I asked Kent about the mainstream acceptance of gays in pop culture and media. He replied, “It’s all still kind of new. People are feeling more comfortable with being gay and with gay artists -- look at Ricky Martin.” The Latin music sensation recently announced that he is indeed "a fortunate homosexual man," something that the community had always suspected. “Pretty soon being gay will not be as dramatically important,” Kent says, adding, “We’ve been there before.”
We both reflected on the journey that an artist like Ricky Martin has had to make. “It’s not so rare to hear about opening gay artists in today’s media, but it’s great to be a mainstream artist and have a following, and then come out as gay -- that’s completely different than saying your gay from the beginning,” Kent says.
We live in very interesting times, but for this past year’s winner of the Best Dance Song honor at the OUTMusic Awards, it’s business as usual. He’s in the studio, writing and working on new material for his next album, and gets nervously excited when he’s described as a songwriter. “When I first started out, I didn’t have my own stuff,” Kent says. He was comfortable performing music that was written for him, yet still, ”it wasn’t my story. Now I feel I’m singing about something that is real to me.” It’s an ambitious new role for the artist, but one that he embraces as the next natural evolution of his career as a musician. “I’m still new at it. I’m just getting into songwriting. The only thing that I know how to do is write when it feels real. It has to be organic,” he says, adding, “You have to pray that it just sounds right.”
The new single is called “I’ll Find a Way” and is dedicated to his 89-year-old grandmother who recently found herself facing breast cancer. “I was inspired by her confidence and I was just amazed that she just kept finding a way to get through everyday. In this day and age whether it’s cancer, relationships, money...everyone is just trying to find a way and move forward,” Kent says. He’s taken that momentum with him into the studio to work on his new music. “It’s always scary going back in. I might have ideas but having them materialize is a whole other thing. I’ve been really lucky.” His first album, Breathe Life, yielded a slew of very successful singles. “The album did well -- and then you think you have to go in and you have to top yourself -- you have to make it better! I put too much pressure on myself. But it’s an exciting process and I just love it!” he says.
Brian Kent’s new single “I’ll Find a Way” is available now on all digital download mediums. For more info, including tour dates, visit www.brian-kent.com.
-- JC ALVAREZ
Previously > The Return of Xtina