Catching up with Break-Girl and LGBTQ HERO, Courtnaé Paul.
- Winning the 2021 Red Bull BC (Break Dance) One National Finals,
- Living your truth and building your brand/business.
- BEING AN LGBTQ hero
- The future
Tell us about your latest win at the 2021 Red Bull BC (Break Dance) One National Finals?
It felt like a moment of complete validation! I’ve had a great career thus far with many local and international accolades under my belt, but this one felt very special. Even more so as it was my first time entering!
You will represent South Africa in the World Final happening in Poland later this year. Do you still get excited about these competitions?
My first European battle was about four years ago and every time I go back I have more appreciation than the one before. It’s extremely exciting considering we’ve been in lockdown sans travel for the last year, so to have Poland and Berlin (for another competition) lined up before the year ends feels great. I’m looking at tagging on a little DJ tour while I’m at it.
Are your intentions and motivations the same as they were back in the day when you were trying to make a name for yourself?
I like to think so. My work ethic and vision has never changed. In fact it has increased and maybe fine-tuned itself as time goes by. In my mind I’m still the little kid from a small, coloured community in Durban fighting against the odds and just wanting to make the most out of life. I believe I was put on this earth to do and be great, and that motivates me.
You’ve come up in the Breaking scene dominated by males, and you work in an entertainment industry which was a bit of a boy’s club. You’re also open about your relationship on social media. How have you balanced living your truth and building your brand/business?
I’m still finding the balance, but I’ve realised that the more I allow myself the freedom to be me, the lighter the load of the rest of the world feels. I constantly find myself in the middle of boy’s town and yes, it’s extremely difficult – even more so based on my sexuality. Something must be said for the lack of lesbian heroes we have in S.A. It’s a daily struggle of fighting for your worth and to be seen in a world that refuses to see or acknowledge you.
You have become a real queer hero, the way you hustle, express your creativity, and achieve your goals. What’s your message to the next generation of LGBTQ+ creatives/performing artists out there?
Put your head down, do the work, chase that dream, along with the other one: grow a tough skin, and never be apologetic for who you are.
You’ve been riding high, branching out in DJ’ing, producing and dropping tracks, landing international bookings and your recent competition win. What else can we expect to see in the future from Courtnaé Paul?
The focus has always been music and dance and I don’t intend on stopping any time soon. I’ve got a TV show in the works because I love talking for a living lol, and I also feel that we are in desperate need of more representation. I’m currently a resident DJ on 94.7 Joburg, I’m working on multiple campaigns as well as releasing a brand new single featuring Da L.E.S., Money Badoo and Phantom Steeze. Its titled “Ooh Wee”.
Photo credit: The Lotus Sutra, Nkululeko, Zane Titizana, VUSE
C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.
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