With the help of some make up and carefully crafted outfits, Freddie Bell turns into Avery Taureaux on the stages of Sidewinders Bar, Albuquerque Social Club, Twist Nightclub, Zullo’s Bar and Bistro and The Clubhouse; Alternative Lifestyle Club. What started with being an attendee at RuPaul’s Drag Race event at Sidewinders, dressed as the famous Naomi Smalls, turned into several performances in clubs across Albuquerque as Avery.
As a wardrobe stylist, Avery puts thought into the functionality and aesthetic of each outfit. Her routines involve drops and intensive choreography so there is little room for wardrobe malfunctions.
For performances, Avery prefers to set the stage with music that is personal and carries nostalgia for her. Here are her top 5 favorite albums and why.
1. “Fallen” by Mya
“This album is so nostalgic for me and you’ll see I perform to a handful of songs from this album. This was, I think, the first album my parents bought my older sister. She would listen to it constantly and she idolized Mya growing up. And I idolized my sister, so we learned choreography from the music videos and even to this day we bond over the songs on this album. This album just reminds me of my sister and how much she inspires me and Avery on the daily.”
2. “Revival” by Selena Gomez
“Every LGBTQ+ person has their pop icons. Selena Gomez just happens to be mine. I grew up watching her and listening to her music and just fell in love. When the “Revival” album came out, I was in tears by the first song. It’s an album about growth. And learning from mistakes and empowering yourself through hardships which I’m sure everyone can relate to, especially myself. I’m of course a little biased because, again, I love her, but the album is like a breath of fresh air to me and I could listen to it for the rest of my life.”
3. “Tayla Made” by Tayla Parx
“This album is extremely underrated. I’m in love with black women who lyrically, musically and vocally deliver in songs. The entire album is about losing love, finding love, finding yourself and empowering yourself through relationship highs and lows. Tayla Parx writes a lot of songs for so many musicians but she keeps the truly great stuff for herself. I can jam this while getting in drag, because the beats are just so damn flawless.”
4. “Lauren EP” by Keke Palmer
“Again, black women who slay in every aspect musically are so iconic. Keke Palmer is another one of those celebrities I grew up with watching her on tv and movies. Her old music made my homo heart so happy as a kid so being able to appreciate her new sexy vibe as an adult has me living. This is definitely an album to listen to when I’m feeling like a bad b***h for sure.”
5. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
“This is the album that reawakened LGBTQ+ liberation and pride. Gaga has always been, and always will be, an ally in our community and she’s just so damn talented. Seriously. If I didn’t add a Gaga album in this mix, I would be doing the gays a disservice. Every song is so lyrically motivating and connects to something more than meaningless words about sex, money or drugs, like so many songs out there. She had an agenda and it definitely prevailed. Look at us thriving in 20”Gay”teen knowing that ‘Baby we were born this way’ and that s**t is beyond okay.”
Yana Apostalon is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @yana_aposta.