Give us the most interesting back story or inspiration
from this new release.
I was honored to be able to record this song as it was personally
brought to me by my co-producer & one of the writers who's been
saving it for years for the right artist to record it and he
(Elliot Sokolov) choose me! The other writer sadly has passed
away from aids so it's even more special & makes it even more
touching to be able to record this song.
What did you learn in the process of writing or recording this?
More than one would expect. It was given to me to do as a ballad but the more I listened to it & the chord progressions I actually heard it as, yes a ballad opening but going into a dance record, very much like my dear late friend Paul Jabara. He wrote such great hits and he taught me very young that the best dance records are in fact ballad based, like Donna Summer's "Last Dance" which he wrote!
That being said, I had to totally re-learn and re-beat the whole song especially the phrasing of every line.
What’s different about this release from others you’ve done?
This song I took on very personally and I think showed another side of myself than I have in my previous records. I used my life real love story to base it on which includes the death of my late husband Brian Scott Harper.
How much input do you give through the producing process?
I was the co-producer & co-arranger of this song & executive producer of this maxi-single in all parts of the production from beginning to end.
What do you wish someone would ask you about your new release?
Is it honest and sung from the heart. Yes, it was!
What part of the recording process do you enjoy the most?
I love all parts, especially the initial recording of the song and then casting and working with all the many great re-mixers that give it different lights for different markets and genres.
Who would you most like to sing a duet with?
I have to say that I have done it and it was the most awesome experience of my life! I was very honored to sing a duet with the late great legend, Phoebe Snow. I was also honored that she chose me to write with her and produce what I am sorry to say, was her very last record. In fact, she never got to hear the final remixes only the original version,(which she loved) but she was a joy to work with a total joy!!!
What do you think the next ‘big thing’ is going to be in the music business?
Well, being on a major label, I know that big changes are coming, with radio regarding the most recent laws passed in this country,(U.S.A.) on airplay with artists & their material.
Tell us about your writing process. Which usually comes first, lyrics or music?
That is a hard question sometimes the melody, sometimes the lyrics. I usually start with a title & go from there. Just today I was inspired to write a song that just came to me from out-of-the-blue so I guess it is from the Universe & God going thru me and allowing me to communicate through my music.
How much control do you like to have over the production of your music?
I have total control. I do work and listen to the A&R department but I am my executive producer in all aspects of my production.
How often do you think artists should release new music to keep fans interested?
I believe an artist must keep their music consistently in the public's eye and keep producing new music. My label & I consider myself very fortunate to have the DJ’s, program directors and my fans keep my music alive for over 3 decades. I have been recording now since I was 16 years of age.
What was your most embarrassing stage experience?
I think it was when I was performing in a huge club in Michigan and the stage broke . I fell through a hole and the track kept going but I dropped the mic so there were then no vocals and all you could see were my hands so I did keep doing the claps on the 2 & 4.I waited until they turned the track off and I had to climb out of a hole (and you never look good coming out of a hole!!!)-lol!!!
What are your thoughts on the importance social networking? Which ones do you focus on and why?
Good question. I do believe in social networking and also think it allows an artist such as myself to be closer to fans. I do like facebook except that they have gone payolla via the corporate world.
I would never pay them but I see artists doing it and it saddens me. It's like paying a DJ to play your records.
Is there one thing you wish you had differently in your career so far?
Well, we all can look back on the mistakes we have made. I just try to learn from each mistake, like working with the wrong people who cause drama and are not professional. I try and not make those same mistakes again. I have one mantra that I believe in, "do not walk backwards!
How do you feel the fight for human/equal rights is going?
Not well enough! Even though I speak about Brian and I as if we were married, by law we were not.When he died his family was horrific to me.They tried to stop me from attending his funeral and they tried to take everything I owned. THANK GOD I put everything in my name including my music catalog!
What is your idea of being successful?
The fact I’m still signed and working and on the chart's world-wide and this has been my only job now for over 3 decades of my life. I am very, very thankful!
What is your proudest career moment so far?
Winning "Best Male Vocalist of the Year" at the Dance Music Awards in 1990 and having Donna Summer win "Best Female Artist.” I was so very humbled, honored & truly shocked!
Have you always been openly out as a gay artist? If not, when and why did you make the decision to be out?
Oh no, I was not allowed to be gay in the early part of my career. In fact my label sat me down and told me I was not ever to speak about it, never allowed to go to any gay venues without my manager or a woman on my arm. They told me that if I was ever caught dancing in a gay club with my shirt off,that my recording contract would be torn up & my career was over. Truth!
However, I finally made the decision in 2005 to "come out" in my Out Magazine interview & Scene Magazine interviews even though my label at that time, Sony,was against it. It was well planned by my manger and I and I could no longer life and this lie. Thank God my gay fans and even my straight fans actually excepted me more for being honest!
How have you changed as a person in the past 5 years?
So very,very much. Losing my husband instantly to a massive heart attack has rocked my world. It made me see the whole gay world so differently, actually the whole world differently. I feel it has changed and humbled me and I have learned to appreciate everything and everyone and every moment in my life every day. I would not wish this horrific experience on anyone as he was my manager, my best friend, my lover and my soul mate! May he rest in peace!
When I was 16 I thought…
WOW! - I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM ORIGINAL STAR OF THE BROADWAY MUSICAL "AVANTGARDE"- (It really changed my life & opened the door For my whole career!)
The song that changed my life was…
"SOONER OR LATER" Most definitely!!! A Major pop worldwide hit right out of high school.
I still get nervous when…
Every time I release a new record!-LOL
Words I live by are…
"JUST KEEP GOING"!!!
You can never have too many…
People who appreciate your work. I am so grateful for that!
I get my energy from…
The boldest move I ever made was…
I'm still making them even right this minute on RightOutTV!
If I could go back and say one thing to my teenage self, it would be...
Wow-You are one lucky guy & THANK GOD!
One habit I keep trying to break is…
To try and stop being so hard of myself. I am my worst critic.
I’m committed to…
Keep making good music!
I keep dreaming about…
A world where everyone is equal under God's sun!