International club DJ, record label owner, and the remixer to the stars who famously played Madonna’s wedding, Tracy Young became a tabloid target earlier this month when it was reported that she and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak have been romantically involved for the past three months. Young, an out lesbian who met Zolciak when remixing her dance single “Tardy for the Party,” finally spills the T on whether or not she’s really Zolciak’s “Big Momma.”
The Advocate: Let’s get right to it — are you dating or have you ever dated Kim Zolciak?
Tracy Young: Kim and I have a very complicated relationship. I met her in L.A. in December to do the “Tardy for the Party” remix, which has been released on my label, and through that working process we got really close.
How close is close?
I’m not at liberty to say all the personal details, but we have a lot of similarities and a very strong connection. She’s a great friend and I adore her, but it’s kind of complicated.
How did your professional relationship begin?
I was sent “Tardy for the Party” back in August by somebody who had worked with Kim. Her people reached out to me to do the remix, and I wanted to. Kim and I never spoke about it or met until December. I’d maybe seen Kim’s show once, but I definitely didn’t know her story line with Big Poppa or anything. When I met her at her hotel in L.A. to talk about the remix, I just met a person who made me laugh and who connected with me. Now I’ve obviously gone back and looked at some of the episodes. Had I seen the show before and known about that story line, I don’t know if I would’ve gone to meet Kim that night — hindsight is 20/20 — but I definitely didn’t go to the hotel to sleep with her.
How do you improve upon pop perfection like “Tardy for the Party,” Tracy?
That song is a hit. I was in radio for nine years — I was the music director at a radio station in Washington, D.C. — and my job was to find hits. When I first heard the song, did I think it was a Whitney Houston song or whatever? No. But it’s catchy, cute, and appropriate for the dance floor.
So what did you think when you saw that item on UsMagazine.com — presented as more of a fact than a rumor?
I don’t know where that came from. It blew my mind. I don’t know who leaked that, but I wish I did because it would probably help me with some of my confusion. I’m an openly gay woman and Kim is obviously a straight woman.
Were you surprised at how many other major outlets picked up the story?
I flipped out! I’ve been in this business for 20 years and have worked with everybody, and people have linked me with artists that I’ve worked with before, but never like this. It blew me away, and I’m just now settling down from everything.
Was this rumor somehow fabricated to help create buzz around the remix?
Well, I didn’t leak this story. If this was to create buzz around the remix, I would’ve done it prior to the remix being released in the beginning of February. From what people are telling me, the press may have more to do with her and her Bravo contract. As much as people want to know the truth, I even don’t think it’s affected sales that much.
When Kim performed at New York’s Splash in December, she said that she was “with someone” and “happier than ever.” When host Andy Cohen asked who the lucky guy was, Kim quipped, “Who said it was a man?” Could that have contributed to the rumors about your relationship?
Yeah, I think it may’ve spun from there.
Do you have any idea who the unidentified source was that — to use an Atlanta Housewives expression — spilled your T to UsMagazine.com?
I have no idea other than maybe it just spun off that previous press that was out months ago.
Do you believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity?
Yes and no. I don’t see this as bad publicity for me. I don’t know how Kim feels about it, but it’s not affecting me because I’ve been openly gay for more than 12 years.
People are comparing your situation to the odd romance between Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson. What do you think about your fellow lesbian DJ?
I’ve met Samantha and I happen to think she’s adorable. We’re not close, but I’ve known Samantha for about 11 years. Of course they’re going to compare the situations because that was one of the first high-profile lesbian celebrity romances other than, like, Ellen.
You must know that putting pictures of the two of you up as your Twitter background — including your No H8 picture — doesn’t help quiet the rumors.
Well, Kim actually made that for me months ago. I should probably take that down. I forgot that was up there, to be honest.
Why didn’t you address the rumors on your Twitter or Facebook as soon as the story broke on March 1?
Because I didn’t think that was appropriate. I wanted to wrap my head around everything because that whole week was such a whirlwind. I needed to step back and think about it before I reacted.
There must be some truth to the UsMagazine.com post. For starters, were you really Kim’s date at the Blacks’ Annual Gala in Miami Beach?
Well, I’ve been involved with that charity for years, so I brought her into that event. We’re obviously friends and hanging out, but we weren’t on a date. She was there with her daughters.
UsMagazine.com reported that you had broken up with your longtime girlfriend to be with Kim.
That’s absolutely false. My girlfriend and I broke up in August when I moved to L.A. and she took a job in New York.
It was also reported that you lost weight to be with Kim. Why did you lose weight?
I did not lose weight for someone else. I had lived in Miami, I was in a new city, my girlfriend had left, so I was very depressed and lost weight because of that. Then I met Kim, who’s a lot of fun and a wonderful person. I’d never seen her show at the time, but the Kim they portray on TV is not the Kim that I saw. We just hit it off. Being in a very sad place, Kim put a smile on my face. We laughed, we connected through music, and we became good friends.
You were apparently overheard saying, “We’re really happy!” Did those words ever come out of your mouth?
I did say that I was happy. I ran into a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in a while — not since I’d moved to L.A. — and they would notice my weight loss and say, “You look really happy!” But I was also telling people that I was single, and Kim was standing right there. So that was a misquote.
Real Housewives of New York star Simon van Kempen was quoted as saying, “The rumor is that Kim Zolciak will come out this season.” Do you know him?
I don’t know any of those people. I really don’t watch a lot of TV.
Are you sexually attracted to Kim?
I was never really attracted to Kim except on an emotional level. I was in a very bad place when I met her because of breaking up with my girlfriend, and she brought me out of that depression.
In a perfect world, would you like Kim to be your girlfriend?
Well, I don’t think that perfect world exists. I like her a lot, but the reality of the situation is that she has two kids, she lives in Atlanta ... I don’t know how Kim feels — maybe it’s confusing for her — but she’s with her longtime love, Big Poppa. I don’t know. We do have a connection, so you’d have to ask her about that. Now she’s getting ready to film again, so moving forward I don’t really even know if our friendship will continue. I don’t know where any of this is going.
Would she make a good lesbian girlfriend?
I’m not really sure. When I meet people who are straight, I’m very respectful. I would never come on to a straight person. If you tell me you’re straight, that is what it is, so it wasn’t a thought in my mind.
Whether it’s healthy or not, lots of gay men are attracted to straight guys. Is it not the same with you and straight women?
It’s very different for me. I connect with people on a more emotional level first, and that happens very rarely. I’m not the type of person who looks at a girl and goes, “Oh, my God, she’s beautiful and I want to go home with her tonight.” I’ve never been that person. I did connect with Kim on an emotional level, but I’ve always been very respectful of her sexuality.
You’ve done many high-profile remixes for Madonna — most recently of “Revolver” — so have you ever heard rumors that you were dating her?
Oh, yeah, it happened with Madonna, it happened with Ingrid Casares — I was supposedly sleeping with both of them — and this was years ago when I DJ'ed Madonna’s wedding in Scotland. I’m an openly gay woman, so that happens anytime I connect with a straight woman. It’s just never happened on this level before, but I guess the connection between me and Kim is different — or maybe it’s because the media’s so different now with the Internet and blogging. It was only in newspapers back then. But I don’t know where they get this stuff.
Would Madonna make a good girlfriend?
Oh, Madonna could have me any day! [Laughs] I’m a DJ too, so she can dump her DJ for me and then there’d be another Lindsay Lohan–Samantha Ronson connection!