.
Well, it’s not cute. But it’s cute, ya know? And some of those penises look pretty amazing.
What’s the best you’ve seen?
Thick and long.
I know how much you like sex because –
That’s all I talk about, right?
“Pretty Mess” is heavy on the innuendo. Why is sex such a good subject for music?
The “Pretty Mess” album was really about fantasy, love and escape. But why sex? Because everyone can relate. Everybody’s either having it, or not having enough of it, or you want more, or you’re having too much, or you’re having it with the wrong person. It’s a basic need.
What’s your sex style? Are you a one-man type?
I love men, so you know – when I’m in a relationship, I’m in a relationship and when I’m not, I’m not.
Are you in a relationship?
Ohh, it depends on who’s asking. I’m married to what I do.
So your boyfriend is your music?
There you go. And he’s a hot one with a big dick.
Tell me about the upcoming EP.
The new music could be summed up as over-the-top glitz, glamour and fun. Just a lot of fun music – and kind of hopeful. I like to have a good time, so that’s really what it’s all about.
Should we expect more songs like “Rollercoaster”?
Well, that was about giving a blowjob. That’s exactly where I was at that time. That’s really what I was thinking, so, you know, it’s organic.
You were thinking of giving blowjobs, or doing it?
You know, I was in that headspace, does that make sense?
You were in that _head_space.
Oh my god. I just realized what I just said. That’s so corny. It’s not the bleach, I really am blond!
What stage is the EP in?
There isn’t a hard release date yet, but I’m definitely going to release a new single this summer, but the EP – probably late summer.
Might we hear the new single at Pride?
No. I would love to, but it’s not ready.
When do you know a song is ready?
You have to know when to walk away from a song. You can constantly sit there and tweak it, but I like to do the car test, where I just drive around in my car and listen to it over and over again, and if it feels good then we’re done.
I read that you’re a fan of porn.
Oh my god – really?! I can’t think of when I said that. But a lot of people always say, “Ew, you look like a porn star!” I’m like, “No, I’m celebrating sexuality.” But I do like porn.
Have you ever thought about being a porn star?
No, no, no. Listen – no. I don’t have those kinds of balls.
Which kind of porn do you watch?
Just regular boy-girl porn. I’m kind of vanilla. No craziness.
Have you seen gay porn?
I have. And I know a lot of gay guys who watch straight porn, too. I was kind of shocked by that. But I’ve seen gay porn, of course. It’s just not something I watch.
Why’d you get into music in the first place?
As a kid I was always singing and dancing and, like I said, I did musical theater and I also had the great experience of going to a performing arts high school in Atlanta, where I grew up. It just was a natural progression. I’ve always loved to sing and dance, and my mom was a piano teacher and there was always music in the house. I just always liked to entertain.
What kind of music was in the house?
My mother was a classical pianist, and she was a cool, hip, young mom and we were constantly listening to everything on the radio, and so there was always music around.
Who’d you grow up listening to, besides your mom?
I grew up being a big Madonna fan. Everybody says that, but I would obsess on what she was wearing and what she was doing. Just a big, big fan. Still am. That’s my No. 1 girl, for sure.
Who are you inspired by now?
I’ll tell you people who I’m really happy for, not necessarily inspired by. I think what Gaga’s done is really great, and it’s really cool to come out and do so well and have such an impact. I still love that Ms. Lopez is doing her thing. She’s a sexy number, and I’m just happy to see her married with two kids but still doing it. She’s a big star. Those two girls really stick out for me.
But they’re people you’re happy for but not inspired by?
Well, I guess I am in a way very inspired by them. That’s fair to say.
Were you hesitant to say you’re inspired by Gaga because you’re both making pop music?
Well, everybody does the same thing. Nobody’s doing anything that innovative – OK, I mean, if you really want to know the truth. It’s all pretty much the same stuff. Everybody says that Gaga does Madonna. I mean, everybody’s influenced by each other – it’s all good.
Speaking of Gaga, you’ve surpassed her and the Pussycat Dolls by having five consecutive singles top the Billboard dance chart. Is that hard to believe?
Yeah, it is! It’s hard to believe that I’ve done that and nobody knows – I’m just kidding. It’s a cool thing.
What went through your mind?
I was a little shocked. But it’s cool. There’s always more to do; it doesn’t mean the work stops.
Who taught you to dance?
I had some great teachers in Atlanta and the girls that are in my show, they inspire me. I’ve just been inspired by a lot of great dancers along the way.
What’s an Erika Jayne show like?
Lots of femininity. Lots of cool costumes. Lots of attitude. Lots of sass and lots of ass.
Probably these new Christian Louboutin pumps. They’re pretty major. They’re bright, bright blue, but I’m convinced they go with everything.
Favorite color of the rainbow?
I’m a red girl. I wear a lot of pink, but deep down in my heart I love red. It makes me feel sexy – and a little naughty. It also reminds me of the old glamorous black-and-white movies and those women – Marilyn, Rita, Ava. I just imagine them all with red lips.