Redfoo is an American singer, DJ and rapper who came to fame in the musical duo LMFAO. The pair released two studio albums before Redfoo – real name Stefan Kendal Gordy and the son of Motown record founder Berry Gordy – went solo in 2013 and became a judge on The X Factor Australia. Redfoo, 39, couldn’t confirm whether he would return to The X Factor this year and in the meantime joined another reality show, the US series of Dancing With The Stars. Last month he was the first to be eliminated. I caught up with Redfoo to talk about his distinctive look, being labelled misogynistic over a recent song, and his dreams of becoming a tennis pro.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m working on my new album, I’m promoting my new single, Juicy Wiggle, and [been] practicing for theDancing With the Stars.
Tell me about Dancing With the Stars.
That [was] a dream come true… I [gave] it 100 per cent and letting my partner mould me and shape me, while keeping my personality and energy at the same time and learning the structure for keeping the “Redfooness” into the spirit.
Were you disappointed that you were first to leave the show?
I was shocked I got voted off because I felt so much positivity from the crowd and my fans. I was still happy because I gave it 100 per cent, [I] loved the experience and I had the best partner in the world. Team Fooma forever!
You’ve always got a new set of glasses. How many pairs of glasses do you own?
I think it’s like 200,000. Seriously.
You have your fashion line, La Freak. Are you really hands-on with your designing?
Yeah, very hands-on. I have a cool team and I give them inspirations, sometimes via Google images. I can go shopping sometimes and say, “OK, this is a cut that I like. This is a style I like…” For my normal, everyday look I like to kind of play some kind of character but always maintain a Redfoo within the character.
You have a signature look. Are you always dressed as Redfoo or do you ever try to go incognito and dress a bit more low-key?
It’s so funny because, to me, what I’m wearing now, this is low-key – because I grew up as a surfer, as a kid in the beach, so wearing prints on your shorts is normal .. But I get that all the time. People say to me every time I go in the elevator, “It’s not Halloween” … As a kid I thought I was going to wear sweatpants every day, until I got into real estate. Then they asked me the question, “Would you buy a house from a guy that was dressed in sweats and things with big afro?” And I actually said, “No, I wouldn’t.” Then I realised that whatever the character that you’re in, you want to dress appropriately to that. And that’s why I love music and I love creating my own world because it’s really I have no rules. I can wear anything I want.
When you were younger did you envisage your life the way it is today?
Not when I was younger – I wanted to play sports. Well, I knew that I wanted to be rich and I wanted to be some kind of an entertainer, but I thought it was sports. Then it was music, but it wasn’t so much on being famous for music; it was just being known for making great music. That was the first thing. I did that with a couple of singles that I’ve done for some other artists as a producer – I had some great credits. And then one day I decided that I’ve done everything in my life: I had made music, I had done stand-up comedy, I experienced love and I said, “But what haven’t I experienced as a human living on this earth?” It was: “I never got famous.” Like, “What does that mean for people to know you? What does it mean to have paparazzi trying to follow you, for doing whatever you’re doing?” I just wanted to experience that. How can you incorporate that into your life? And so then I started doing everything with the vision of that and then it became much more external.
If you hadn’t gone down the road of performing and entertainment, what would you have done?
Sports. I play tennis every day. I’ve kept that dream alive and I want to play on a professional level. I’ve been very consistent in training similar to a pro level. It takes six to eight hours a day: gym, stretching, ice bath. My fans may not really care that I got a better forehand, but that can make me a happier person.
There was controversy with your single Literally I Can’t being called offensive and misogynistic. Did you intend to offend?
[No]. Here it is…I’ve learnt that I can only, and people can only, control themselves, their actions and their thoughts. I am becoming a master at controlling my side of the court. So I can control what I do [but] when I put out music, I cannot control what people say about my music. I can’t control what they say about me. Anybody will just say what they want to see, be it positive or negative.
Will LMFAO ever get back together?
I would think so. Sky [Blu] and I have a great relationship. I think that if that’s something that we both want to do passionately, then it will happen.
Do you enjoy being a solo artist?
Yeah, I enjoy being solo. I enjoy being in a group. I’m kind of easy to please. I enjoy whatever it is that makes me feel good. Right now solo is making me feel good.
What can we expect from the new album?
You can expect some amazingness with high-energy dance – [that’s] what you can expect from Redfoo’s personality – and really just musical stuff, probably more ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, like Juicy Wiggle. Experimental stuff. You will feel like, “Wow. This is a new feeling.”
Are you returning to The X Factor Australia as a judge this year?
That’s out of my control. Well, first I have to be asked. At this point I haven’t been asked to come back. And then after that takes place then I have a chance to respond.
What’s next in the pipeline?
Next is the album. It’s interesting because the album is just the musical side but really, the next big-time thing for me is musicals – [creating] musical movies at the cinema.
WE WENT TO The Darling, Pyrmont.
WE ATE a Chicken salad and roasted chicken with vegetables.
WE DRANK coffee and sparkling water.
REDFOO WORE LaFreak from head to toe
I WORE a Carven dress