Music Posts Tagged as 'Interview'
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Alec Benjamin Is a Pop Storyteller for the Next Generation
Alec Benjamin has worn the same outfit multiple days in a row, he admits when we sit down to chat at New York’s buzzing Soho House one afternoon this spring. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter isn’t overly concerned with fashion; he just likes what he likes, and when he figures out something that works, he sticks with it. “I’m a very OCD person,” he says. “I’ll do one thing to complete exhaustion.”
That’s been true for his music, too. Pop trends come and go, but Benjamin, who’s best known for his viral hit “Let Me Down Slowly”, committed early on to absolute sincerity. In the tradition of pop storytellers like Taylor Swift and thoughtful songwriters like John Mayer, he’s built a brand of contemporary earnestness, layered over bulletproof pop balladry. Here, in this slick environment, a wide-eyed Benjamin seems a little out of place in his low-key sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers and tousled hair; you wouldn’t know he was a platinum-selling artist. But as the DJ in the corner ups the volume of his jazzy set, Benjamin settles in for the conversation, and any self-consciousness fades away. He’s not the type of guy who worries about keeping up appearances.
Greyson Chance fought for his coming out to not be used as an “exploitation tactic” / Amplify by Gay Times
Nine years ago, Greyson Chance became a viral sensation after his sixth-grade performance of Lady Gaga’s 2009 pop anthem, Paparazzi, was uploaded to YouTube.
After receiving widespread attention, heaps of acclaim (and a phone call from Gaga), the singer-songwriter – who was just 12-years-old at the time – was invited to appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and subsequently became a household name in the United States. In the same year, Greyson released his first single Waiting Outside the Lines – produced by Christina Aguilera’s mentor, Ron Fair – which was shortly followed by his pop-rock influenced debut studio album, Hold On ’til the Night. Imagine doing all of that before you hit your teens?
“I had to go through the ringers of the music industry at a very young age,” says Greyson. “I am just so blessed for my parents. I have an amazing mom and dad and they supported me through it the entire time, but there were a lot of pros and cons to it.” In subsequent years, Greyson released multiple EPs and a number of standalone singles – including Meridians, Back on the Wall and Lighthouse – but later decided that he wasn’t cut out for the industry. “I didn’t really see a path or trajectory for myself moving forward in music. Throughout adolescence, I knew I was good at music, but I don’t think I understood the weight of this being my path, my purpose. I became so beat down in the industry and so many people closed the door on me and said, ‘Listen, you’ve had your moment, that’s it.'”
Marina on why she wanted to “quit” music, and what changed her mind
Marina has opened up about why she wanted to “quit” making music.
The singer-songwriter, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds, released her first three albums within relatively quick succession, but after 2015’s critically-acclaimed Froot, she says that “everything stopped feeling fun” for her.
“It’s not that I hated music but I couldn’t see myself going back to it at that time. I just didn’t know how to get to a place where I felt like I could do it again,” she explains to Alim Kheraj in the new issue of GAY TIMES.
“So I actually quit for a year. I told myself that I was not going to feel guilty about not doing this anymore. I’m allowing myself to quit and three albums is enough of a contribution. That’s it. I’m happy with that.”
Christine + The Queens thinks music is becoming more progressive
Christine & The Queens' Héloïse Letissier believes pop can tackle LGBTQ subjects ''without being questioned''.
The 30-year-old singer - who identifies as pansexual, meaning she is attracted to a person regardless of their sex or gender identity - feels the music industry has always been progressive but she thinks it's becoming ''more nuanced'' and more able to discuss in depth issues surrounding sexuality and gender.
ALMA is ready to be the queer female popstar she always wanted to see / Amplify by Gay Times
ALMA first came to prominence in her home country when she was 17, competing in the seventh season of Finland’s edition of Idol. By 2016 she’d released two Top 10 singles with Karma and Dye My Hair, but it was third cut Chasing Highs that saw her bag Top 20 placings in the UK and Germany in 2017. From there, plans for a full-length debut album were put into motion.
“It was very hard to know which direction I wanted to go in,” ALMA admits when it came to writing a full collection of music. “I didn’t know what it was two years ago.” She retreated to writing sessions in Helsinki and Los Angeles, chopping and changing ideas until she struck upon the track that would inform the rest of her debut. “Cowboy was the song when I understood what I want to do and who I am,” she explains. “After that it was clear.”
The key, she discovered, was to start being totally honest to who she is. Cowboy centres on trying to fit into new social circles and discovering yourself as you come out of your teen years, something she had to deal with in more intense circumstances than most young people. “When I first moved to Los Angeles I felt so small and so emo,” she smiles. “Everybody was so energetic and positive, and I felt like I was just not fitting in at all. I needed to create an alter ego or something, to be like ‘I’m going to survive, I’m gonna make it through, I’m a motherfucking cowboy!’ It was a line that was in my head all the time.”
Rita Ora Reflects on 'Girls' Controversy: 'There's Not One Way to Come Out'
Last month, Rita Ora released "Girls," a sexually charged pop chorale based on the singer's own experiences with women. The single -- one of the most anticipated music collaborations in recent memory -- has all the makings of a perfect summer smash: shimmery synth pulses, pristine production and A-list features from Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha and Cardi B. However, some considered its lyrics problematic.
Ora meant for "Girls" to be a celebration of bisexuality, but the song drew ire for its depiction of same-sex attraction with critics -- including prominent LGBTQ artists -- arguing that it perpetuates stereotypes. Hayley Kiyoko, known to fans as "Lesbian Jesus," called Ora's effort "tone-deaf," while Kehlani, who identifies as queer, branded the song "harmful" in a since-deleted tweet.
Shirley Manson Looks Back On 20 Years of Garbage's 'Sci-Fi Pop' Odyssey, 'Version 2.0'
“The sonic equivalent of how 'Blade Runner' looks is what we were chasing.”
This week, Billboard is celebrating the music of 20 years ago with a week of content about the most interesting artists, albums, songs and stories from 1998. Here, we talk to Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson about Version 2.0, the band's Grammy-nominated '98 sophomore LP, and how the set proved how ahead of their time Garbage was.
Shirley Manson is feeling reflective these days about Garbage’s 1998 sophomore LP, Version 2.0. Packed with disruptive radio hits like “Push It” and “I Think I’m Paranoid,” the groundbreaking album’s importance in securing Garbage’s status as fierce contenders in the late-1990s alt rock arena is not lost on the band’s front woman.
Jazz Musician Wynton Marsalis Argues Hip-Hop Is ‘More Damaging Than a Statue of Robert E. Lee’
In an interview with The Washington Post podcast Cape Up, distinguished jazz musician and famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis discussed his deep aversion to hip-hop and rap music, claiming the genres are more harmful to society than some confederate statues. “I don’t think we should have a music talking about n***ers and bitches and hoes. It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee," Marsalis said.
Bono Reveals What He Learned from 'Almost Dying' – and Says 'Music Has Gotten Very Girly'
Bono admits he had previously thought he’d “let go” of his fear of death, but reveals it was the exact opposite.
“I thought I already had, but this was the next installment in trust. You know, people of faith can be very annoying,” he said. “Like when people on the Grammys thank God for a song and you think, “God, that is a shite song. Don’t give God credit for that one – you should take it yourself!” I am sure I have done that myself. And someone’s like, “I got this directly from the mouth of God!” And you’re thinking, “Wow, God has no taste!”
Remembering David Cassidy: A Candid Chat About Fame, Fans and Pop
I first met David Cassidy, the former star of The Partridge Family who died Tuesday, during an interview about two decades ago. Shortly thereafter, we hung out together backstage after he completed a set of bubblegum hits that had thousands of 40-something-year-old women screaming like they were teenagers again.
We spoke on multiple occasions since then and, well before his dementia set in, I caught up with him while he was golfing for an on-the-record interview that continued when he returned home. The interview, though, remained unpublished, until now.
Without LGBTQ People, Modern Music Wouldn't Exist
VICE: What initially made you decide to write this book?
Darryl W. Bullock: I wanted to write a book about LGBTQ people making records, but to be honest, it was a bit dull. It was starting to look a bit like an encyclopedia, an A-to-Z of gay musicians. Then, maybe three or four months into the project, David Bowie died, and his death struck me really viscerally.
But it was while I saw how others reacted to his death, especially the stars I grew up with—the Boy Georges and the George Michaels and the Madonnas—that I realized I was going down the wrong track. I realized the book shouldn’t just be about LGBTQ people making records, but how they influenced each generation that followed. You start to build up this timeline, and it stretches back over 100 years, almost back to the birth of commercially available discs.
It was also a definite decision to include voices you don’t hear of. It would be easy to write a book just about Elton John, George Michael, Boy George, Freddie Mercury, those kinds of people. But I really wanted to document the lives of people like Patrick Haggerty, Blackberri and John “Smokey” Condon (pic above), people who have made incredibly important contributions to music and to LGBTQ lives but have been basically ignored by the mainstream media.
Sateen is the glam pop band that shows two queer women exploring their truth
In case you didn’t know, Sateen is a band. The high glam, high femme duo hails from New York, which is where Queen Sateen and Exquisite craft dreamy dance tunes to get you out of your head and onto your feet. The band is now putting out a new EP, which takes their electric energy to a whole new level.
We definitely think the aesthetic side of our band is just as important as the music itself. Sateen arises out of the whole Brooklyn, indie rock scene of the late 2000s. We started doing drag as a reaction to the stale visual presentation of the bands that we were seeing at that time. They were wearing a lot of black, usually doing the jeans and a t-shirt kind of look.
Sakima's Dirty Pop: Meet Music's New Queer Voice
London artist Sakima was first attracted to a boy when he was 6: “I remember very distinctly a group of girls laughing at me and weirded out that I fancied a guy,” says the electro-R&B musician born Isaac Sakima. Though the feelings weren't reciprocated (“He was straight, as far as I know”), his childhood crush serves as the namesake for the 26-year-old’s Ricky EP (out Oct. 13). Through the seven songs, the singer-producer fetishizes daddies, rejects heteronormative traditions and explores the lexicon of Polari, a coded language used by gay men in Britain in the 1950s and ’60s, when homosexuality was illegal.
Native Engager: Tori Amos Talks Gay Mentors, Gets Political
Tori Amos' mind is one of the greatest wonders of the music world. For over three decades, via an oeuvre as unpredictable as the muses that guide her, that very mind has been a trove of lyrical salvation and a divine mélange of eccentricities, insight, imagination and, as I discovered during our illuminating exchange, even "Mean Girls" references.
Before last year's political turn of events, the piano virtuoso took a summer road trip through North Carolina's Smoky Mountains to reconnect to her familial roots, setting into motion her nature-influenced 15th studio album, "Native Invader." Featuring some of her best music in years, as influenced by these divisive times and a speech-crippling stroke her mother suffered in January, the album's emotional core is resilient and healing despite "a cluster of hostile humans who side with their warlords of hate," as she brazenly sings, calling for us to "rehumanize."
Amos, 54, took me to every remote corner of her meandering mind during our recent interview, name-dropping everyone from Persephone to Regina George and the two gay men who helped transform her into the Tori Amos. But there's more: "the new invasion of the body snatchers," exercising to rap, being postmenopausal in 2017 America, the prospect of a Vegas show with hot male dancers and also Washington D.C., the "underworld" where she launched her career, unknowingly performing for political players who would set the stage for crucial issues Amos and the entire country are now facing.
Edge Media Network
Marilyn Manson on Getting Inked With Johnny Depp, Beef With Justin Bieber & His Fiery New Album
Marilyn Manson is in physical pain.
This isn’t the admission of vulnerability that one would expect from the self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar,” who once boasted about shoving sewing needles underneath his fingernails for personal amusement. But last night, the hard-rock subversive and close friend Johnny Depp got matching back tattoos of the original cover to Charles Baudelaire’s poetry collection The Flowers of Evil -- a skeleton whose arm bones melt into the branches of a tree. Despite his legendary absinthe and narcotics consumption, Manson apparently remains governed by the same nervous system as the rest of us.
“All the scars -- musical, physical, mental, emotional -- they’re what define you,” says Manson. At 48, he has weathered the deaths of both parents, a divorce from burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese and the dissolution of several other high-profile relationships.