Today, one of the most influential pop writers of the millennium, and artist in her own right, Bonnie McKee premiered her brand new video for her infectious new single and sure-to-be-pop-anthem-of-2016, “Wasted Youth.”
Currently, the multi-award winning, Grammy nominee Bonnie McKee — who has already penned an impressive nine #1 singles in the US and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide — is working on new material and plans to take her signature sound and live band on the road later this year.
(HOUSTON) – “In relationships you must have the wisdom to know when enough is enough,” says Music Bear Tony Banks, who describes himself as a gay, black man with the fun of Missy Elliot, the swag of LL Cool J and the dance moves of Heavy D. “You gotta have the courage to make change and stand up on your own two feet and press forward. Life is too short to allow someone else’s self-destruction to bring you down.”
He sings about breaking free from static relationship cling in his new funky hip-hop track, “Static.” It’s the first single from his upcoming album, Yes, Homo.
Along with the track, Music Bear is releasing a music video that stars Catalin Constantine as his boyfriend and features animation by wikistylista.
“Who has time to watch someone they love not love themselves?” he continues. He knows a thing or two about the difficulties of breaking-up. Music Bear and his ex are in the midst of a divorce, although their separation is not due to the level of destruction Music Bear raps about in “Static.” “Our relationship may have grown stale and staticky, to the point where we had to go our own ways, but we remain friends and that’s important,” he says. “We still support and want the best for one another.”
Not all of the songs Music Bear writes are about his life. “I’m often inspired by people around me, and now and then, I’ll use their lives as subjects for songs. For me, the power of music is about writing something I know someone out there needs to hear or feel me say.”
Still, he tries to stay true to who he is as a man and an artist. You’ll rarely if ever, hear Music Bear Tony Banks rhyming about “Popping Bottles” (he barely drinks) or “Fighting Bitches” (not his style). In his upcoming album, “Yes Homo,” he tackles issues like love, lust, partying, the state of hip-hop and police brutality. It’s meant to be a full depiction of what it means to be a black, gay, male, hip-hop artist in 2017.
Music Bear Tony Banks was born in Brooklyn in the early 80’s. He grew up during the golden era of hip-hop and believes that at its core, hip-hop is love. It’s soulful, empowering, fun, beautiful and caring.
The music industry, however, is another monster all together. “The industry turns hip-hop into a misogynistic, homophobic creature that sells its soul for the promise of money, cars, and hoes,” he says. “It then turns the people in it into that same image. Remember, hate is a learned behavior. No one is born homophobic but when hip-hop spreads that message to millions of people, for decades, it catches on and it’s hard to break away from.”
The LGBT community is not much better, he contends. “As a black, gay man of size, I sometimes feel ostracized from my gay brothers and sisters. I used to think that if I were a different type of gay, a more stereotypical skinny boy, and fancy dresser, I would have it easier in the community.”
But Music Bear has come to learn that being different isn’t always a bad thing.
“What I hope people who listen to my music and watch my videos take from me as an artist is: Don’t be afraid. Embrace something different every once in a while. Break from monotony. Cut the static. You might just enjoy it! In fact, I know you will.”
Queer Act Boys’ Entrance Releases News Single on iTunes
(Houston) – Queer artists are flourishing in most music genres, including Country where artists like Shane McAnally, Ty Herndon, Steve Grand, and Brandy Clark have joined the ranks of out superstars Chely Wright, Melissa Etheridge, and k.d. Lang.
The last frontier of music might just be in punk rock where only a handful of acts exist, among them; Pansy Division, Against Me, and Boys’ Entrance.
Tim Cain created Boys’ Entrance over 25 years ago and, in that time, has produced some of Queer Rock’s most iconic, political, and galvanizing music. Their latest album, out this month, is Tunnelvision, a rock opera that is being called the next Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Set during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, it tells the story of Tim and Troy and their tumultuous relationship. The story opens with Tim, a rock musician, on stage, getting jeered by the audience for being queer. He responds by unabashedly claiming the title of “Mr. Sissy”. His bold declaration wins the crowd over, then, in “Creation,” he explains how the purpose of gay men is to create, not procreate.
Troy, a closeted straight guy, happens to be in the audience. The two hook up after the show and begin a rollercoaster ride of a relationship that involves break-ups and make-ups, drugs, alien encounters and one of the men becoming a call boy. The two say they want to be in a committed relationship together, but they simply don’t know how to make it work. Its the 1980s, after all. The physical relationship between Tim and Troy eventually breaks down, but their desires continue unabated. That is when the “wolf” comes knocking at the door.
The wolf in “The Wolf Is At The Door,” the first single release from the album, is temptation. The song is Peter Gabriel meets Duran Duran meets David Bowie. It is funky like Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” with a Duran Duran veneer and a final verse that pays homage to Bowie. It is the climax of the opera, coming at a point of intense exasperation between Tim and Troy, conveying sexual appetite and frustration.
The love story ends not-so-happily-ever-after, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Tragedy is the currency of opera. Still, the music of the finale sounds like a sunrise. The song, “Back to One,” conjures up those first few moments when the sky begins to turn and the sun appears. For Tim, there is satisfaction at having removed himself from the madness of his relationship with Troy. There is also a pride that comes from realizing he is ok with being alone. It’s a reminder that at the end of the day, we all ride solo in this journey of life.
It’s easy to see how some might compare Tunnelvision with Hedwig. Both use the power of rock to convey a dramatic and powerful story, but while Hedwig uses humor to defuse a personal tragedy, Tunnelvision is more operatic and dramatic, incorporating a wide array of music genres into its story. There is Heavy Metal and Goth; also Soul, Industrial, New Wave, Hip Hop, Jazz, Psychedelic, Gospel and even Cabaret. The songs flow in style and type, helping to inform the lyrics. Now, if only they had added just a touch of Country…
Tunnelvision by Boys’ Entrance is available on iTunes now along with the band’s first single release, “The Wolf Is At The Door”. Visit their official website here.
Artist Raph Solo Releases New Music Video Titled Love Lives
(NEW YORK) Artist Raph Solo has released a brand new music video that shows a different side to the out artist. He dances! “It’s all very tongue-and cheek,” he laughs. “I hope fans like the choreography and chutzpah.”
In “Love Lives”, Raph Solo boldly declares that he is no less equal than any other person for who he is or who he loves.
“I have worked very hard to gain the self-respect and acceptance I enjoy today,” he explains. “It’s been a difficult journey but I’m finally at a point where I know that I don’t need anyone’s approval to feel comfortable in my own skin.”
Just a few years ago, Raph admits he fought his feelings for men and even underwent reparative therapy in an attempt to cure himself of his homosexuality. In the end, it was even more damaging to Solo and his self-esteem. “It made me feel like a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I could not change my feelings.”
“Love Lives” was written and produced by Raph. The song is an R&B, modern pop groove; melodic with an edgy tech feel. He says he wasn’t originally planning to release the song. He recorded it on his birthday as a special gift to himself. Ultimately, however, Raph felt its message was an important one and that it reflected his current state of artistry. “I wanted to take my sound onto the streets and into the clubs,” he says.
Born to Lebanese/Chilean parents on the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria, West Africa, Raph Solo is a singer, songwriter and music producer. He has released three full-length albums, including last summer’s THE ANONYMOUS ICON, featuring “Star” and “Good Morning London”.
Today, Raph is a proud gay man in a loving relationship with an English man from the East Midlands who shares his core values and beliefs.
Raph Solo’s “Love Lives” is being released globally through Angel King Musique and is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon as well all other online retail outlets. Visit his website. Follow Raph Solo on Twitter and Facebook.