The following interview is part of Out's "Dating PrEP" series, in which four notable experts from various fields offer advice on how to prepare for dating as a modern queer man.
Jesse Montana first discovered his passion for music as a child, when he would engage in sing-alongs with his father around the fireplace. For the Ponyboy singer, this experience marked the beginning of "finding my voice in more ways than one."
In the present day, the songwriter draws on his own experiences of "either falling in love or falling apart" when creating material. In turn, these songs, which process his emotions, become sources of comfort for him later down the line.
"It sounds crazy, but I'll play my music because it brings me back to that emotion or that feeling when I was writing that song," he says, which makes him feel "we're always gonna be OK. It does get better. It's like a nice thing to look back on and be proud of."
Additionally, "music is a universal love language," he says, which he can use to connect to fans as well as romantic interests. Having a good playlist is essential to setting the mood for love — as is staying healthy.
Throughout the pandemic, Montana made sure to get tested regularly, drink plenty of water, and take vitamins. Now that restrictions are easing, he also makes sure to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) — the daily medication used to prevent HIV — as he embarks on his love life. It's all part of "being safe and staying protected in more ways than one," he says. "So wrap it up and pop a pill."
As the world continues to open up, Montana stresses the need to embrace new experiences after the hardships of the past year. "Get out there, say yes to more things, and just live your life, and just have no regrets, and have no fear," he says. "For everybody, just don't forget what we went through and be excited and just live your life to the fullest."
Watch more from Out's "Dating Prep" series at Out.com/DatingPrep