British Singer/Songwriter MNEK Talks Writing Lyrics For Madonna, Beyoncé, & BTS

Despite only now being on the rise as a solo singer, British talent MNEK has been working in the music industry for more than a decade.

Before he released his debut album Language last year, MNEK was working as a songwriter for big names like Madonna, Beyoncé, BTS, Bastille, Little Minx, and more.

But now that MNEK is trying to work in front of the camera, he’s sharing his work experiences from the past decade.

Talking to Billboard, MNEK notes how he titled his debut album Language because he was learning the language of how to be a black, gay artist.

“All of this is stuff you learn, and that I’m currently still learning,” he said. “I think that this was the first chance for me to explore that. And on the flip side, it’s a chance for people to understand me.”

MNEK also noted how working with hit artists like BTS and Beyoncé gave him an idea of how to succeed as a singer.

The singer/songwriter mentioned that he was starstruck when he first met Beyoncé.

"I was kind of downplaying it the entire day,” he said. “But then she stepped through and said ‘Hey,’ and I was like ‘Wait ... Oh, OK, hi!’”

MNEK also noted how working with BTS on their song “Paradise” made him realize the importance of message behind pretty music.

"I had written a completely different song, right?" he said. "It was completely different lyrics -- they changed it to like a self-help song. The originally theme I talked about was much bitchier."

"They're all so sweet and all really polite," he then added.

You can check out MNEK’s full interview with Billboard below.

Related: Almost Hookup Shaded MNEK On Twitter And The Singer Responded

Related: MNEK Released A New MV For Song About Bisexual Men On The Down Low

Related: MNEK Gloriously Shut Down A Homophobic Troll With An Instagram Post

Related: Watch The Colorful Lyric Video To MNEK's Latest Single, "Colour"

Related: Singer MNEK Celebrated National Coming Out Day By Talking About Being Gay and Black

h/t: Billboard

MNEK Released A New MV For Song About Bisexual Men On The Down Low

MNEK’s got a new music video out and it’s all about being bisexual and on the DL.

Earlier this year, British singer-songwriter MNEK, real name Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike, released an album titled Language. One of the songs on that album was an R&B track titled “Girlfriend.”

Lyrics to the song go as follows:

“If your girlfriend knew
‘Bout me and you
‘Bout what we do (what we do)
Tell me what would she do?
Yeah if you told the truth
And said the word
Someone like her
Just isn’t right for youI’m a little secret nobody’s supposed to know
You want to keep this on the hush, keep this on the low
I’m the reason she’s wondering why you’re never home
Why you’re never home (never, never)But imagine if she knew you were -ing me
And acting irresponsibly
While she’s home learning recipes
You’ve been in my bed constantly
Neither you or your story’s straight
It’s such a shame
For a second put yourself in my place”

Now, a new music video for the song has been released. The video explores the song’s concept even further.

Star songwriter MNEK, who has penned the lyrics for several artists such as Beyonce, Madonna, Little Minx, Bastille, and more, is revving into his own singing career now. The artist shares that he wants to create music that represents his life and the lives of people like him.

"I don't think there's been many chances for people to see a black, gay, pop experience and that's what I want to have with my shows moving forward."

But MNEK isn’t looking to just represent with his music. He’s also trying to be honest about his life outside of music too. For instance, he shared screenshots last year of a hateful troll who tried to play him on a dating app.

With several LGBTQ singers taking the stage of late like Troye Sivan and Hayley Kiyoko, we’re excited to see MNEK show his special flair of self and representation.

France To Be Represented By A Gay, Muslim, Gender Bending Teen In This Year's Eurovision

Eurovision’s getting more LGBTQ representation.

Last year, Ireland blessed us all with a gay love story as their music video submission for the international music competition Eurovision. Now, it looks like France is taking a turn at representing LGBTQ people.

According to the Jerusalem Post, 19-year-old Fraench singer Bilal Hassani will be performing in Israel this May. And, Israel is the next country to host the international song competition because of local singer Netta Barzilai’s victory at last year’s competition in Portugal.

Unfortunately, openly gay singer Hassani says that he has already received death threats for his upcoming appearance on the internationally broadcast song contest. That said, he is staying strong and committing to his upcoming visit. In fact, he’s excited about it!

"I can’t wait, I heard the life is really exciting over there in Tel Aviv. I can’t wait to see the sun and I can’t wait to visit,” he told Israel’s Channel 12.

The Tel Aviv municipality then tweeted out to Hassani saying, "When you're coming to Tel Aviv this May, don't forget to visit Jaffa, the hummus there is delicious!"

Fun aside, Hassani is trying to be careful and has filed a police report about the death threats. Hopefully, Hassani will remain safe, and perform well, while visiting Israel.

h/t: The Jerusalem Post

"I Fought The F*** Back:" Jussie Speaks Out About His Attack At An LA Performance

Jussie Smollett has made his first public appearance since being attacked earlier this week.

Around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, 36-year-old Smollett, who plays a gay musician on the FOX drama Empire, was walking in Chicago when two men attacked him. 

The two masked assailants, who were photographed in a later released surveillance footage, yelled out "MAGA country!" and "Aren't you that f****t Empire n*****?" They then got into an altercation with Smollett where they threw bleach on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. But as Smollett recently noted, "I fought the f*** back.”

According to Deadline, Smollett made his first public appearance since the attack through a Saturday night concert performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood.

During the concert, Smollett spoke to the crowd about the incident and his thoughts since then.

"The most important thing that I can say is to keep it simple and say thank you and I’m okay,” Smollett said to the crowd. “I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to, and I’m going to stand strong with you all.”

“I had to be here tonight. I couldn’t let those motherfuckers win!" he exclaimed.

"I will always stand for love, I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope you will all stand with me.”

Smollett also made sure to clarify incorrectly reported information about the attack.

“There’s been a lot of stuff that’s been said about me that’s absolutely not true,” he said, reading from notes. “I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked, they were not broken. I went to the doctor immediately… I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform, but said to take care, obviously. And above all, I fought the fuck back.”

To close out the concert, Smollett noted how touched he is by all of the support and how he'll stay vigilant against anti-gay and racist people like his attackers

“I just want to say that I stand on so many backs of so many people,” Smollett said before leaving the stage. “I stand on the backs of the Lee Danielss. I stand on the backs of the Wilson Cruzs and the Bayard Rustins and the Langston Hughess and the James Baldwins and the Alvin Aileys, and I pray to god that I made y’all proud.”

h/t: Deadline, Entertainment Tonight

This Man Created A Music Video To Celebrate Country Music And Gay Asian Love

Have you ever seen a gay Asian man star in a country music video? If not, you’re about to.

Writer and musician Nathan Ramos released a video on YouTube earlier this month, says Towleroad. The music video for “Gay Asian Country Love Song” was created to celebrate a musical genre that has inspired and helped Ramos for many years.

As he explains in the video’s description:

“I've loved country music my entire life, from Rascal Flatts to Dolly Parton, Martina McBride to Tim McGraw. Growing up in Ohio, I had dreams of being the first Asian American to be on the Billboard Country Music Charts. This is a love letter to both country music, and to being gay and asian”

Nathan Ramos is a writer, actor, and musician. He has won the See Change 2042 National Playwriting Competition, works as a script doctor (editor) for studio films and indie projects, and was a Writer/Songwriter/Creative Producer for Disney’s Club Mickey Mouse.

But possibly his biggest claim to fame yet is his song “When December Comes.” The song was not only included on Seventeen Magazine’s Top 17 Holiday Songs of 2017, but it was also the opening song for the ABC Christmas Day Parade.

Ramos also says that he is currently writing and Executive Producing a show for Disney Southeast Asia. We can't wait to see it.

If you want to see more of Ramos, you can follow him on Instagram here.

h/t: Towleroad

Openly Gay Singer Brandon Stanswell Says Country Music Is More LGBTQ-Inclusive Than You Think

Brandon Stansell says that country music is opening up to gay singers and gay life.

In an interview with Billboard, Stansell shared that he thinks the country music scene is more accepting of LGBTQ people than imagined.

“I think that people, especially in the south, who listen to country music are more open and loving than we give them credit to be,” says the doe-eyed 31-year-old. “We just have to give them the opportunity to show us.”

He also said:

“Honestly, ever since I started walking down this road and pursuing country music, I’ve really had nothing but good things said to me and about me with what I’m doing. I had a similar conversation with Cody Allen, who hosts the CMT radio show. He came out a few years ago but he’s established a career for himself. Even he was saying he was really surprised at how wonderful his fellow artists were and how loving the fans were to him and how wonderful his bosses at CMT were.”

The openly gay singer also talked about his new single and music video “Hometown.”  

In the video, the Nashville, Tennessee native comes out to his mother. This initially gets a negative and violent reaction out of her. But as the video goes on, the mother starts to miss her son and later welcomes him back into her home.

For Stansell, creating that song and music video was all about creating visibility.

“I think that visibility is important, especially in country music. I think that everyone wants to hear their story told. I think that’s a commonality we share. For the longest time, people who are LGBTQ and lovers of country music, we didn’t really hear our stories on country radio or played on CMT. It was really important for me to share my story in the most authentic, real way I possibly could.”

In fact, Stansell’s “Hometown” is one of the first country music videos with an LGBTQ storyline to appear on CMT.

Congratulations to Brandon Stansell. We hope big things are in his future.

Rising Star Hayley Kiyoko Talks About The Future Of #20GayTeen

2018 is almost over, but the spirit of it will live on, says Hayley Kiyoko.

The former Disney Channel star has skyrocketed to fame thanks to her openness about her sexuality. In fact, it was Kiyoko who coined the term and hashtag #20GAYTEEN that took over the personas of LGBTQ millennials and generation Z-ers.

But now that 2018 is ending, that nicely worded term for young gay and LGBTQ pride will sadly go with it. After being asked about this fact, Hayley Kiyoko is not so sure.

Kiyoko told Billboard that the year may be almost over, but the term and spirit of it will live on.

“#20GAYTEEN never ends,” Kiyoko said while at the Billboard Women in Music event. “It’s the spirit within."

At the event, Kiyoko won the Rising Star award. After that time, she took a moment to appreciate the rising pride and political passion coming from LGBTQ youths.

“Seeing people become more politically aware was so inspiring,” the pop star said. “Seeing different artists stand up for LGBTQ -- and also, everyone’s waking up!”

Calum Scott's New Music Video Celebrates Parents Who Accept Their Gay Sons

Ready to cry? A new video by Calum Scott is going to put those tear ducks to work.

Scott recently released a music video for his track “No Matter What,” which is about the unconditional love of parents who accept their gay son.

When talking about the song, Scott said:

“‘No Matter What’ is without question the most personal song I have ever written and the one I am most proud of. It’s a song born from loneliness, acceptance and the heartbreaking but liberating tale of my coming out experience. What I love about this song is that it isn’t just limited to a story of sexual identity, but about the relationship between parent and child and acceptance as a whole. This song didn’t make my debut album because I simply wasn’t ready at that time to give it to the world.  It felt too personal to share, but as with all of my songwriting, I’ve written this from the heart to try and inspire confidence and compassion in people and put some love back in to the world, which we could always use more of.”

And the lyrics are truly loving and inspiring as they depict a young boy who’s afraid to come out, finally does to his parents, and is only met with love and acceptance.

When I was a young boy I was scared of growing up
I didn’t understand it but I was terrified of love
Felt like I had to choose but it was outta my control
I needed to be saved, I was going crazy on my own
It took me years to tell my mother, I expected the worst
I gathered all the courage in the world

She said, “I love you no matter what
I just want you to be happy and always be who you are”
She wrapped her arms around me
Said, “Don’t try to be what you’re not
Cause I love you no matter what”
She loves me no matter what

Check out the music video below.


Troye Sivan Checks Out Fan Thirst Tweets About Him (And Instantly Regrets It)

The latest video of a male celebrity reading thirst tweets about him is out and we can’t get enough of it.

From John Boyega to John Cena, Jeff Goldblum, and Henry Cavill, Buzzfeed has recorded many male celebs as they read the desires of their fans.

Now, singer and actor Troye Sivan is joining the ranks of those earlier men and having a great time while doing it.

“Good morning, America, I am awake and I want Troye Sivan to spit on me,” wrote one twitter user.

Sivan’s response to that? “I was about to say I’m into that but like ‘Whoa, whoa.’”

And that’s just the start of the video. It only gets crazier and thirstier from there.

Want to see how crazy Sivan fans get on Twitter? Check out the video below.

Malaysia's Queer Pop Icon Alextbh's New MV "Walls" Is Seductive And Raw

Malaysia’s first gay icon released a new, sexy track titled “Walls.”

The track, produced by UK artist Maths Time Joy, focuses on a sexual energy, which is heightened by the music video below. Meanwhile, the lyrics hone in on that energy while also expressing Alextbh’s messy but honest thoughts.

“I’m very proud of this song because I didn’t try to structure or rhyme it, as opposed to other songs,” Alextbh told i-D magazine and VICE.

“My mind works in a really pop structured way. But that song, I just spoke my mind…” he added.

You can watch the video below.

22-year-old Alex Bong, aka Alextbh has only been creating music for a few years now. Then a young teen, Alextbh self-taught himself how to produce music through YouTube tutorials and how to upload them onto Soundcloud.

As he told Paper Mag last month:

“alextbh started in 2016, fresh off my first heartbreak. I'm just a little twink trying to get it all together, and I realized music is such a good way for me to have that cathartic release. So I just kept writing and writing and writing and putting stuff on SoundCloud, it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't until I put up the song called "Stoop So Low" that Spotify started recognizing it and started putting it in huge major playlists.”

Since then, he has infiltrated the music scene in Malaysia and is making his way into the Western music scene. On top of that, he has transitioned onto other music sharing websites like Spotify where he has amassed over 15 million streams. He’s done this while acting as one of the first openly gay pop singers in the Eastern World.

We hope to see, and hear, more of him in the future.