Gay creative Chester Lockhart is doubling down on his music career.
Lockhart is one of those creatives who does everything. He’s a songwriter, a singer, a director, an actor, a producer, and more. The simple reason for this is because he’s driven enough to make his art even if he has to do it himself.
Learning this from his close friend Todrick Hall, it’s only natural that Lockhart would later zero in on the music industry and want to make a name for himself. And that’s what he’s trying to do with the release of his new sing, “In Loving Memory.”
In order to promote the new music video, Lockhart had an interview with Billboard to talk about his music, his music video, making both, and his friendship with Hall.
We’ve collected some of the finer points of the interview below.
Billboard: What initially made you want to transition into making pop?
Lockhart: I had a heart attack at the beginning of 2016, at 23. It was a good wakeup call for me because I was working myself to the bone doing so many things that weren't necessarily for me. I was like a) life is short and b) if you don’t make things happen for yourself, it’s never gonna happen. I became so motivated to just do me and stop living for anyone else but myself. Plus, being gay is such a funny thing. I feel like people don’t really -- in music especially -- people didn’t take me seriously. Like, oh, you’re just a gay artist. And I was like, what the fuck does that mean? That doesn’t make any difference in what I can create. People just wouldn’t believe in me. We’ve only got this one life and I’m not about to not be Chester Lockhart, this gay haunted house witch queen.
How did you arrive at the “broken chains and gay ghosts” aesthetic?
As a kid, growing up gay, especially in an area where it was not accepted and with very conservative Christian parents, it was a really big challenge for me and I was always struggling to find myself, my voice. I lived so many lives just as a teenager. I was a nerdy theater kid, I was this death metal goth queen for a hot second, I went through this ‘80s tracksuit workout phase. I was just all over the place trying to find what I was. Finally when I became an adult and went out into the real world and just let myself be, I realized I was all of those things. I stopped trying to fit into all these little boxes and I took a little boxcutter and combined all those bitches with a little bit of glitter tape and here I am.
You wrote the music and lyrics for the song, recorded it, mixed it and mastered it yourself, and then directed, produced, styled and choreographed the video. Hardly anyone ever does that anymore. What made you want to do it?
I’ve always had a very clear vision. I’ve worked for years with my best friend Todrick Hall. He’s another person who wears a lot of hats. When he has a vision, he executes it from start to finish. Having a theater background, I was so new to music but I always did creative things. I would tinker around in GarageBand when I was in high school and eventually I had amassed a lot of recordings but I didn’t know how to execute them. I didn’t know anybody who was a filmmaker or a stylist, but I had all these visions in my brain. I was like well, if nobody’s gonna help me do it then I should just create it myself because I don’t wanna hold all this stuff secret anymore.
Lockhart goes further to talk about how he created the concept for “In Loving Memory.”
“There’s this guy who is a total asshole and broke my heart until I literally died and it’s in loving memory of my heart.”
If you want to check out that music video, its right down below. If you want to read more of the interview between Chester Lockhart and Billboard, you can click here.