Seemingly against all odds, LaCroix has become a flavored-water phenomenon. And late last week, it made the jump from Whole Foods to YouTube with “LaCroix Boi,” a new song and video from Los Angeles artist Big Dipper. (If you haven’t yet seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it now.) Grub enjoys unsweetened, flavored carbonated water as much as anyone, so we hopped on the phone with Big Dipper himself to get the lowdown on the song, the video, and that jacket made of cans.
All right, so why LaCroix? Where did the idea come from?
Well, the actual story is, do you know the artist Big Baby D.R.A.M.?
Okay. So on his album, he has this amazing song with Erykah Badu called “WiFi.” When I first heard it, I asked myself, Why is this song so amazing? Musically, it’s beautiful; I love both of those artists. Then I was like, This is fucking funny because the lyrics are something like, I hope you paid your bills, can I get your password, I want to show you something on my phone. Which is so mundane and stupid, but something we actually do. I was talking about that with my music producer, and I was saying we should make an interlude like that on my album where I sing. As you can tell from the amount of Auto-Tune of the track, I cannot sing, but I thought it would be great to do this funny interlude, and I was drinking a LaCroix at the time, so I was like, “We should do that.”
When did you decide to make the video?
After writing the song, I was like, “Let’s see what else is out there about LaCroix.” There are people making pins on Etsy; here are sketches; there are tons of Instagram accounts; there’s a clothing line in New York called LaCroixs Over Boys. It’s such a cultural thing. I was like, “Well, the song is hilarious. It came out of this really organic idea, and let’s fucking do a whole video to add to this swirling of LaCroix ideas.”
What has the reaction been like so far?
A lot of comments on YouTube are like, “Wow, sponsorship!” And I’m like, “Oh, me? I’m in credit-card debt.” I funded it all myself. And everyone worked for free. We got stuff donated. But part of me feels like it’s a compliment, because if you think it looks good enough to be produced by a company, then great! But the flip side of that is, no, girl, I’m just out here acting stupid on an idea that I went balls to the wall for.
So is this really about making fun of seltzer obsession?
I mean, yes. But also, find a day when I don’t have some in my fridge. I drink the stuff like — it’s water. That’s a funny joke. I truly love it, but also yes: It’s been around forever, so why is it hip now? Why do you pay more money for this water? It’s all so silly, but I’m also obsessed.
You’re part of it now.
Oh, yeah. Completely. I just want to refer you to the moment when I’m riding a hoverboard, covered in a jacket that is made out of LaCroix cans. Who could do that seriously?
You also point to the fact that it was this uncool, ’90s thing, and talk about your mom drinking it.
It’s weird because it’s millennial, but then also my mom, who is in her early 60s, used to drink pure, clear, unflavored bubbly LaCroix when I was growing up. I didn’t understand it. I was like, “There’s no sugar; there’s no flavor; this is so stupid.” But those Midwesterners drink LaCroix like it’s just regular water, you know.
What’s your go-to flavor?
It is literally rotating constantly. Mango is amazing. I really like passion fruit, too. Peach-pear is a supergood one. I also like cerise, but I also like lime. I’m not a fan of coconut.
I’ll just be bold: Orange is sort of weak.
Coconut, I just don’t like coconut flavor. And orange is not unique enough. Peach-pear is such a specific flavor, and specific to their brand; it makes sense. And I don’t think I like apricot either, but I think it’s just because I don’t like that flavor.
I made the choice to be the pamplemousse flavor in the video because of the way I wrote the song. But I would’ve chosen a different flavor if it were purely based on what I drink.
So you’re not the biggest pamplemousse fan?
I like it. I have a fridge full of it right now. It’s the kind of thing where you want to root for the underdog. Well, everybody fucking loves pamplemousse, and, yeah, it’s good, but … it’s also the only one in French.
Yeah, that’s part of what’s funny about their branding.
Yeah, and that it comes from the St. Croix River in Wisconsin, but then they put a “La” in front of it so everyone thinks it’s French. There’s, like, people — I play people the song. I was playing it for my family when I saw them in December, and it’s some of the only music of mine my parents will listen to. None of my other music is clean; it’s really raunchy.
So I was playing it for them in December, and I was drinking it, like whatever, and people were like, “Yeah, cool, um, you made a whole song, but you’re saying the name wrong. It’s [in fake French accent] LaCroix.” I’m like, “No, it’s nooot.” But apparently there’s a school of thought around both, and the brand enjoys the controversy. We’re like surrounding my phone, listening to me sing this crazy song full of Auto-Tune, and they’re like, “But you’re saying it wrong!”
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.