Kevin Aviance

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Interviews , Music

Kevin Aviance is a club kid, party promoter, #1 Billboard dance recording artist! Being fabulous is about mind, body and shoes! 

BORN: MALE

OCCUPATION: DIVA, SINGER

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 5 BILLBOARD NUMBER 1 RECORDS

Regardless of what people say about Kevin Aviance, the name provokes a reaction. My dear friend Jeanette exclaimed, “I love Kevin, she is so fierce!” I assumed she was referring to the look, and the power Kevin brings to the stage. I was to learn in time that Kevin’s strength is so much more than the image you see. It’s also a frame of mind.

Spectrum Magazine referred to Kevin as “the hardest working performer in New York clubland.” And I experienced this first hand a few years ago in the V.I.P. lounge at Eugene’s, during the grand opening of Yvonne Lame’s new party there. DJ Fabian was spinning pounding dance music and the crowd was very engaged. Suddenly, all eyes focused on the silhouette of a tall bald woman standing on a table and casting a shadow across the room. It is no wonder that Buzz Magazine called Kevin “a crowd pleaser … energetic and glamorous.” As (s)he turned for an impromptu performance, the crowd screamed with delight, and the essence of this performer was revealed: what you see is what you get, one hundred percent!

That was two years ago, and today Kevin has another #1 dance record on the  Billboard dance charts, entitled “Alive,” the second #1 record for the artist in three years. But with the newly released album on Emerge Records, entitled, “Entity,” Kevin claims that she is evolving. Today I wondered – who is Kevin Aviance?

Beginning her career as a young, take-no-prisoners personality, she burst onto the Washington DC underground club scene, first as a party promoter, and then a performer. Born Eric Snead, (s)he changed her name to Kevin, and took her last name from the legendary vogue house she belonged to (House of Aviance), which started in Washington DC (similar to the NY House of Extravaganza, portrayed in the movie Paris is Burning). “My roots are planted in the House of Aviance, they are my family, and I love them all,” she recently told me.

The author Victor Hugo once said, “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots,” and it appears that Kevin has done just that.

When you speak with Kevin and really listen, what you come away with is that this performer has depth, soul and spirit. She is true to who she is, apologizes to no one, and exists to be free – my kind of girl!

Kevin Aviance

B: For the benefit of the readers, do you prefer to be referred to as he, she, or does it matter? 

Kevin: It doesn’t matter really, but I would prefer she, I guess I am ….. Trans-Universal (chuckle).

B: Kevin, who are you? If someone approached you never having seen you before, heard your music, or listened to your lyrics, how would you in a word explain Kevin Aviance to them? 

Kevin: Your vanity! (laughing). I embody all the things you thought of doing, wanted to do – yet were afraid to try.

B: What is Kevin Aviance’s mission?

Kevin: To live the dream

B: What’s the dream?

Kevin: For me, it’s to be who I am. That can be my music, my persona, it’s whatever I am at any moment in time. It’s to be true to who I am at all times.

B: Since the days of the House Of Aviance, your career, and your life, have changed. Does the HOA still have influence in your life?

Kevin: Sure, I embody the house of Aviance, and I will carry the spirit of HOA with me throughout my life.

B: What do you feel you still retain from the House of Aviance?

Kevin: The House of Aviance is a group of people, of all shapes and colors – maybe it’s a kid who was called a loser, kicked out of his house by his parents because they didn’t understand. We do as we please. We strive for a new level, We don’t apologize for who we are.

B: So, it’s really more than anything, a mindset, a state of mind?

Kevin: Exactly!

B: In your newest press releases it talks about Kevin as an artist evolving, maturing, explain to us in what way?

Kevin: (laughing) I’m 35 years old. I’m not the same club kid I was. I suppose I am singing more about what I embody, the person, what I feel and see. As opposed to the persona you see, the strut, the attitude. My last record, “Alive,” which hit #1, is being called an Anthem. It’s a pulsating, hypnotic dance classic. But after 9/11 that’s when I really understood the song. It changed my outlook on life. “Alive,” is about showing love to one another, it’s uplifting, and with everything going on around the world today, we need that. The new album is about life’s experiences – as citizens of the global society. I couldn’t avoid addressing the current state of the world, but I also wanted to stay positive and creative, and offer my fans an escape from what is for some, a hard reality.

B: Do you worry about losing fans with the evolution of your music? Or do you think the old fans will follow as new fans join in?

Kevin: You can only hope your fans will go along and embrace what you are doing. And of course I am reaching a whole new audience as well. With Vogue, it was always about the beat. My debut album, “Box Of Chocolates,” had songs like “Din Da Da, which went to #1. For a year, “ y” was a staple at the Tunnel. Kids were coming to the club just to hear the record. They’d sit and wait. Soon as it played, you’d see all the queens coming out of the darkness, doing runway. I hope those fans will stay with me, and I’m also looking at a whole new audience, crossing all the boundaries. The songs still have a beat, but also have deeper lyrics to listen to:

 Do you have a favorite song on the new album?

Kevin: Yeah … all of them! (laughing) We started with so many and kept breaking it down, and the final songs we felt were all great songs, so I Love them all.

B: What does your “image,” the presence of Kevin Aviance say?

Kevin: I want people to look at me, and simply interpret what they will.

B: Do you ever feel the pressure of being Kevin Aviance?

Kevin: Some days are harder than others, but usually no, I don’t feel any pressure, because what they see is really who I am.

B: Can I ask about your love life?

Kevin: (Laughing) No

B: What should people know that they may not know just from seeing you, or hearing your music?

Kevin: That I really am a nice person.

B: You do have a very intimidating look. Do you think that potential suitors are afraid to approach you?

Kevin: (Laughing) Next

B: How about this. If you saw someone you were attracted to, would you approach them?

Kevin: Absolutely! You have to go after what you want!

B: Everyone in life is on different paths in life. Do you have any words for them in their personal quests?

Kevin: Be who you want to be, and educate yourself about it.

B: What about the negative people out there, with negative remarks? How do you deal with that?

Kevin: Keep walking honey, just keep walking. Don’t even digest it.

B: Kevin it was pleasure to talk with you and I look forward to hearing your new record. Do you have any closing statements?

Kevin: “Stay cunty forever!”

B: And for those that don’t understand what that means, they’ll just have to buy the record. You are indeed a true promoter. Thanks again for the interview.

Kevin: My pleasure.

(PUBLISHED in TG Community News, and re-printed in Girl Talk Magazine 2004)

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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