#Outmusicians

Aussie Singer/Songwriter Philip La Rosa's Powerful New Music Video "Drowning"

Out artist Philip La Rosa debuts his new single and music video, “Drowning,” today in an Instinct exclusive.

The music video, dedicated to those affected by depression and anxiety, is being released in advance of World Mental Health Day observed around the globe tomorrow, October 10.

The poignant video utilizes striking imagery of being emotionally “underwater” - struggling to stay afloat, in a sea of emotions that on the surface, may not look that deep to others.

LGBTQ people know well how difficulty with self-acceptance and facing social stigma creates heavy mental and emotional pressures on a day-to-day level.

The Australian singer/songwriter says the new track was inspired by his closest friend’s personal struggle with depression and anxiety.

“The song came together after they shared some personal memoirs with me,” says La Rosa. “The idea was to write a song about some of those feelings and emotions to help shine a light on mental health.”

After sharing the track with director Charmaine Murray, she came up with a visual concept that metaphorically represents “the constant up and down battle of depression and anxiety and the strength required to continually pull yourself up out of the deep end, and the ability to stay above water and keep your head as high as you can.”

Personal demons are no stranger to La Rosa who was bullied in school to the point that he not only dropped out but stopped performing entirely.

“I wish I had handled things differently,” shares the indie artist. “I wish I approached the bullies and had an open discussion about what they were going through. Maybe they were being bullied too?”

Instead, La Rosa focused on building his own digital design business at the age of 18.

But new friends - “amazing people who helped me stay positive” - led La Rosa back to his true passion.

Now 25-years-old, he says, “I used everything I had been through to help shape my music and myself.”

“I think the one thing ‘grownup Philip’ has taken away from it all is the people,” explains the Perth-based singer. “Surround yourself with positive people, any form of negativity (even if it’s not directed at you) will have a negative impact on your wellbeing.”

La Rosa acknowledges that credo has become a motivating factor in the music he creates, saying, “If I’m putting something out that the world can see and hear, I want it to have a positive impact, even if only affects one person.”

In 2016, LaRosa released his passionate anthem "Pride," which encourages folks to be proud of who they are despite social pressures and stigma that affect LGBTQ folks on a daily basis.

“Whether in school, at work or in the community, so many people are judgmental of everyone and who they are – gender, sexuality, fashion, political views, religious beliefs… you name it,” says LaRosa. “I just wanted to write something that people could scream from rooftops.”

“Fight for who you are,” he emphasizes. “Be proud of who you are. Love who you are, and of course, love everyone along the way.”

Check out “Drowning” below, and for more info about Philip La Rosa and his music head over to his official website here.

 

Hunky Matt Zarley Is Singing 'Your Song' From LA Rooftops

In an Instinct exclusive, woofy singer/songwriter Matt Zarley debuts his latest music video, “Your Song.”

Zarley says he was drawn to cover the Rita Ora tune the first time he heard it. “It’s one of those songs that doesn’t leave your brain - a true worm,” says the award-winning recording artist. “I just loved the way it made me feel and I love the lyrics.”

He decided to record the song as he was putting together a new two-man show with frequent partner in crime, Jeb Havens, called Works of Heart.

“I knew it would fit perfectly in the thematic structure of the show,” he shares. “This song will also be on our album that’s coming out in a few months.”

The hunky singer (People Magazine's first out 'sexiest bachelor') takes a stripped-down, acoustic approach for the upbeat track which pairs well with his buoyant power pop vocals.

Being a do-it-yourself kinda guy, Zarley not only produced and recorded the song, but he came up with the concept for the video and edited it as well.

And speaking of editing, it doesn’t take long to figure out Zarley’s ‘band members’ in the music video all look a bit … familiar.

“I have always loved the “cloning” effect on film, and I didn’t want to make this particular video narrative heavy and overly sentimental,” says Zarley. “So I opted for this idea instead.”

But it turns out capturing the ‘all-Matt’ band proved a bit challenging.

“It was really tricky, to be honest," shares Zarley. "All of the shots of each character in the band had to be done with similar sunlight. Since we shot it outside, that made things it a little temperamental and unpredictable.”

“By the time we got all of the band shots, our plan was to get solo shots of each band member," he explains. "But, the sun was starting to move, so I could only do one take of each band member. It was a little tricky, and a bit hectic, but we got it done.”

This isn't Zarley's first experience behind the camera.

In 2015, he wrote, produced and starred in a long-form music video titled Hopeful Romantic, which co-starred everyone's favorite gay uncle, George Takei. The short was featured at dozens of film festivals winning several awards along the way.

Looking ahead, Zarley shares he'd like to tackle another short film. "I just have to write it first," he says with a smile.

Instinct previously covered Zarley’s stunning cover of the Sara Bareilles hit, “Gravity,” here.

Check out the music video for “Your Song” below. Find more of Zarley’s music on YouTube here, and you can follow him on Instagram here.

 

 

 

 

David Hernandez Proves He's King With New Album 'Kingdom: the Mixtape'

American Idol alum David Hernandez proves he is definitely the king of his own kingdom as he drops his new album, Kingdom: the Mixtape.

Kingdom: the Mixtape teams the hunky artist with the Black Eyed Peas Grammy-winning producer, Printz Board, and features a collaboration with fellow American Idol Blake Lewis.

The follow-up to his 2011 debut album, I Am Who I Am, this new collection of 20 tracks reflects many of the highs and lows he’s experienced since his time on the American Idol stage in 2008, including his sometimes crunchy relationship with the music industry.

“I’ve been sitting on most of this material for years, waiting for the right time to release it,” says Hernandez. “I’ve listened to too many people’s opinions about when to release, how, what images and content are appropriate… I was just over listening to what other people think I should do.  One day I finally stepped back and realized I had a great body of work that deserves to be heard, now.”

Many of the songs explore Hernandez’s journey over the past decade rebuilding trust and love, his refusal to give up, and his persistence to change for the better.  

But it’s not all about an uphill climb. There are also tracks that express joy and fun because as Hernandez explains, “Life isn’t always that serious and sometimes you just wanna let go and rage!”

The new album stretches across several genres including power ballads, soul/R&B, and dance tracks.  

The title track is an achingly soulful mid-tempo ballad that soars across triumphant drums and a grand piano.   

“Shield (Coat of Armor),” the first single and music video from the album, is an uplifting, confident, guitar-driven anthem.

 

 

“Beautiful” showcases Hernandez’s vocals in power pop mode, while “Last Supper” and “Animal” are uptempo numbers clearly born for the dance floor.

Then there’s “Break,” an introspective mid-tempo song that lays bare Hernandez’s struggles with addiction.  

“I wrote the song at a time when I was drinking a lot and popping Xanax,” says Hernandez. “It was an awful time. We were being evicted from our apartment and everything was going to shit.

“I ended up in rehab and eventually got clean of prescription drugs, and life became much better,” he adds.

While every day can be a private struggle for those with addiction, Hernandez says that he felt compelled to put the song on the mixtape because prescription drug addition has reached epidemic levels among youth.

“Young people are dying and committing suicide.  They need to know there is help,” he says.
 
“I hope listeners hear a piece of my soul in Kingdom: the Mixtape,” shares Hernandez.  “I hope they get where I am coming from, really see me for who I am, and that they, too, can relate to the songs. I want the mixtape to be healing, enlightening, and revelrous.”

You can find Kingdom: the Mixtape on iTunes here.

New Music, 'The Welder & The Lark,' Evolves From Queer Collaborative

Out singer/songwriter Richard Cortez recently dropped his 7th studio release titled, The Welder & The Lark.

The collection of six tracks, which OUT calls “especially profound,” explores innately personal themes of unrequited love, intimacy and monogamy across three music videos.

Cortez, who walked away from a production deal in 2004 when asked to present himself as a ‘straight’ artist, has spent years releasing his music through his own record label, Wollenberg Records.

The entrancing final music video for the collection, “The Overture/Don’t Go, Not Yet,” features an overture composed by collaborator Cole Witter utilizing musical themes from all six tracks as well as the EP’s opening track.

Along with the music, Cortez invited cinematographer Philip Campbell and dancer/choreographer Christian Denice to collaborate on the visuals.

In an interview with OUT, Cortez explains that much of the project was inspired by a unrequited love that could never be.

“What do you do with all the love you have for someone who doesn't love you the same way in return?,” Cortez wondered aloud to OUT. “Some people drown their sorrows in whiskey gingers, or "eat. pray. love." their way around the world -- I decided to spend every dollar I had on creating an infinite space where that love could live and be free.”

Deciding that a suite of songs dedicated to this love wasn’t enough, Cortez gathered together a coalition of creatives from different mediums to breathe a larger, more expansive multimedia life into the project.

“I never got to tell him I loved him, so I'm telling the world,” added Cortez.

“Every single artist who contributed to this project makes their own work that inspires me regularly,” Cortez told OUT. “Cole Witter, Boy Radio, Philip Campbell, Kevin William Reed, Christian Denice, Erik Carter, Logan Sawtelle, and Nick Kask inspire me far beyond this work. Individually, they are all incredible and important.”

With a goal of exploring heartbreak through several artistic mediums, Cortez admits his biggest challenge was learning to “trust and let go, allowing the true heart of collaboration to be the driving force of the project.”

That lesson allowed more wisdom to manifest throughout the development of The Welder & The Lark.

Cortez summed up the creative journey telling OUT:

“Overall, it was healing process, both artistically and spiritually. I learned to take my time. I learned to let my heart break without punishing myself for it. I learned that I don't have to be suffering to make relevant and impactful work. I learned a lot about trust and acceptance in collaboration. I learned to take bigger risks, both creatively and financially, as an independent artist. But more than any of that, I learned that loving the process of creation will always generate a beautiful outcome.

Watch “The Overture/Don’t Go, Not Yet” below.

You can also check out the previous music videos, "Nobody's Baby," and "Dope Sick."

(h/t OUT)

 

Hottie John Duff's New Music Video Pays Tribute To His "Girly" Pop Divas

In a gay world where hyper-masculinity is often revered, singer/songwriter/director John Duff has drops his first pop creation celebrating femininity and fluidity - “Girly."

"It's about freedom. It's about expression. It's about equality. Above all, it's f*cking fierce," Duff said.

The music video for “Girly” pays homage to several of Duff’s top pop queens including Madonna ("Hung Up"), Mariah Carey ("Heartbeaker"), Britney Spears ("Stronger"), Beyoncé ("Crazy in Love") and Christina Aguilera ("Come on Over").

As the kids say, "it's iconic." The music video also features Drag Race superstars Bianca Del Rio, Willam and Mariah Balenciaga.

Rejecting what he calls toxic masculinity, Duff’s mission here is to promote honest and genuine self expression.

"You could have your pump on - two plates. Or get your pumps on - first date. No one cares just pump the bass, full speed ahead don't pump the breaks."

Duff says he has been told in the past he “would do better in the industry by playing up my masculinity.”

Duff found that approach to be insulting not only to his creativity but who he is in general. Instead, he decided to throw down his girly gauntlet.

Via press release:

Being girly, or being a girl for that matter, is nothing to be ashamed of. The video was created from those same frustrations. While paying homage to some of my greatest female influences, I wanted to highlight the sexualization of female performers and how absurd it looks to simply replace the ingenue with a hairy man."

And speaking of 'throwing down,' the music video features a hysterical bathroom brawl between Duff and Bianca Del Rio.

The adorbs Duff recently told OUT, "I wanna say it was 7am. We’d been filming since midnight the night before. We were completely on edge, falling apart. He and I started boozing. So, we were a little tipsy filming it. We had a blast. We always cackle."

Duff also wanted to bring some fun back to pop music.

“I feel like in music, we’re missing some joy,” Duff told OUT. “I don’t see pop stars presenting fun. I see dark, sexual, honestly evil energy coming out of most popular music.”

“There’s a place for funny people, and there’s a place for happy people,” the 28-year-old added. “I want people to feel happy and no pressure to be anything else.”

There’s no denying “Girly” is packed full of fun. Not only does the track have a catchy hook, but Duff is uber-adorbs.

Plus, alongside his Drag Race co-stars, the whole cast presents as a rainbow of diversity. Bravo!

Sit back and have some fun with John Duff’s “Girly.”

 

 

 

(h/t OUT)

MNEK Drops Single "In This Crazy World" In Advance Of Debut Album LANGUAGE

Out musician and producer MNEK drops his latest single, “In This Crazy World,” today in advance of his upcoming album, Language.

Promising his debut album to be a ‘black, gay, pop experience,’ the 23-year-old musician describes the new album as, “So special to me because it’s something I’ve put my heart and soul into writing and producing and singing.’”

The lyrics go right to the personal as "In The Crazy World" ruminates on not only race issues but coming out:

A father is disappointed by his son, Somewhere in this crazy world
He's told him that he's in love with someone, Let's high and mourn him
He's coming out, he can't keep it in
Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, somewhere in this crazy world tonight

“I’ve waited for the day my debut album is released my entire life, so naturally, I’ve designed it to be listened to from start to finish,” shares MNEK. “Every song flows into each other in a way that tells a sonic story. I’ve learned so much as a musician over the years and most importantly as a young man.”

After signing his first publishing deal at the age of 14, MNEK has spent the past ten years in the music industry writing and producing for A-list artists like Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Beyoncé.

At 23, the U.K. artist now has one billion streams to his name, between his early material and wider collaborations. “Never Forget You,” MNEK’s duet with Zara Larsson, topped Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and has been certified 3x Platinum in the U.S.

His most recent single, “Colour” featuring Hailee Steinfeld, (which OUT Magazine called “the song of the summer”) reached a massive 25 global New Music Friday playlists and streams now surpass 17 million.

Additionally, his single “Tongue” was named as “one of the best songs of 2018” by PAPER Magazine, which hailed the track’s “deliciously seductive lyrics, a sick bassline, and killer vocals.”

Language drops September 7, and you can check out “In This Crazy World” below:

 

 

Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears Loves His "Big Bushy Mustache"

With Scissor Sisters still on indefinite ‘hiatus,’ frontman Jake Shears continues to journey on solo including a recent turn on the Great White Way in the hit Broadway musical, Kinky Boots.

Now, Shears is releasing his debut solo album titled - what else? - Jake Shears.

While the Elton John  musical influence is unmistakable, Shears shares his own musical voice and vision as only he can.

Billboard gushes, "The result overflows with the opulence of orchestral Seventies pop — as if ELO and the Bee Gees got together to make a Muppet fantasia of Cajun rock."

The glam-funk rock track is the third single released from the album following “Sad Song Backwards” and “Creep City.” The project is Shears’ first new music since the 2012 Scissor Sisters album, Magic Hour.

 

 

The music video is about as queer as you can get with Shears flaunting not only a “Big Bushy Mustache,” but living large in Tom of Finland leathers as he dances through the streets of New Orleans inspiring others to grow their own big ‘stache. Joining in the fun is Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme.

None of this high-camp will surprise longtime fans of Shears who landed cult hits like “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” and “Let’s Have a Kiki” with Scissor Sisters.

Speaking on the creative process as a solo artist for the first time, Shears recently told OUT:

“This whole thing has been a big endeavor. I paid for this whole thing myself. So I had to be damn sure that I completely stand behind everything on it. It’s no record label’s money that I’m playing with. It’s all mine. And I didn’t play with it. It’s serious. I gave myself a lot of freedom with it and made it exactly how I wanted to make it, and my dream is to be able to do it again. I would love to make three more records that continues this story. It may sound cheesy, but it’s a new chapter for me.”

Watch the leather-clad romp below.

 

"Let Somebody Love You" Is The 1st New Single From Culture Club Since 1999

Culture Club has dropped its first new single in nearly 20 years in advance of a new album, Life, due for release October 26. Boy George announced the news via Facebook this morning.

The new track, “Let Somebody Love You,” written by singer Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig and drummer Jon Moss, has been popular at the band’s recent live concerts. This is the first time its available as a studio track. The song continues the band’s tradition of embracing a classic reggae-infused sound.

"Love is revolution / War and famine too / If you’ve the hunger in your heart / Let somebody love you"

The last single released by the band was all the way back in 1999 with “Cold Shoulder.”

Culture Club had planned to release new music in 2015, but the album was eventually shelved with no explanation.

Known for huge hits in the 1980s like “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” and “Karma Chameleon,” Culture Club has racked up sales of over 150 million albums worldwide despite having released only 5 albums.

The band’s frontman, Boy George, gained worldwide attention for his asexual/androgynous appearance coupled with his gift with a quick quip. In addition to a successful solo career, George has also released successful albums as a DJ.

Listen to the new single, “Let Somebody Love You,” below.

 

 

 

(h/t Pink News)

Parker Matthews' Soulful Sounds Has Us "Feelin' Right"

Out indie pop artist Parker Matthews is currently “Feelin’ Right” and he wants you to be right there feeling it with him in this exclusive Instinct premiere.

The Pittsburgh native has displayed notable versatility with previous singles “Lost With You” and “Hit and Run,” which we featured on Instinct back in May.

For this new release, the soulful singer switches up the beats - this time taking the listener on an intimate, private flirtation.

Instinct caught up with the handsome indie artist to chat on his new, sexy groove.

Instinct: Your last single, "Hit and Run,” was an upbeat, bouncy bop. Your new track, "Feelin’ Right," is like liquid sex. What was the inspiration for the song?

Parker Matthews: For this record, I want to take things a little bit deeper and show you a side of me thats more sexual. The song is about becoming obsessed and almost addicted to the way  someone can make you feel when you’re in that moment.   It’s when you find that person to get you through the night and keep you feelin’ right.  

Instinct: What’s your favorite part of the creative process? Writing? Recording? Production?

PM: I really do love it all, but recording is my favorite part by far.  I get to be in the booth, in that moment, with just the mic and me.  

When I was recording this record, I had all the lights in the studio turned off and some candles lit to really set the tone.  When you record material like this, it’s about giving the perfect delivery right up close and personal to that mic.  Recording is when you can truly make the song your own.  

Writing is a close second though.  Lyrics mean the world to me, and when my team and I have writing sessions, I like to go off into a different room, lock myself away, and let the words speak for themselves. 

Instinct: Who’s currently at the top of your list of ‘dream collaborators?’ And why?

PM: There are so many amazing artists out there right now, and I am always open to collaboration, but in the rap game, I’d be down for a collab with Nicki Minaj because I love her tone.  

In the pop world, Jessie J, Ariana, or my hometown girl, Christina Aguilera, all have a such amazing voices. And that’s something I have the ultimate respect for. 

For “Feelin’ Right,” Matthews’ silky smooth, sensual vocals sit right in the pocket for the bulk of the low-key song. The bridge introduces an accelerated heartbeat (you know where this is going) that leads to the climax of the song, leaving just enough time for some post-romantic after-glow.

The entire track oozes a confident sexual vibe that borders on intoxicating without crossing the line into being heavy-handed.

This enthralling follow-up proves he is definitely more than a 'hit and run.' We expect to hear much more from Matthews.

You can check out this interview with The Randy Report podcast where the Pittsburgh native shares how his own personal experiences influence his approach to making music.

You can follow Matthews on Instagram here, Facebook here, Spotify here, and check out his official website here.

"Feelin' Right" is currently available on all digital download sites including iTunes.

Check out the lyric video below.

Chase Sansing Covers "We Are The World" To Highlight LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

With a shooting in Maryland today, and worries about the Supreme Court, now's a good time for music that can lift us up.

Out country artist Chase Sansing has released a new music video to raise awareness of homelessness in Nashville. 

The remake of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s mega-hit “We Are the World” was filmed throughout Music City by Sansing himself.

The new music video also features Nashville musicians Kelsey Malone, Rae Cecil and Justin Shaw trading verses similar to the original USA for Africa video released in 1985.

“I chose to re-record ‘We Are the World’ because I wanted shine a light on the issue of homelessness in Nashville, but this is a problem seen around the country especially among LGBTQ youth,” said Sansing. "It seems like the problem keeps getting worse instead of getting better."

According to a study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one in 30 youth ages 13 to 17 and one in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25 endure some form of homelessness in the U.S. each year. 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth had a 120% increased risk of experiencing homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender. This often stems from a lack of acceptance that young people experience both in and outside of the home. 

“It’s impossible for me to sing something I don’t feel, which is why my videos usually have an emotional pull on them," says the 25-year-old. 

"Kelsey, Justin, Rae and I all agreed this is a very important issue we all believe in. If we all lend a hand, maybe we can help decrease the number of homeless LGBTQ youth in our country.”

Watch the music video below.

 

 

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