Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox launches music career with fierce debut single Beat for the Gods
Transgender actor extraordinaire Laverne Cox is branching out into music – and she’s already dropped her first single and music video.
Cox has become one of the world’s most-known transgender actors, appearing as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
The actress revealed her musical talents in 2016, starring in a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and now she’s putting them to use for a dance single.
Over the weekend, Cox dropped RuPaulesque track Beat for the Gods, which also takes it inspiration from the New York drag and ballroom scene.
Speaking to Out, she said: “My intention with this song – it’s obviously a dance song. I just wanted it to be a cute song for the kids to vogue to.
“It really is an homage to that community, the kids who vogue, the kids who drag, the nightclub scene. Specifically the 90s—I’ve been calling it a 90s throw black bitch track.
“It’s really about queer club culture, drag culture, all the colloquialisms that are in it. All that lingo and language that I just love. It’s an homage to that. We wanted to premiere it on Out because it’s for the LGBTQ community and that culture.
“It’s about makeup but it’s about living for yourself, whether you’re wearing makeup or not. “[It’s about] feeling gorgeous no matter what, and owning yourself, and having a Kiki.”
Cox said she doesn’t plan to become a full-time musician, however.
She said: “I’m not trying to be a pop star. Acting is my passion. It’s always my priority. But I’m also an artist, and I loved the process of writing a song, recording it, arranging it, and then shooting a video, and producing it, coming up with the concept with the director, hiring a choreographer and dancers… it’s fun to create something in a different way.
“As an actress I’m always doing other people’s projects, but this was me from start to finish. Hopefully I’ll be producing more scripted content as an actress and producer. It was fun to be in the driver’s seat creatively.”
Cox recently graced the cover of Cosmopolitan South Africa for the magazine’s LGBT focused ‘Say Yes to Love’ edition.
In a letter in the magazine, Laverne sent an impassioned message to Cosmopolitan readers.
She said: “Your voice matters, the truth of who you know yourselves to be matters. The truth will set you free!
“Trans women deserve to be loved out in the open and in the light.”
She said: “Two years ago … I was in the waiting room with actresses who were like, ‘Oh my God, this is my fourth audition today.
“And I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve never auditioned that much’.
“There have never been that many parts as a Black, openly transgender woman. Because I am who I am, there probably have been fewer opportunities for me to work.”
She went on to explain that despite the fact that she had less of a chance than some actors, she did not ever regret being who she is.
“Certainly there are fewer opportunities for someone like me being Black and being trans and being a woman. In the face of that, it’s not bad.
“The truth is I’m one of the lucky ones. The question for me becomes … as I produce, how to bring other people along for the ride.”