Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rilan knew he wasn’t like the other kids as he spent his time acting, singing and dancing to 70s glam rock and 80s synth pop artists like David Bowie, Prince and Boy George.
When the time came to begin his journey as an adult, Rilan chose to head to Los Angeles and pursue music rather than spend years studying in college.
Rilan thought he would find in the city of angels a community of artists looking to express their authentic selves.
It turns out that wasn’t what the young artist experienced in Hollywood.
“Everyone pretends they’re flawless, famous, and filthy rich when in reality they’re broke, broken, and bitter, constantly looking for anything that will make them feel better,” Rilan laments. “Most of the time, that’s sex or drugs.”
Not one to mince words, the 24-year-old calls it like he sees it.
“Everyone I’ve dated in LA has been a user,” says Rilan. “A user of people, money, substances or all three. They are who ‘Love Or Drugs’ is about.”
“‘Love Or Drugs’ is a satire,” he explains. “It’s everything I’ve seen while going out and trying to fit in in the Los Angeles music scene. It’s everything that people do but don’t talk about. It’s ridiculous, it’s over the top, it’s bullshit, and that’s exactly what Hollywood is.”
The former GLEE cast member (he spent 2015 as a ‘Dalton Academy Warbler’) says the only way he knows how to deal with the fakery is to make fun of it.
With an all-star team that includes manager Randy Jackson (American Idol) and Lady Gaga’s choreographer Richy Jackson, Rilan envisioned the music video for “Love Or Drugs” as “an exaggeration of parties in LA.”
Calling the new song “a big F U to pop culture,” the young artist says he rejects what popular music has come to represent nowadays, “Money, sex, drugs, and superficiality.”
Proud of having “never been normal,” Rilan dedicates the new song to “all of the weird kids who showed up to the party and left early because it really wasn’t cool after all.”
Fans think the singer/dancer is pretty cool, though. His debut music video, “Chemical,” has garnered over 2.2 million views on YouTube.