The mud in City Park in New Orleans was up to people’s shins on Friday of Voodoo festival in New Orleans. The weather was brisk for the first time this autumn, and proximity of Halloween let festival-goers don their best costume regalia. GG Magree took her costume very seriously. She wore a bright pink dress and prosthetic gash marks on her face with huge platform kicks. She carried a mangled doll in the same attire (fondly named MiniG) as she paced her trailer. The act before her was playing a crazy eclectic mix of songs; as we were chatting in her trailer near the stage blending “YMCA” into a huge big room house drop. She candidly said to me, “I feel obligated to take my crowd on a journey through a set. I know that’s not a unique idea to me, but if someone decides to take they time out of their festival experience to see, I need to make sure they know they made the right decision.”
As she climbed the stairs to the stage, she was zoned in and ready to crush. She’s not afraid to go hard – she opened with an edit of the Halloween theme edit into “Biterz” by Zomboy. The crowd was ready for it, and she continued to tear into huge songs. She played the original of “Throwin’ Elbows” and “Like A Bitch” – a refreshing change from the countless edits with the first beat pitched up and repeated that every trap DJ has been playing. About ten minutes in she hopped on the mic and went down from the DJ booth to the front of the stage to sing her track “Frontlines” with NGHTMRE and Zeds Dead. As the song built she called for a mosh pit to open in the crowd and they happily obliged. The drop came, and some kids moshed, but not enough for GG – she hollered into the mic “Someone told me New Orleans goes hard, you guys are being pussies!” The crowd hollered back, and the mosh pit immediately filled with more people. That’s her brand – unabashed honesty used to spur crowds to go harder than they thought they could.
Once the set finished and she was hopping down the stairs of the stage she screamed “So many beautiful people!” at no one in particular. She stopped to take a picture with some fans before we carted to the Toyota Music Den for her second set of the day. She got on stage to set up her gear to exited yells of the crowd – which was already spilling outside of the tent. They were playing ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” as she set up, and she encouraged the people there to sing along, and soon enough the whole tent was singing with her. She’s a natural born performer and given the slightest chance to, she will do it on the spot. The Den set was a short 30 minutes, and jam packed with big hit edits and classic party music. She finished and we wandered to the catering tent to take a much-deserved break.
We chatted about New Orleans and the city’s history, about which she said, “I don’t know much about the history, but I love how the energy seems to still be here. I was lucky enough to have Kayzo give me a little walking tour and was amazed by the stories of the hangings and murders and people who gambled their lives away. When I think of New Orleans I think of the skeleton key and the architecture and the graveyards and the streets – they’re all so fascinating. I want to know more about that.”
We continued to talk more about New Orleans and the south in general: “The crowds in the south pop the fuck off. I’ve played in Baton Rouge and a couple different cities in Texas and the crowds go so the hardest out of all the US cities I’ve played.” I followed up by asking about GG the girl who likes to sing vs. GG the performer: “My energy levels just go through the roof. My endorphins – endorphins? Yeah those – just kick into overdrive. I’m a different person on stage, and to be honest, I think I’m more myself when I’m on stage. Pretty much anytime I’m not on stage, I’m thinking about things I could do on stage in the future. I love looking back at myself once I finish a set – like I did that? I hopped around the stage and made weird hand things at people? I pretty much black out when I’m up there and I have no idea what I’m doing. But I do know that’s the completely 100% version of me there is.”
We then parted ways for a few hours to rest before the late night after party. We met at the Joy Theater, a historic New Orleans music hall, where she would play her third set in ten hours. She changed into a Spiderman onesie, never to be seen out of costume on Halloween weekend. Before she started, the venue had 150 people in the massive 1200 capacity space, and but that didn’t deter her: “Small crowds make you work for it. If I fuck it then the whole crowd dies out. I have to be on fire.” She again played her heart out and surely enough, the room filled up as her set went on. Speaking in the green room after the set she said, “I run on adrenaline. I’m chilling. I have an early flight which sometimes bites me in the ass but I’m fine. I don’t really mind the three sets because if I could I’d play every day. Maybe not three sets because of the length differences (her sets were 45 minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour, respectively). Give me two straight hours and yeah, every day.” I asked about her comedown routine (since, in her own words, she runs on adrenaline), “Easy. Get in the Uber, preorder Uber Eats, wipe off my makeup, get into bed with the Uber Eats, probably eat half and fall asleep. And then I wake up to a beautiful mess, but a beautiful mess with leftovers. End of story. Full stop.”
Earlier that day while walking through the Voodoo artist compound surrounded by festival executives dressed in all black and other performers without costumes, she was getting some looks. To that she said, “I love when people look at me and don’t know what to do.” That’s GG. She’s a tornado of energy and optimism, a fiercely honestly performer, and a real ass human being completely unafraid to be completely herself. She’ll be in your city before you know it, and she is someone worth seeing. She’ll make sure it’s worth it.
Massive shout out to the legend Paiton Hebert for the amazing photos used in this article.