Hello Steve, we feel honored to be able to talk with you for GayPV Puerto Vallarta. First of all, congratulations for all your achievements on your music career. How has been for you to be an independent and openly gay singer/songwriter inside of music industry? Had it been a difficult way?
The honor is all mine! I’ve been independent (not with a record label) and openly gay since I released my first song and video, “All-American Boy,” so it’s hard to say how much more or less difficult it would be if I weren’t out and/or independent. I honestly don’t spend much time thinking about it since this is the way I am. I just try to make the very best of it and I will say, I think I’ve been overwhelmingly fortunate so far.
Your music video “All-American Boy” surprised the music industry and had a great response from audience. How do you feel about it? Were you afraid in some way to release a video like that?
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for that song and that video, not only because it was my first effort, but because I feel like it’s such a pure execution of my creative vision. The song and video is also special to a lot of my fans to a lot of reasons so I also think fondly of it for that.
You are now an icon for LGBT people that feels identified with your music, videos and messages. What would you say to people that is still sending homophobic messages and intolerance campaigns against gay people?
The western world has come a long way in not only accepting, but embracing gay people. We live in extraordinary times. I generally have an optimistic view when it comes to gay acceptance. Obviously there are plenty of places in the world where it’s still very hard to be gay, and even in certain communities within our very diverse country it can be difficult. I think that, overwhelming, Western culture has largely embraces LGBT gay people. That isn’t always reflected in laws, and there are bumps in the road, but I generally feel like we are heading in the right direction. I don’t have anything to say to anyone with hate in their heart regarding homosexuality. I think the best thing we can all be is our true selves.
How it was for you to get out from the closet? How and when it did happen?
It was a gradual road for me. I realized I was gay when I was 13. It took a few years for me to be okay with it.
What do you think about gay marriage and adoption from LGBT couples?
I think gay people should be able to get married to their partners. I also believe in adoption from LGBT couples. Families are the building blocks of all civilized societies. The more, the better.
In the world there is still many cases of teenage boys or girls that commit suicide because they are gay and suffer bullying because of that, or are afraid of get out and not to be accepted for their families or friends. What would be your message to those young people?
I would say hang in there! You can’t even imagine what the world has in store for you. Only once you are an adult are you really able to find your people, and I promise you that, that you will find your people.
We know that you made appearances on important places like Good Morning America, CNN, Larry King Now, and some others, giving a message of tolerance and LGBT equality. Did you have any homophobic personal experience during these appearances or during tour?
I was very lucky to be embraced by all of the major news outlets I did interviews with.
What is your message to other musicians that are afraid to get out and be openly gay to the public eye?
I think that bringing yourself and your personal experiences into the music and art you create can only make it more compelling. People can sense when someone isn’t being authentic and it usually defeats the whole purpose of art. Be you! It may surprise you who you attract.
What would be your advice for other singers/musicians that are starting their careers as independents?
You can’t be afraid to fail. You will grow tremendously from your failures if you can stomach it. It’s not an easy path, but I always say that nothing in life that is worth doing is ever easy. It’s hard work so be ready to put everything into it and don’t expect to figure it all out right away
We are very happy to know that you will be performing soon here in Puerto Vallarta. Have you ever been in Puerto Vallarta or Mexico before? And if so, how do you like it?
I have never been to Mexico at all so I am very excited to be coming to visit all of you for the very first time in my life!
What can we expect from your shows here in Puerto Vallarta?
I really like to engage with my audience in a personal way. I make a lot of eye contact even when I’m playing piano. I’ve been playing since I was 5 so I don’t even have to think about it now. People can expect to be impressed with my skills as a musician. That is a comment I get often after my performances. I’ll play a lot of my original music as well as popular covers that will have everyone feeling good :)
What are your upcoming plans for your music career? What comes for Steve Grand?
I’m finishing up my next record and currently shooting music videos for some of the songs. I hope to keep traveling the world with my music and touching people’s lives with my songs.
Thanks so much Steve for your time. Do you have any extra words for your fans and readers of GayPV?
My fans have been so incredible and supportive these last 4 years. I want to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to them and say I can’t WAIT to meet many of my Mexican fans for the first time. Thank you for this interview! :)
Photo images Photographer William Dick