Prizm News / November 14, 2018 / By Brad Henry
Up-and-coming country artist tells a coming-out story with his latest single.
By Brad Henry
Brandon Stansell is an out country artist who was featured on Billboard’s Queer Necessities playlist in August. Rolling Stone called him “a country artist you need to know.”
Stansell pours his heart and soul out in his new video, “Hometown.” It’s part of his coming-out story in which the Nashville native explores painful memories and conversations with his sister, who was studying law at the time and didn’t view LGBTQ issues as civil rights.
He says he had a harder time with his sister than his parents, whom he views as products of their generation.
Do you mind being referred to as a “gay country artist”?
Being gay is just a part of who I am, albeit one of my favorite parts, so I never mind seeing it in a headline. Having “For You” included in Billboard’s Queer Necessities playlist was such an honor. There is so much good music coming out of the queer community. I was just happy to be one of the many voices.
Country music has made some major pivots and changed over the last 30 years. Who are the country artists who’ve influenced you?
Well, I’ve got a real soft spot for the ladies—insert joke here. I grew up on mostly ’90s female country: Reba, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill. And then when I was in college, I started falling in love with artists like Skeeter Davis, Brenda Lee and Dolly Parton.
And now I’m crazy about this new wave of female singers coming out of Nashville: Kacey Musgraves, Raelynn, Cassadee Pope, Maren Morris, Cam, etc. So it’s not that I don’t love the men—because we all know I do love men—but it’s always been the women of country music who have inspired me and been my greatest influences.
What’s in the future for you and where do you want to take your music and sound?
Extraordinary things can happen when you have a great team, a song you all love and fans that want to hear it!
I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish with the release of “For You,” and we plan to do it all over again with my new single, “Hometown.” The video for this song is both a painful and joyful thing, but I think it has the potential to reach people in a real way that “For You” never could. So stay tuned…
Something no one knows about you…
There is not a “Golden Girls” episode I can’t quote from start to finish. I’ve always considered this to be my true talent. I also apparently repeat punchlines to jokes three times—and laugh at them every time.
Favorite way to relax and unwind…
I think most of my friends would tell you: I sleep. When my body knows it’s time to wind down, it basically shuts down. You might be able to coax me out of bed with a bottle of bourbon or a glass of wine, but that’s about it.
One person you could spend one hour with and what would you do…
I would love to spend an hour with Brandi Carlile! I have worn out every record she has ever released. Some songs I have often guessed at her motivation for writing them, but I would love be able to actually know exactly what has inspired some of my favorites.
The one person you could record a duet with and why…
Dolly Parton! I always say Dolly is a star’s star! I think she is a master class in songwriting and performing, but more importantly, I think she has a caring and empathetic sprit about her. Everyone loves her and she loves them right back double. And for someone who is different, someone like me, that means a lot. It’s no wonder why she is someone everyone aspires to work with and emulate.
The one song you have always wanted to cover…
“What A Heartache” by Dolly Parton