tour diary

“A Long Foreplay With a Quick Nut”: Cakes da Killa Takes Us to Whole Festival

cakes da killa whole festival

Cakes da Killa photographed by Roni Lugassi.

Cakes da Killa bounces across stage in a fringed duck-hunting suit as the thumping hook to “Stoggaf” proclaims, “This is for faggots.” “Normally, I wouldn’t perform it, but when in Rome,” says the Jersey-born Cakes of the Muvaland 2.0 track—Rome being Germany’s Whole Festival, marked the world’s biggest underground queer electronic music festival. Long pigeonholed as a “queer rapper,” the trailblazing musician proved his fluidity this summer with Svengali (Remixed), a selection of jazzy house re-editions of his sophomore studio album, and the new single “Sex Drive,” a slinky bedroom-worthy Baltimore club track. The fourth official stop on the namesake Sex Drive tour brought him to the menacing iron structures of Ferropolis, the 20th-century industrial wasteland where Whole Festival took place. After a “hedonistic” weekend, and armed with his disposable camera, Cakes called us from Berlin to describe his performance pregame routine, communal douching stations, and the sappy, wholesome energy at the festival.


MEKALA RAJAGOPAL: Where are you at right now?

CAKES DA KILLA: I’m in Berlin at a studio helping my friend record some music. I go to Madrid next, and then I go to Budapest. Girl, I don’t even know.

RAJAGOPAL: It’s a Europe tour.

CAKES DA KILLA: Yeah, but I do a bunch of dates, and then I come back to recoup. The travel is getting a little bit much. 

RAJAGOPAL: Had you been to Ferropolis before this? 

CAKES DA KILLA: What is that?

RAJAGOPAL: The place that the festival was at.

CAKES DA KILLA: Oh, Ferropolis. I thought you said Queeropolis.

RAJAGOPAL: That too.

CAKES DA KILLA: I actually have been to Ferropolis. That location is also where a festival called MELT is, and I played MELT years ago. But it definitely was a different experience.

RAJAGOPAL: What was it like to get there and back from Berlin?

CAKES DA KILLA: I went on Saturday and I performed on Sunday. They had shuttle services set up for the artists. You could also drive, or take the train. But I got on a shuttle with a bunch of other artists that were playing and we drove the hour-and-a-half to the location.

RAJAGOPAL: What was the first thing you wanted to do as soon as you got there?

CAKES DA KILLA: Take a piss. I had to piss really bad. And after I used the little girl’s room, I had to assess what was going on. I love queer-run festivals, but when you have a lot of queer people turning up, you gotta be like, “Where’s the sober people who’s keeping this shit together?” After I found out what the infrastructure was giving and where my stage was, I was able to let my hair down and just enjoy. I also had to figure out how we were going to stay dry because it was raining.

RAJAGOPAL: That’s annoying.

CAKES DA KILLA: It’s been raining off and on in Germany this whole time. It wasn’t crazy. People was in the water, people was naked. People were high, so they didn’t care, or drunk. The energy around the whole grounds was definitely very free, so the weather was the least of people’s worries.

cakes da killa whole festival

Courtesy Cakes da Killa.

RAJAGOPAL: What did you wear on Sunday?

CAKES DA KILLA: For my performance, I wore a long tan fringe ghillie suit that I always wear. I have a few at this point because I keep buying so many. For some reason, when I wear it, people think it’s some designer outfit. I’m like, “It’s a duck hunting outfit. I don’t fucking know.” My other outfit was this draped silver dress. I just packed a bunch of shit and hoped for the best.

RAJAGOPAL: How did you get in the mood for your set?

CAKES DA KILLA: I’m one of those performers that doesn’t do too much talking beforehand. I like to be centered and away from people because I’m going to be interacting with people for the next 30 or 40 minutes. So I like to just be by myself. I’ve been doing this for so long, I had a cocktail and was ready to go.

RAJAGOPAL: What were you drinking?

CAKES DA KILLA: For some reason, they couldn’t find me any tequila. So I had gin and they found me a passion fruit juice. But they don’t really drink a lot of juice in Berlin, so at the end of the night, the juice was gone and it became Fanta, which is just—I don’t even know. I was just like, “Okay, thank you.” 

RAJAGOPAL: What did you perform?

CAKES DA KILLA: I’m on tour right now, so the set is standard. I start off with the Svengali remixes that I put out with Young Art [Records]. So I have the “Sip of My Sip” remix produced by Eli Escobar. I have a DJ Minx remix of my song “Luv Me Nots.” I did my new single with Mighty Mark called “Sex Drive.” What else did I do? I did this song called “Stoggaf” that was on my Muvaland 2.0 mixtape. It goes, “This is for faggots.” Normally, I wouldn’t perform it, but when in Rome. I also did “Don Dada,” which is one of the fan favorites. 

RAJAGOPAL: Was that the crowd fave?

CAKES DA KILLA: From the reactions I was experiencing, they really enjoyed the whole show, but “Don Dada” is always a high point because I like to end on a high note. People were just very excited to come together. Not to be sappy, but that’s how Whole Festival feels, because there was a lot of different people—drag queens, trans performers. People were just happy to just be there. 

cakes da killa whole festival

Photo by Roni Lugassi.

RAJAGOPAL: What was your favorite part of the set?

CAKES DA KILLA: Well, my least favorite part of the set was when somebody was trying to get on stage and I had to push him off. But I like performing, and when you have a good crowd that’s being receptive, the whole thing is great. It’s a bunch of work to basically have a 30-minute moment with people. This is weeks of flights and negotiations. It’s a long foreplay with a quick nut, but it’s still enjoyable.

RAJAGOPAL: At least you experienced two days, because you had initially said you were only going for your set.

CAKES DA KILLA: That was the original plan, but it was like all of Berlin was at the festival. I was trying to link up with people [in Berlin] and everyone was just off the grid, so I’m like, “I guess I should go.” So I ended up making it work, which I’m happy I did because it was a really, really great experience. 

RAJAGOPAL: Did you catch any other sets?

CAKES DA KILLA: On Saturday, I got to see my girlfriend, BEARCAT, and the Carry Nation. And my girlfriend Juliana Huxtable closed it out on Sunday, which was really great. I also got to see Jasmine Infiniti on Sunday, who was doing a B2B with somebody. It was like a family reunion. There were a lot of designers out, too. Malakai from House of Malakai was there. Just bumping into people. It was a very homecoming kind of moment. Apparently, it’s a big deal for a lot of people to make that mecca to Ferropolis.

RAJAGOPAL: Are there any crazy stories that you’re allowed to tell me?

CAKES DA KILLA: I mean, obviously, you have the nudists that are really carrying. I didn’t see it, but apparently, there was a communal douching station.

RAJAGOPAL: That kind of went viral before the festival.

CAKES DA KILLA: Yeah, it was a big controversy. They had a cruising station that I thought was really cute, but the whole festival itself was very cruisey. It’s just a whole lot of hedonistic behavior, but also very lighthearted. There weren’t any moments where things felt dark or sketchy. Just a whole lot of drinking and turning up.

cakes da killa whole festival

Courtesy Cakes da Killa.

RAJAGOPAL: Love it. What was it like to be in that industrial environment?

CAKES DA KILLA: It’s funny, because everything looks very tough out there, but when you have all those fairies and twinks and trade, everything felt softer than what it was. It’s not as rigid as the structures look. It’s a very warm, inviting place. And the stages are all amazing. The lights are crazy. They had fucking fog machines where you’re like, “Where the fuck am I?” And the water was great. I didn’t get in, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

RAJAGOPAL: Would you go again if you weren’t performing?

CAKES DA KILLA: I would definitely perform again. But I don’t camp. I need to be glamping

RAJAGOPAL: Did you have a camping setup this time?

CAKES DA KILLA: I went back to Berlin after Saturday, and they picked me up and brought me back on Sunday. And the reason why—because I don’t want anyone to attack me—is that I had a yurting experience at Glastonbury, and that’s my camping thing of the year. I’m done with the camping. But also, I was up raging the whole time so I didn’t even sleep on Sunday. It worked out.

RAJAGOPAL: Yeah, camping in the rain doesn’t sound like fun.

CAKES DA KILLA: But some people of a fair complexion have no problem with that. And that’s fine, but I can’t.

RAJAGOPAL: Thanks for giving me the rundown.

CAKES DA KILLA: Thank you so much. I’ll send you my disposable scans. Bye.