Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



MUSIC Donyae Asante talks career choices, sex positivity
By Joshua Irvine

This article shared 2775 times since Wed Jul 24, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

A few years back, a high school kid named Donyae Lewis portrayed Sonny in a production of In the Heights, at Governors State University. Lewis had started writing songs and poems that year to "get through life" as he approached the end of his senior year and prepared to enroll at DePaul University.

Recently, Donyae Asante strutted in front of a small Edgewater theater crowd, clad in a leopard-print rainbow onesie and a glitter-covered eyepatch, and crooned about sleeping with older men.

There have been some transformative years for the singer-songwriter, who dropped the single "Business Casual" in June and "Clapback" in early July. The former is an explicit ode to casual hookups, and Asante promised that ( and more ) with a forthcoming album out as soon as the end of the year.

Asante is unapologetic about the emphasis his songs place on sex. "Being sex-positive is knowing your worth, knowing yourself," he told Windy City Times. "As long as you're safe, as long as you're healthy, be a badass."

Asante wasn't always a voice of sexual freedom, but he always had a voice. Growing up in a "gospel home" where his grandma and uncle were regulars in a church choir, Asante started singing at age 5. He got involved in musical theater in the seventh grade, which usurped choir after he dropped the activity his freshman year of high school. At one point he performed with a group at Taste of Chicago, singing about math.

As a freshman at DePaul, he called himself "Yae" and sang covers at a weekly student showcase. He wasn't yet comfortable performing his own songs and would tell people he was bisexual.

"It wasn't necessarily that I was lying," Asante said. "I just didn't have the vocabulary."

He came out as gay by the end of his freshman year and started posting his music on SoundCloud and Bandcamp, using his middle name for his music persona ( "Donyae Lewis sounds like a CEO. Donyae Asante sounds like an artist" ). An early track, "Be Yourz," put Asante's sexuality front and center, with a music video showing him in bed with another man and interspersed with footage shot at PrideFest and on Hollywood Beach.

Asante tiptoed around the idea of an album but initially struggled to find a producer with whom he was comfortable. Post-graduation, he worked as a freelance writer for Gay Pop Buzz and then for South Florida Gay News, but it didn't stick.

"I'm all about healing and about connecting to people beyond words," Asante said, adding he didn't feel he could do that through journalism. Ultimately, he returned to DePaul for a master's in school counseling and mental-health counseling.

He had, however, found a producer: Thomas Fagan, known professionally as Linus, who helped release Asante's eponymous debut, Donyae Asante, earlier this year. Linus said Asante would come into the studio without written notes and would describe the song to Linus, who then composed instrumentals that Asante wrote over.

That debut ultimately took four years to produce and went through four titles. Asante felt he sat on the album for too long, but that he had to experience life in order to write the album.

"I was reintroducing the world to who I am," Asante said. "[Ages] 1 through 17 [weren't] me—I [identified as] straight then, so clearly that wasn't me."

Asante said his new album, Flaws and All, focuses past the "lovey-dovey" material of the debut. Slated songs include a tribute to a romantic partner who committed suicide and a track entitled "HIV." ( Asante, who is dismissive of criticism, also plans to attack gay panic on a future track. )

Asante emphasized that he's interested in more than the shock value of his material, and says he wants to offer a message of support to young gay men—specifically young gay Black men—like him and to put his master's degree to work through music therapy. He also spoke about a mission of combatting homophobia in hip-hop in an interview and during his performance in Edgewater.

"Being gay means so much more than breakups and makeups," Asante said. "My lyricism and my story are gonna show people that I'm not doing it for 'sex sales.'"

Explicit sex will remain central to Asante's work, however; he cited outspoken Chicago rapper CupcakKe as one his latest influences, and a lyrical sample of an unreleased track invokes voyeurism in graphic terms ( "sit back and watch while my man makes me cum" ).

"If gay people having sex in their private homes, in their houses, makes people so nervous, how about I just put that on display and make you more nervous?" he asked. "We're not going anywhere, we're going to continue to have sex [and] we're going to continue to love ourselves in a world that does not love us."

This article shared 2775 times since Wed Jul 24, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...

Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...

Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...

Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...

Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya 2021-09-12
- Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...

Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend 2021-09-11
- Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...

Gay News

MUSIC 'Global Citizen Live' to run Sept. 25-26 2021-09-09
- International advocacy organization Global Citizen announced the expansion of "Global Citizen Live" to include Los Angeles and London with an outdoor event in L.A., which is presented by Verizon, and headlined by Stevie Wonder with Adam ...

Gay News

'Close-Up with Carmen' Sept. 9 at Center on Halsted 2021-09-08
- 'Close-Up with Carmen'—about the intersection of drag and opera—will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. During this event, participants will discuss cross-dressi ...

Gay News

Britney Spears' dad petitions to end conservatorship 2021-09-08
- In a huge win for pop star Britney Spears, her father and the conservator of her estate, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end the arrangement on Sept. 7, media outlets reported. Jamie cited his daughter's ...

Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event 2021-09-05
- "Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...

Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag 2021-09-05
- On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers 2021-09-05
- American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...

Gay News

Lil Nas X receives inaugural Trevor Project award 2021-09-05
- The Trevor Project announced that "Old Town Road" rapper Lil Was X was the recipient of its inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award. On its website, the organization stated, " Lil Nas X has ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.