Jeffree Star On Being Dubbed 'the Next Lady Gaga' by Akon, Why Ke$ha is Not a Singer, and Being the First Gay Artist to Work in Hip-Hop

A few weeks ago, Akon called OC native Jeffree Star the next Lady Gaga. Akon had just signed the gay shock pop purveyor, and many critics called him delusional. Luckily, Star is used to haters.

In a recent phone interview, Jeffree Star clarified what Akon meant. "I think what he meant was when Gaga came out, there were a lot of doubters and a lot of people were like, 'what's with this chick looking all crazy?'"

Akon wasn't saying Star is going to be exactly like Lady Gaga; "He was more saying you have to see [this guy Jeffree Star] to believe it, it's like a special thing."

It's not a bad comparison, Star says. "To be compared to someone who's sold 15 million records in two years is great--to be compared to greatness isn't a bad thing," he added, laughing. Akon and Star are working on the new album after Christmas. "There will be a Jeffree Star feat. Akon track, and one with Ke$ha too," he says. Here's what else Star talked about:

Getting signed and struggling: Akon and I have been talking for about three months; someone gave him a copy of (my second album) Beauty Killer, so we met in Atlanta a few times. We really clicked--he's one of the most intelligent people in the music business. Akon and his team are managing my whole career now, so i'll have an official website, radio push, and a whole new album in 2011.

[My career] has been a struggle because a lot of people don't know what to do with me. That's why i signed a deal to have my own label distributed through Warner Records. It's frustrating to have all this vision that gets clouded and ruined by all these business suits ... so i feel like it's finally my time to have someone take me under their wing.

Jeffree Star performing at Ground Control in West Palm Beach on August 20.
Jeffree Star performing at Ground Control in West Palm Beach on August 20.
Ian Witlen/Broward-Palm Beach New Times

Learning from Ke$ha and Katy Perry: When I first started making music I had no clue what I was getting into. All the people I know in real life, like Ke$ha and Katy Perry, all taught  me that you have to go through a lot of drama to get what you want.  They've  been put on the back burner over the years, been dropped by record labels...and now they've made it.

Akon's style--will it rub off on Star? I've always loved his music, that's why working with him as a producer will be so exciting; he wrote "Just Dance." I'll also get to work withi his friends like David Guetta and RedOne--it will take my style to the next level and make a whole new genre for me.

Star, the first gay artist to work with Akon? No one in hip-hop has ever worked with a gay artist. Aside from Boy George and Pete Burns, who's a mainstream gay artist these days? There's Adam Lambert, but he was on a reality show. Nicki Minaj is bi, but there's never been a male gay artist.

I think it's a good step forward for the gay movement that someone like Akon who's sold 10 million records and sells out arenas will work with someone like me. It's a very macho world.

Who needs to be a good singer these days? People may say I'm not vocally talented like Mariah Carey or Lady Gaga, but I'm doing a whole other route. People don't realize you don't have to be the best singer to be talented . Look at Ke$ha's style of music, she sold 30 million singles of "Tik Tok" and she's not a singer.

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