Thursday, December 07, 2017

Interview: Drake Jensen and Patrick Masse on Life & Career as Openly Gay Country Music Singers

Written by Shane Smith, Editor of Stonewall Gazette

Drake Jensen (L) and Patrick Masse (R)

This past June, during Pride Month, openly gay country music singers Drake Jensen and Patrick Masse released their song "Go Your Own Way" and I was so excited by their collaboration I contacted Towleroad's Michael Goff, HuffPost's Noah Michelson, Axxidental's Mike Enders, Queerty, Bear World Magazine and many other folks in queer media. The importance of two openly gay singers doing a duet was unprecedented in country music and I wanted to help in any way that I could.

Drake and Patrick had a very busy summer doing promotion for their new song. Within a week of release "Go Your Own Way" landed in the Top 10 Most Active Indies chart.

Randy Slovacek was able to snag some time with the two men for a chat on his podcast. During the conversation the two singers discussed their career and life experiences as openly gay men.

Here's an excerpt from the podcast via The Randy Report:
On my latest podcast for The Randy Report, I chat with Canada's premier LGBT solo country artists, Drake Jensen & Patrick Masse, as they’ve teamed up to record an upbeat country song, “ Go Your Own Way” (not the Fleetwood Mac hit), meant to inspire young people who are bombarded with the message that they are “less than.”

The bright pop-country track has a liberating, anti-bullying message for young people in the closet; and also addresses the imaging in social media that perpetuates “perfection,” feeding a narrative that we aren’t good enough.

Jensen and Masse have also launched the “Go Your Own Way” Project on Facebook, a positive, interactive space encouraging folks to share photos and videos expressing how they "go their own way.”

Throughout the candid interview, both Jensen and Masse are refreshingly frank talking about bullying, collaboration within the LGBT community, the impact of religion on young LGBTs and more that motivated the two to record the country anthem.

Noting that bullying is especially rampant during school years for young LGBTs. I asked if either had experienced bullying themselves.

"I didn't get to high school," said Jensen. "I had a nervous breakdown when I was 15, and I locked myself in my room for six months. My last day of school was a flash mob beating that lasted about roughly a mile with two guys with boards with nails in them, and a crowd of people of about 75 that gathered around and followed while they bashed me. That was the last day. That was grade nine. There was no more school after that."
I really enjoyed listening to the interview. It's not often that we hear two gay men speak with such candor on what it's like growing up gay and embarking on careers in a conservative profession.

You can enjoy the podcast and "Go Your Own Way" music video below.

Visit Patrick Masse's Official site
Visit Drake Jensen's Official site
Visit Randy Slovacek's The Randy Report

WATCH: "Go Your Own Way" by Drake Jensen & Patrick Masse

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