Here at Much Gay, we're all about celebrating LGBT artists, and that's why we were thrilled to sit down with the amazing Tony Aye! We discussed his music, influences, the Black Lives Matter movement as well as his new single, 'Nobody But U'.
So for Much Gay readers who may not have discovered your music yet can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well I'm 31, born in Camp Springs, MD and grew up in Albuquerque, NM. My husband Joseph and I have 2 beautiful adopted children. I've been a professional singer/songwriter for about 6 years now but music was always a part of my life. I started out as a gospel artist but recently I've felt a urge to express music my way and really be true to myself creatively as an openly proud Gay and Black Man. I'm a pretty eclectic person. I love anime, gaming, professional wrestling, drag race, etc., So I'm pretty hard.
Your new single Nobody But U has just dropped - can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Nobody But U is a 50s and Motown inspired high energy love song with a modern twist. I love references as well as visual imagery and for me this song reminds me of watching a character in a movie/show as they make a grand romantic declaration of love to someone. Growing up as a gay man I never really got the chance to openly flirt with anyone because of the times. So this was my chance to create a fantasy of what I would've done. Nobody But U is infectious and something you can't get out of your head. I had two amazing producers really bring it to life for me.
You are known for your unique sound, as an example The Mountain is a very different sound from Nobody But U. Do you enjoy experimenting with different styles and what are your influences?
Yes, I love it! Music is art and art is subjective. The only rules are there are no rules. I grew up with everything from classical, musical theatre, rock, pop, gospel, R&B, jazz and more. So when I create I believe in doing it without limiting my sound. I love infusing songs with something unexpected or complex elements. And I enjoy showing my versatility and trying out new sounds all the time. I hope that as the full album entitled "Call Me Tony..." comes out later this year people hear an amazing fusion of Pop and Soul.
You actively support movements like Black Lives Matter and we can tell that this is important to you. Do you hope your music can contribute to the social change we need and does this influence your music?
Absolutely, this past year has shown me how important it is to be an active and vocal advocate for equality and equity for everyone. I have been extremely active with Black Lives Matter as well as fighting for LGBTQ Rights. My children really made me take a more serious stance because I want to be a good example for them. Whether its fighting for Black lives and culture , Bringing attention to the many problems facing the LGBTQ Community or just highlighting the beautiful culture and art of both communities I represent. My music is definitely becoming a celebration of my culture and a social commentary on issues facing those communities. And I'm ok with that art and advocacy go hand in hand.
You recently did a Virtual Concert - how was that experience and how has Covid-19 affected you as an artist?
Virtual Concerts are like a double edge sword for me. I love the fact that I'm challenged to think outside the box on creative ways to share my music and I LOVE that the Pandemic has evened the playing field for artists to share and cultivate. Everyone is stuck at home with their home cameras, phones, limited resources so the big budgets don't matter as much right now. It's hard not having the audience there. People to organically feed off of. Overall I'm happy that I've been able to have platforms to keep creating. Throughout the years making music has become therapeutic and helped me deal with a lot of the mental/emotional wear and tear from challenges we face everyday. I hope people see all the hard work that myself and other artists are putting out to continue to bring and share content.
And there you have it! Not only is Tony a fantastic artist but just about as nice a guy as we've ever had the pleasure of speaking with here at Much Gay! You can check out Tony's website with links to his music here.
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