It’s really a non-issue to me. I live my life; I’m a really happy person. I make the music I make regardless of sexuality. I never brought it up with the labels, and nobody asked. I don’t feel the need to overexpose myself. I have nothing to hide but if it never comes up it never comes up. If it does I have not problem addressing it.
Would you say the gay community is automatically supportive of out musicians like yourself?
I definitely have a pretty big gay audience, but I have a big audience from all spectrums. I think to a certain level the gay community likes seeing people doing things and being proud, but ultimately it’s about the music and people have to like what you’re offering.
You’ve built a lot of buzz online, with over 1 million hits on YouTube, doing cover songs. Do you think this is the way to get discovered these days?
I don’t think it’s the way to break in, but it has been a huge game changer. If I were doing this on my own I would have to do it in a very different way. Like Ani Defranco, who drove herself to every single city in the country and built her audience that way. With YouTube, I can create a song and reach people around the world in one day.
Would you say there’s an art to doing a cover, in order to really make it your own?
That’s the most important part about making a cover. Most people don’t want to hear another version of the exact same song they just heard. It’s about your take on it, that’s what people appreciate most.
See the video to his first single, 'Place of Paradise':
Eli Lieb’s new album, Eli Lieb, is available today online at his website, elilieb.com, and you can check out all his cover songs at his YouTube page. He’s also playing live in New York City on Thursday, October 27 at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn.