Yesterday saw the premiere of a brand-new single and music video by America’s Got Talent alum Brian Justin Crum, and in addition to the song being a celebration of sorts for the openly gay artist, the video does something we’ve never seen before, utilizing real government footage of gay conversion therapy practices to haunting effect.
The world caught wind of Crum during the 11th season of AGT, particularly during his audition performance of Queen’s beloved hit “Somebody To Love.” Since then, the San Diego native who also has Broadway shows under his belt (Wicked, Altar Boyz, Grease) has focused on his music, and the song “Wild Side” is his latest single.
“The song is about liberation and celebration,” Crum tells Hornet. “For many years I felt ashamed of my desires and wants. I’m at a place now where I can celebrate my sexuality and help others do so as well. Sex between consenting adults should be empowering. ‘Wild Side’ shows that in many forms, and I celebrate them all!”
The video features footage of Crum sporting a harness and tied to a chair, and spliced in is conversion therapy footage that appears to date back decades. On his decision to include the footage, Crum says, “I’m so proud of where we have come as a community. I think it’s very important that we not lose sight of where we came from. There are still many parts of the world where sex between LGBTQ people is illegal. I want to shine a light on that. Those who have suffered made it possible for us to live our authentic lives today, and they deserve to be seen.”
We asked Crum whether he feels Donald Trump’s presidency — as well as the vice presidency of Mike Pence, a man who has long supported gay conversion therapy — has affected his output as an openly queer artist.
“I’m not afraid of this administration,” he says. “If anything, they have inadvertently brought so many people together from all over the world! We are stronger together.”
Crum is also quick to point out the plethora of musicians ‘coming out’ in this day and age, and — even more importantly — “being visible so the upcoming generation doesn’t feel they have to hide.”
Those looking for more music by Brian Justin Crum might not need to wait that much longer. He’s currently at work on a forthcoming EP with Frankmusik.
“It has been so beautiful for me to build this catalogue of music,” he says of the EP. “It is my diary. I listen back to songs I have written and I remember a specific moment with someone I once loved or a moment of pain, joy, excitement! It’s thrilling to revisit my life moment my moment.”
Watch the music video for “Wild Side” by Brian Justin Crum below: