We’re heading into national Pride Month so I’m stepping aside this issue to bring you a special interview conducted by freelancer Max Jiminez. Enjoy and have a Happy Pride.
Openly gay singer D Alexander has noticed a big change in the music industry since he began recording four years ago. In the beginning, producers tried to force him to become a mainstream pop artist. However, concerned that his music would lose its essence, D Alexander resolved to remain true to his artistry even if it meant never achieving high record sales. (“I told the producers they can keep their money, cars and chicks, just give me a mic and some glitter.”) Now, he sees other musicians following a similar path.
“Artists are finally taking a stand against the industry. I, for one, am relieved that I have remained true to my principals. The freedom to express myself honestly is what makes me feel beautiful.”
Appropriately, “Beautiful” is the name of D Alexander’s first single, available on iTunes now. He recently spoke with us about his decision to be out, LGBT support from other artists and the music industry’s queer youth revolution.
It used to be that coming out was a career killer. Is that not true anymore?
Today, an artist remaining in the closet is more of a career killer than coming out is. As artists, it is our duty to publicly expose our diaries. If fans find out that we have been deceiving them, they will question the art form that is supposed to be our truth.
Is it easier for young artists to come out as gay today?
It is much easier. There is something of a revolution taking place in today’s music industry. As a generation, we are taking a stand and fighting for our rights. Nothing is off limits.
How have releases like Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” impacted the world’s feelings about the LGBT community?
I started to tear up the first time I saw the video for “Born This Way.” I could not believe that we had finally arrived. Many songs have danced around the subject without entirely bringing it home but Gaga’s lyrics are so bold and her message is so clear. It’s fantastic to hear the song playing on mainstream radio and television.
Do you feel Elton John and Ricky Martin waited too long to come out?
No, it was a different time then. I commend their courage. The more closets that get cleaned out, the easier it becomes for us to be fearless.
What gave you the courage to stand up to the music industry suits?
I did it pre-”Glee,” way before it was popular to be out and proud. I used to feel lost and unsure about what I should write about. Once I figured out who I was, my musical mission became clear. Instead of worrying about what people thought, I began to write about everything I was feeling. Instead of keeping those private thoughts locked away in a journal, I brought them forth. They have been some of my best works yet.
“Beautiful” seems to suggest that beauty comes with maturity.
Beauty comes with honesty, most importantly honesty with yourself; the ability to be comfortable in your own skin. In a way, maturity plays a role in this discovery because it is ultimately life’s hurdles that point our internal compasses in the right direction.
What do you hope fans take away from your music?
Art is indefinable. I hope my music will allow fans to take whatever they need to from it.
What should fans know about the next generation of emerging musicians?
We represent the future of freedom. We are the freak buried deep within the most conservative mind. That wild animal that erupts only when the lights are off and we are alone. We have to stop giving a shit about what people think. We are a generation of beautifully insane youth. Get ready for the takeover. : :
— D Alexander is online at MySpace: myspace.com/dalexandertakesover