Doug Locke is a sensual bisexual vampire in his latest music video “In or Out” and damn, we are definitely here for it. Co-written with his producer Eric McNeely, the certified bop blends elements of pop, rock, and dance with an infectious beat.
In preparation for the video premiere, OUT caught up with Locke to discuss his musical inspiration, queer identity, and obsession with vampires.
OUT: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your musical career.
Locke: Writing and performing has always been in my life. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, George Michael, and Madonna. In 2015 I released my debut EP, “Blue Heart.” The music video for the lead single #ThisCouldBeUs changed the course of my career and became a viral hit. It gained acclaim in the LGBTQ community for its portrayal of two long-lost lovers reunited after 45 years. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to perform across the country, including headlining Portland Pride, and to present the video at The Massimadi film festival in Montreal.
One of the joys of being an independent artist is that I have full artistic control. As I am writing and recording the next EP, I am exploring a more mature sound. What I love most about “In or Out” is that it is simultaneously an invitation and a proclamation. I wanted to create an anthem to inspire people to stand strong and proud in the face of growing social conservatism. I’m excited to share this track because it’s a great taste of the bold, brazen flavor of the next EP.
What inspired the music video?
The music video is a tribute one of my favorite films, the 80s vampire cult classic “The Lost Boys.” Imagine if "The Lost Boys" crashed a house party picking off victims one by one with the levity of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” I was inspired by the charisma of Anne Rice’s character “Lestat, the Vampire” and by the look and feel of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” music video.
How does your identity as a bi man of color influence and intersect with your artistry?
Visibility and varied representation are very important to me. Growing up in Houston, Texas in the 90’s, I did not feel that I saw myself reflected accurately if at all in pop culture. I studied theatre along with critical theory and social justice in college, and this helped me find my voice as an artist. I now get to create the change I want to see by adding my voice to the conversation. Music videos allow me to fuse my musical artistry with my passion for storytelling, while adding a touch of social commentary, all wrapped up in a pop music bow.
Why the vampire motif?
I’ve had a thing for vampires since I was young; I grew up on Buffy, Blade, Anne Rice, and True Blood. Vampires exude an effortless sensuality that I felt was a perfect reflection of the vibe of the song. Using vampirism as a visual metaphor for the fluidity of sexuality, I wanted to celebrate the beauty of embracing love unapologetically. I had such a great time developing the story with my friend and longtime editor Alexander Jellvi.