Rapper Redfoo puts Victoria Azarenka's shrieks to music
Melbourne, Australia • Music fans will soon get to hear the symphonic-like shrieking that Victoria Azarenka brings to her tennis.
The No. 1-ranked player and Australian Open champion is known as one of the more vocal players on the women's tour, accompanying almost every whack of the ball with a high-pitched "Ooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuwww."
In a silent stadium, the sound can linger in the air.
Azarenka's friend, the American rapper Redfoo, who has produced multiple hit singles, has recognized some musical potential in the shriek. He recorded it and has mixed the sound into a new song due to be released soon, she said last week.
"It's my grunt. It's not my vocals," Azarenka said, clarifying that she was not recorded singing. "I don't take high-key or low-key there. It's just natural."
Known for his wild hair and even wilder music, Redfoo, the LMFAO frontman whose real name is Stefan Kendal Gordy (he's the son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy), has been seen cheering from Azarenka's players' box and signing autographs during most of her matches.
One interviewer seemed more interested in getting the pair to talk about their relationship, which made the 23-year-old Azarenka turn bright red.
In one attempt to change the subject Saturday, Redfoo said that he and Azarenka share a love for music.
"She's actually very into music, she has a piano now on the road. In the off-season she might be my pianist," Redfoo said of the world's No. 1 player.
As an insider to the music world, Azarenka gets to listen to tunes the public hasn't heard yet like a remix by Redfoo's friend GoonRock that she called "Sweet Baby" and says is "really good."
"Sweet Baby" was piping into Azarenka's earbuds as she walked onto center court Monday, as she often does soaking in some last-minute musical inspiration before turning to tennis.
"If it's bad music, it's going to be a bad match," she said. "So I really choose it very carefully."
Music is a "very important" part of her pre-match preparation, Azarenka said. It helps "focus, pump you up, get your feet a little bit moving, kind of get excited," she said. "I kind of get in the zone. It just makes me feel good inside. When I feel good inside, I love to go out there and do the best job as I can."