Exclusive Interview: Brandon Stansell On New Single “For You”, Being A Gay Country Singer & His Love For Dolly Parton And Years & Years!
Pride month is already over but the cause of the LGBTQ community pushes on, so is the career of gay country singer Brandon Stansell, who has just released a new single titled “For You”. Being a proud gay singer in the country music world in the U.S is no easy job, especially when you’re fighting to break the mold, which is for country musicians to represent all people, and not just straight white males, but Brandon is carrying on. Last year he released a full-length album titled “Slow Down” that received positives reviews and just last week he’s gave fans this fantastic new single “For You”. Will be this song be part of larger project? Make sure to read our exclusive interview with Brandon to get that answer and many more concerning Brandon’s career, his fight to break the mold within the country music community, his favorites songs of the moment, his dream collaboration, among many others.
If you’re in love with this romantic and catchy country-pop song (I mean, that build up to the chorus and the chorus itself! I melted!), then stay tuned for the “For You” music video. It is premiering on Billboard.com soon and it will feature a very special guest, none other than a star from RuPaul’s Drag Race! YES, MAMA!
1. Hi Brandon! Where are you answering this Q&A from and how has your day been like so far?
Hi!! You are catching me on the tail end of a long couple of days - 12 hours of filming for my new music video then directly to a red-eye flight from LA to Nashville. So, if any of my answers don’t make sense - know the lack of sleep is probably getting to me about right now!
2. You have just released a brand new single titled “For You”. We would like to ask, in your own words, how would you describe the lyrical theme and sound of this new track?
This song is fun y’all! Get ready to roll those windows down and just enjoy something perfect for the summer!
3. We have been informed that you have shot a music video for “For You” recently and that it will feature Eureka from RuPaul’s Drag Race. What can you tell us about the video treatment and why did you want to have specifically Eureka appear in it?
Yes, we just finished shooting the video this week and it’s definitely the most colorful, campy thing I have ever done. Having Eureka in the video elevated what was already going to be a fun shoot to another level. She is such an amazing talent and so incredible to work with. We are both from Tennessee so it felt like being home getting to spend the day with her.
4. If we are not mistaken, “For You” is your first new song in 2018. Can we anticipate a new album or EP coming in the next months? Your fans, we are convinced, are always hungry for new music from you!
I love hearing that! So, as of now, “For You” is the only new song we have planned for this year, but we will be premiering the video for it on Billboard Pride on July 24th! We will also be releasing a music video for the second single “Hometown” from my album later this fall. So - not a ton of new music but still a lot of great things to look forward to!
5. You are an openly gay country singer. Why do you think is important to have a representative of the LGTBQ community in a music genre that has seen few or no songs that address relationships that are not heterosexual? It’s time to open minds within country music fans, right?
Well, I think visibility is important. I think everyone wants to feel connected and represented - everyone wants to hear a story they can relate to. There are so many LGBTQ fans of country music yet little to no LGBTQ artist representation in country music - that makes no sense and something that needs to change.
6. We recently celebrated Pride. Did you do something special or went to any local celebrations?
Pride month this year was incredible! I played three different Pride events in June as well as playing the first ever Pride Live - an online global event sponsored by GLAAD, BuzzFeed and INTO where we were raising money for GLAAD’s youth initiatives. Pride events started as protest movements and as far as our community has come, we still have a long way to go, so it was an honor getting to travel around the country meeting and protesting alongside so many of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
7. You are originally from Tennessee but you currently live in Los Angeles. How much do you think living in L.A has influenced your music? “For You” is a little bit more pop-oriented than your previous material for instance.
I always tell people living in Nashville was a lot like living in LA - here you ask someone what they do and they quickly say “I’m an actor!” In Nashville, the answer to that question is, “I’m a country singer!” So, its a town full-to-the-brim with people singing country music, which made it hard to find my own voice and not simply mimic everything that was happening around me. So, moving to LA gave me the freedom and and space I needed to find the voice I knew was in me. And now I like to call my sound “California country” - it’s country music with some west coast vibes and the new single is no exception to that definition.
8. What is your Top 5 of favorite songs of the moment from other artists?
Years & Years - If You’re Over Me
Happy Birthday - Kelleigh Bannen
Worst Of Me - Julia Michaels
Love is a Wild Thing - Kacey Musgraves
Livewire - Hailey Steele
9. Who is your dream collaboration, why him or her, and how do you imagine your original song to be like?
For the longest time I have always said my dream collaboration would be with Dolly Parton - and that answer still stands. BUT because I am currently fan-girling HARD over the new Years & Years record, I can’t stop imagining what a collaboration with them would be like. I’ve said for years now that I think their Communion album is one of the only perfect albums that has ever been made.