On this edition of THE INTERVUE, we are getting are getting for a rocking good time at the Atlantis tonight October 3rd. Our guest today is not only performing in DC, but they are releasing their sophomore album, i’ll be fine if i want to, on October 6th via Nettwerk and recently announced a fall tour supporting their friend G-Flip.
Hello, thank you so much for having me.
Well, thank you so much for joining us and know you’re having a safe drive and I’m glad to be talking to you especially. You’re coming here to the Atlantis tonight. October 3rd tickets are still available. And the first question I want to ask since this is your week. You’re performing in DC; you got a sophomore album coming out. What can fans expect for your upcoming sophomore album this Friday?
That’s a great question. This album is definitely like it explores off of the first album that I put out that was really about like, my gender journey, my own personal journey and how I got to who I am today. And the second album kind of is like now that I’m in this space of knowing who I am and being proud of who I am. I kind of have learned how to navigate
certain relationships and whether that means cutting certain people out of my life or mourning certain relationships and just kind of standing up for myself, while also just being okay in this like middle ground space of like, not necessarily like super static with everything going on, but also not very, like, upset about it just kind of this space of being
just fine. And kind of embracing that in between space and just being okay with it.
When I was looking at the title track and listening to some of the music, I couldn’t help but noticing the title “i’ll be fine if I want to”. Then when I’ve read your bio and read the piece, that “blue balloons” had a chorus features a melancholic take on the 1963 hit “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore. I have to ask this is the title a connection to Lesley Gore, and her song “It’s My Party”?
So, I have a song on my album called “blue balloons”, and it was 1/3 Single. And the course is the line, “i’ll be fine if I want to”. And we interpolated that song by Lesley gore. And as I was working on that song, I was still trying to figure out like what the album title would be and kind of what phrase would represent the stories that I was telling. I was listening to that song with my wife, actually. And she was like, “Wait, that sentence is a really good sentence.” And really like highlights, I think everything that this album represents.
And as soon as she said that I was like, “Oh my God, there’s no other no other album title that makes sense for this album”. And it’s really fun too, because it’s a song that, you know, like in that song, you’re saying the phrase so many times and it becomes this kind of like anthem for the album and, and really embracing that phrase. And especially when I play
live, I get you know, the audience is seeing it with me. And so it feels very special to really be embracing this idea of like, if I want to be fine, I will be fine. And like that’s completely okay.
I definitely agree, 100%. And I’m glad that you’re able to choose that line and to connect a song that’s been around for six decades, so I’m definitely proud of your efforts.
Yes, thank you so much.
You’re welcome. When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
As cheesy as it sounds, I think it’s something that I’ve known ever since I was a little kid. I’ve been playing music and been surrounded by music as long as I can remember. It kind of honestly just feels like the only thing I’ve been meant to do in my entire existence. I’m very fortunate that like something just fell properly into place and certain things just got pushed in front of the right people and people enjoyed what they heard.
It kind of felt like it was meant to be because it just happened that way. I’ve never second guessed it. I just know that this is what I’m meant to be doing. I’ve just been kind of following. Wherever the world takes me and wherever my journey takes me.
Who were some of your musical influences?
I’ve been very I was adherence first album plus really shaped my songwriting. I’ll never forget what I feel restarted that album. And it really got me into songwriting itself and lyricism and storytelling. I’ve always been inspired by that particular album. I’ve always been very inspired by Adele and her songwriting. And then more currently, I’m really inspired by Muna. And not only their music and production and the way they perform, but just their activism as queer artists is something I very much look up look for or look up to.
And if my memory serves correctly, it was one of Adele songs that you performed that got your name out there, is that correct?
Well, I was my first ever like YouTube cover of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. And I was like, I was so scared to talk about like that I did music and say, when I was like a freshman in high school, and one day, I was like, “You know what, I like to do this, and it’s not very sick. And I’m just gonna, like, sing this song, because I like it. And that kind of was like the first song I like, covered and put out publicly. And I just kind of kept going with that since.
Now you’re coming, you’re driving up, you’re coming to at the Atlantis, still a brand-new club right next door to 930 club in DC. What can we expect for your concert tonight?
I am so excited. I’ve been really joined playing these, these songs for the album. And obviously, the album comes out Friday. I’m playing some songs that aren’t even out yet because they come out when the album comes out. And it’s just been so fun to play the songs live and watch people respond to the music and, and really connect with the stories that I have to share. I really pride myself on trying to make a safe space when I perform.
I really hope that people who are there to listen to my music feel safe and feel seen and feel like if they’re not able to be their true selves that they at least can be that one of my shows, and that they feel you know that they can heal alongside my own stories. I really am so honored to be able to connect with an audience and really be able to heal together as queer people and celebrate as queer people in Christ. So that’s just us. That’s like the biggest thing.
Well, definitely so glad to hear and I’m glad that you’re providing a safe space for everyone to enjoy your music no matter where you perform.
Yes, I appreciate that.
Is this your first time performing in our nation’s capital?
No, actually, I was on tour last year with Lauren Sanders. And we played at the 9:30 Club, actually. I’m excited to be back here. I really liked it last time. I haven’t been to this venue yet. I’m just I’m looking forward to it.
Billboard Pride says, “What were the neighbor thing translate perfectly to the listener? Letting them in and exactly what the singer songwriter is feeling? When you hear that quote from Billboard Pride, how does that make you feel?
It’s like, anytime you see your name on a publication that’s fairly big or important or pretty notable. I kind of have to pinch myself. I’m very honored to be written about, you know, by a place like Billboard, and to be able to have their support and to just watch people share my music and analyze my music and celebrate music. It’s just it’s always very humbling. And it’s it is a nice reminder that, I am on the right path. I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. And it’s, it’s truly an honor to be recognized in that type of way. Every time they write something about me, I kind of freaked out a little bit.
I can hear it in your voice that you are filled with pride, hearing that your work is being recognized, and that your music is touching the lives of people everywhere.
Yes, that is true. I’m very honored to be in the position that I am. I’ve always wanted to be the artist that I wish I had growing up. So, I take this position very seriously, and I’m very proud to be here. I just want to keep building it, you know?
I never asked this question. Since you’re still new to the biz and you’re on your sophomore album, where do you see yourself as an artist in let’s say in five years?
That’s a great question. I think I see my put myself in a in a bunch of different places. But this is my second tour in the last like year and a half. I want to continue to keep touring
and I would love to go on my own headlining tour, I would love to tour in Europe since it’s a very special place to me. I want to have some dream collaborators; I just really just want to continue to build what I’ve been building.
I think it’s been a very slow and authentic build. I’m very proud of it and I’ve learned to be very patient. I really believe in what I’m doing. Every time I play a show, I watch people
react. It’s so heartwarming to know that I have that effect on people. And honestly, those people are the reason I’m here. I’m very grateful.
I just hope to keep building that and play bigger shows and continue to be a voice for the queer community and continue to be the artist that I needed growing up. I don’t know exactly what that image looks like in five years, but I hope it’s just bigger than what it is now. That’s my goal is to just continue to spread my message and my activism and my storytelling and just keep going up from here.
Well, I could definitely tell by your enthusiasm that you’re gonna go far, and I hope you definitely do.
Thank you so much.
I read that asides music; soccer is a big priority in your life. I want to know; are you a fan of any of the soccer teams in the United States or in the world?
Yeah, I played soccer since I was like four years old until I was 18. I almost thought about playing in college, but I realized that I really wanted to focus on my music. And ultimately, I know I made the right decision. It’s always my second love. I’ve always been a big fan of the US women’s national soccer team. They always have a special place in my heart. I love watching them play and what they represent and what they stand for is great.
I’ve been following them since I was probably like 13-14. I have always been a fan. I used to make like YouTube songs for them when I was like a freshman in high school, so it also kind of helped kickstart my music career in a way.
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