As the third season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta draws to a close amid a menagerie of catfights, a new, fabulous talent has emerged. Lawrence Washington, an Atlanta-based hairstylist, has flown above the drama and arrived as Miss Lawrence, an artiste with amazing vocal abilities. His debut song, “Closet Freak” is already a huge hit on iTunes. We spoke with Miss Lawrence about his music, his plans for the future, and why you should never, ever tell anyone what color your contacts are.
Good morning, Miss Lawrence! How are you?
I’m good, Honey! I’m just about to draw on an eyebrow!
[laughs] First off, congratulations on the success of your debut song, “Closet Freak”. How did it come to be?
After the 3rd season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta started, Kandi Burress had a showcase at Uptown. I went up to her and told her that she made me want to get back into doing music. Kandi said that she actually wanted to do something with me because she knew I had a musical background and she wanted to work with an openly gay artist. The following week, we went to the studio and she told me about the song. I loved the lyrics and when she put the beat to it, I just loved it.
Let’s talk a bit about your musical background.
I graduated from a performing arts high school with a focus in chorus. I have been singing since I was 12; I started professional vocal training when I was 12, and at 13, I went to Europe to do an Easter tour. At 18, I was invited back to Europe and toured quite a bit. It was an amazing experience. I shared my gift of song with many Europeans, and I’ve done a lot with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, too. And my mother sings, also. She used to sing in a choir with Gladys Knight and the Pips before they became famous.
So between your mom and your own religious musical background, that’s why Kandi had said for your vocals to not be too churchy.
Oh yeah, girl, I got a whole lot of church in me! [laughs]
“Closet Freak” is doing amazingly well. What are your plans beyond the song?
I’m definitely going to put out more material. I want to let people experience more of my vocal ability, let them have more of me. My style is more dance music with a little soul…I’m sorry I’m breaking up, I’m putting in my contacts.
What color are they?
Girl, I’m not going to tell you what color Miss Lawrence’s contacts are!
Okay, between the eyebrows and the contacts, you have to tell me where you’re doing today.
To do hair! Sheree is coming tomorrow to get her hair done.
Being Miss Lawrence, you are a very positive role model for the gay community.
I strive to be a positive person. I only surround myself with positive people. I just happen to be gay. If the gay community wants to use me as a role model, I am all down for it. I just do me. I believe in being positive and thinking and growing big.
You know you’re being compared with RuPaul.
If I’m up there with RuPaul, then that’s a huge compliment and I thank you for that, Honey!
As your musical career grows, will you still do hair?
Absolutely. I still want to be a part of the beauty industry. I’m doing a product line, and the first products that will be coming out are a hair serum, and a leave-in spray conditioner. I might go into makeup, too. Whichever way the rainbow goes, Honey.