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POP INTERVIEW: Sir Ari Gold Inspires the LGBT Community Through His Music

Sir Ari Gold is a champion of gay rights, the singer with the most #1 videos on LOGO and tour mate of artists like Cyndi Lauper. His new album, Between the Spirit & the Flesh, stays true to speaking his mind.

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Sir Ari GoldSir Ari Gold is a champion of gay rights, the singer with the most #1 videos on LOGO and tour mate of artists like Cyndi Lauper. His previous album, Between the Spirit & the Flesh, and upcoming remix album stay true to speaking his mind. Soon, he too will jump on board the 3D music video trend, he says, much like Katy Perry did with “Wide Awake.”

You talk about being Jewish and openly gay. What was life like for a gay teen in the Bronx in the 1990s?
Madonna was my only hope. And the Beastie Boys.

When you were first beginning with demo song material, did you ever feel awkward about singing to a woman in the lyrics or did you view it, whether male or female, as art? Was there pressure from friends, family or people in the music industry to present yourself in a certain way?
Before my first demo, I sang girl voices on “Jem and the Holograms” and “Cabbage Patch Kids,” and didn’t feel awkward at all. I loved it! I never sang to a woman in any of my demos, including my first cassette demo I recorded when I was 12 and sang Stacy Lattisaw’s “Miracles.” After I came out of the closet at age 18, I had my first demo of my own original material that included male pronouns. This was the 90s and I got a ton of resistance from many powerful people in the industry, as well as friends and family. But I also got support from those as well..

What freedom do you believe can be expressed through music?
Music is freedom. Art is freedom. The freedom to express yourself is the ultimate freedom.

You have probably inspired many fans to embrace their LGBT sexuality. What kinds of stories have people told you how your music has changed them personally?
I have a huge file of emails and written letters of all kinds of amazing stories and letters of gratitude from people saying my music helped them to feel better about themselves. It’s the most rewarding part of what I do after the creative process.

What was it like working with Boy George for his clothing line, RUDE? In what way did you see modeling as a performance?
With modeling, it’s a form of performance, because I am “performing” masculinity and gayness and also fashion, even if it’s sometimes only the fashion of the naked body in certain time. I studied the theory of performativity in college, specifically in relation to gender and sexuality, and that’s informed a lot of my work. Working with an icon like George was a dream come true for me. The shoot we did was so much fun and we recorded a couple of songs after that. I love him and miss him and wish he could come back to New York so we can work together again.

What political issues are you concerned with and please explain your involvement in their respective movements?
Right now, my biggest passion is concerned with the self-esteem of gay men, both young and old. My art is political and deals with that. I get involved with organizations like Live Out Loud and the Ali Forney Project, whose LGBT homeless youth need even more help post-Sandy. I also think there’s a lot of work left to be done around HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.

You are getting ready to release your new album – a retrospective of your songs, but as remixes. How did you go about selecting the songs, and why choose to issue remixes, rather than the original versions? Can you tell us more about this album?
These days anyone can put together a playlist of their favorite original tracks, but compiling and mastering unreleased remixes, new remixes and putting some of my favorites in a sequenced album that has a flow–that’s something new. Plus there will be at least one or two new songs. It’s mostly remixes of songs that I’ve released as singles or for which have had videos. I was going to release a DVD of all 10 of my music videos, but I’m saving that for a different project I’m working on. Of course there are still some favorite songs, especially ballads, which remain only on the original albums. But I’ll probably perform some of those live at my next concert.

You recently shot a video for the first single from the album, where you are naked and running through the streets of Manhattan holding a sign that commands other people, in a cheeky way, to play your record. Why did you decide to do this naked? What was the real-time reaction like? What is the meaning behind this song and video?
Cheeky indeed! My ass was out on the streets of New York—in 3D! It was very liberating! It’s a comment on what you gotta do these days to get your music out there. But the concept of the video is fleshed out more in the full version directed by Francis Legge. Plus lots of fun cameos and scenarios—including one that I have never done in any of my released work, I’ll just say that!

Everyone from Clive Davis to Whoopi Goldberg has praised your music and your individuality as an artist. What is it like to be given praise from such influential people?
I work hard to get good pull-quotes!

Music Video: “My Favorite Religion”

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Lee Daniels Speaks Out On The ‘Pain, Anger, Sadness And Frustration’ Surrounding The Jussie Smollett Scandal

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Although never mentioned by name, it’s clear that Empire creator, Lee Daniels, is still processing “the freaking roller coaster” Jussie Smollett has put him through.

Lee Daniels took to Instagram on Wednesday night to speak out about the Jussie Smollett scandal. The caption to the video states that Lee was “in [his] feelings last week,” alluding to the further developments surrounding the case. In the video, after brushing his teeth, Lee takes a moment to address the fact that Jussie is still appearing in new episodes of the hit show because they were filmed prior to “the incident.” In the wake of the allegations, the show has released a statement confirming the fact that Jussie has been written out of the last two episodes of the season. Lee’s pain and frustration stems from something deeper than character arcs as he told his followers “this is not what the show was made for. This show was made to bring America together to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”

On January 29th, Jussie made claims that he was the victim to a racially-motivated attack. After an extensive investigation, Chicago police believe that the alleged attack was fake. Since being charged, Jussie has pleaded not guilty on 16 felony counts for allegedly making false statements to police. Jussie also denies claims that he faked the ordeal due to his dissatisfaction with his salary. No word on whether Jussie will return to Empire next season as of yet.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instragram

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LISTEN: Lizzo And Missy Elliott’s ‘Tempo’ Serves Bass By The Pound

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Lizzo must have taken a page right out of Missy Elliott’s book because she definitely put her thang down, flipped it and reversed it with this new single!

One of music’s brightest, new stars has joined forces with a certified music legend to create a hot new single that will have everyone body-rollin’ at the club. Yes, Lizzo has been blowing up after the release of her two consecutive hits “Juice” and “Cuz I Love You,” and it seems she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. The third single off of her upcoming album, Cuz I Love You, is entitled “Tempo” and features the one and only Missy Elliot.  Lizzo told Travis Mills on Apple Music Beats I that she first heard Missy’s verse via text message.

“She sent me a memoji of herself singing her verse, thats how I got the verse. I got a memoji of Missy like smiling and then she just started rapping, and I was like, ‘OMG what the hell’ so I had to hook it up to my speaker system. But it wasn’t even the actual track, it was like her going along in her studio.”

So Lizzo has Missy Elliott’s phone number?!? Jealous. The new single’s heavy bass will definitely make you want to move those hips. Crank up the volume…unless you’re in an office or library or something because the song is kinda NSFW…and click below to hear “Tempo”

Cuz I Love You drops on April 19th.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

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Wendy Williams Opens Up: “I Have Been Living In A Sober House.”

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The talk show host, who has been very supportive of both me personally and this website, bravely opened up to viewers today about her struggle with addiction. I wish her strength and applaud her courage.

She said she wanted to be honest with her viewers. “There are people in your family, it might be you, you have been struggling, and I want you to know more of the story… So, this is my autobiographical story, and I’m living it. I’m telling you this.”

“For some time now, and even today and beyond, I have been living in a sober house. … And you know, I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in my past and I never went to a place to get the treatment. I don’t know how, except God was sitting on my shoulder and I just stopped.”

She says that now, after the show she attends meetings around the tri state area and then is driven to a sober house. She then shared details of the facility and a group of guys she shares the common areas with: “They hog the TV and watch soccer, we talk and read and talk and read and then I get bored with them. Doors locked by 10 p.m. Lights out by 10 p.m.. So I go to my room, and I stare at the ceiling and I fall asleep to wake up and come back here to see you. So that is my truth.”

“I know, either you are calling me crazy or the bravest woman you know,” she continued. “I don’t care.”

Williams’ Hunter Foundation has already placed 56 people into facilities world wide since she announced a substance abuse hotline little more than a week ago.

It took a lot of bravery to stand before her audience and the world to share her truth. I personally admire her so much for taking this pivotal step, and opening up to her viewers.

We wish you the best, Wendy!

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