In 1995, Bill’s Filling Station started out as a small neighborhood bar on Dixie and 13th street and was there for many years before Padgett Negrete, Inc. purchased the business. A short while later they moved Bill’s to its current location on Wilton Drive and their clientele exploded. This weekend, Bill’s celebrates their…
In 1995, Bill’s Filling Station started out as a small neighborhood bar on Dixie and 13th street and was there for many years before Padgett Negrete, Inc. purchased the business. A short while later they moved Bill’s to its current location on Wilton Drive and their clientele exploded. This weekend, Bill’s celebrates their 17th anniversary (and 5th anniversary on the drive) with a huge line-up. On Friday, October 12 Growl features a Bear Appreciation Party with a very special guest, one of the hottest new men in adult films, Chris Tyler, who will co-host the Sexy Man contest with Miss Kitty. And, if we know Miss Kitty, she will have him stripped down to almost nothing (love it). On Sunday, Misty Eyez’s Trannie Palace will feature some special guests you won’t want to miss! However, the main day of the celebration is Saturday, October 13, as they feature Frenchie Davis live in concert. (Frenchie was a finalist on The Voice, she’s a Grammy Nominee, a Broadway Star, and American Idol Diva) The concert, which starts at 11 pm, will include her debut single “Love’s Got a Hold On Me.” She will also be available for a Meet and Greet directly following the show.
Frenchie has recently come out of the closet and it was a pleasure to sit down with her for this exclusive interview right before she performs at Bill’s.
What inspired you to become a singer?
Frenchie Davis: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved singing. My favorite childhood movies were musicals. I think I watched Annie and Little Shop Of Horrors everyday after school. Meeting my 7th grade music teacher, Mrs. Young was when I really began studying music and working towards improving my craft. I didn’t really realize that singing for a living was a realistic goal until I got to college and decided to major in musical theatre.
Did you encounter any struggles along the way?
I remember being homeless while taking eighteen college credits and working two jobs. I’m shivering just thinking about how cold it would get on some of those nights. I remember being really grateful for the school library in those days because it was always open and it provided a warm place to sleep, as well as a place to do my schoolwork. I remember sleeping outside in the New York cold for two days just to audition for American Idol, and I remember having strep throat on the day that I finally got to the audition.
How did you deal with the whole American Idol experience?
I struggled for a long time to overcome the depression I experienced after getting kicked off of Idol. I remember being afraid to pursue a recording career after that experience. I remember lots of hard times but the thing I remember most is my unwillingness to give up and I believe that to be the key to overcoming any struggle.
Were there any people who mentored you?
Yes! My seventh grade music teacher taught me the importance of proper vocal technique as well as the importance of listening to all kinds of music. My college professors taught me the importance of stage presence and being business-minded. And Christina Aguilera taught me that I don’t have to sing what’s expected and I don’t have to be in a box. Many of the songs that she selected for me on The Voice were dance songs and they all charted in the top 5 on iTunes dance charts. That opened a whole new door of possibility in my recording career.
It also made you a star in the gay community.
I truly love the gay community, and, as you may know, I recently revealed that I have been dating a woman for a year. It’s always nice to work in my community. I love performing at the numerous prides I’ve been invited to, the HRC and GLAAD galas, and I will drop everything to do any fundraising needed for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Where do you see your career going from here?
My goal is to have a life and career that will inspire young people to be brave and true to who they are with no apologies.
Does that include more dance music?
Oh yes. I want to keep recording dance music so people can have fun on the dance floor while still enjoying good singing. I am also getting ready for the holidays and recording Christmas music! And, I’m in talks to start my own plus size lingerie line.
How about Broadway?
Hopefully, one day I’ll go back to Broadway and later in life, I’ll retire to become a music teacher so I can have the same impact on young people that many of my teachers had on me.
Is there a message you’d like to send to your South Florida fans?
I love you guys and thank you for all your support. I’m looking forward to coming back to sing for y’all again at Bill’s Filling Station! Come see me!