Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Mykal Kilgore: Out singer on NAACP award nod, $2 wine and Billy Porter
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-02-19

This article shared 2815 times since Wed Feb 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Mykal Kilgore definitely marches to the beat of his drum.

The singer certainly possesses talent ( as witnessed by his current NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist, which pits him against Ari Lennox, Mahalia, Lucky Daye and a little-known man named Lil Nas X ), but also airs his opinion about a variety of topics.

His debut album is entitled A Man Born Black. Windy City Times recently spoke with Kilgore on the phone.

Windy City Times: So how does it feel to be an NAACP Image Award nominee?

Mykal Kilgore: It still hasn't sunk in yet. I think once I start my award-show diet, it'll sink in. It'll be a whole lot of hoping, dreaming, water and salads—and more praying and hoping. [Interviewer laughs.]

As for my attire, I don't have anything picked out yet.

WCT: So how did you find out?

MK: [Funnily] enough, I was in therapy when the nominations were announced. My phone kept going off and my therapist let me answer it; it was my manager, who said "Congratulations!" My therapist said I could talk more but I said, "I'm in session." For the rest of the session, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat.

I'm really honored to be in what I call the 2020 freshman class of [these] awards.

WCT: Why is the album titled A Man Born Black?

MK: The title is about what you conceive about me from a distance. Across the room, across the street what you see is a man born Black. If you want to know more, you have to come closer and be more interested in who I am. It's just me, and I want you to come closer to know more about me.

WCT: By the way, where did you have "$2 Trader Joe wine?" [Note: These are lyrics in one of the songs on the album.]

MK: It's what we called two-buck chuck back in my day; now, it's may be $2.99. It was the go-to wine for sangria or almost anything else. I'm ready for Trader Joe's to cut that check and give me a phone call. [Interviewer laughs.] They need to roll that price back and give us that two-buck chuck we're missing.

WCT: That's okay—I don't want to go back to that.

MK: You can, you can! I believe in you. [Interviewer laughs.]

WCT: I believe in me, too; that's why I'm not going back to it. But let's move on to the song "For Zimmerman." What's the message of that song?

MK: I'm from Orlando, and that's close to Sanford, where Trayvon Martin was murdered. When that happened, it was extremely impactful to me; it was heartbreaking and it felt like it happened in my backyard.

I kept trying to write a song about Trayvon Martin, but I couldn't write anything—and I thought there was another way around it. Truly, my feeling was anger about what happened to him. So I wrote the song about George Zimmerman and the George Zimmermans of the world—people who don't see humans, but the stereotypes instead. Trayvon was just a boy in the rain who wore a hoodie.

WCT: And there's a take on the national anthem in the song as well, right?

MK: Yes, there is. That's the bridge, and that's the one that's about all of us. Do we act when we hear the screams of people who need us—or do we just shake our heads and say, "I'm so glad it's not me?" But what do we do next time?

WCT: Switching gears a bit, you have a connection to Billy Porter.

MK: Yes. He is my mentor; in my phone, I have him as "Billy Porter, personal hero, musical icon and everything wizard."

WCT: I remember him from the 2000 movie The Broken Hearts Club. He's not an overnight success.

MK: Right. I remember hearing him in the Broadway musical Grease. I remembering staying up too late and saying, "Who is this man with the orange hair [singing "Beauty School Dropout"]?" Later, he released the album At the Corner of Broadway and Soul, and it was, like, all the things I [happened to be] was wrapped up in his singing. From that moment on, I wanted to be him.

One day I went to an audition for a show called Five Guys Named Moe, and he was directing it. I sang, and he started laughing and cursed me out, saying "You should ALWAYS sing like that, you [bleep-bleep-bleep]. Mykal, you need to move to New York." He was the push that started my career; a month later, I was on Broadway, in Hair. I owe him a great deal. We still talk quite often.

WCT: People think the entertainment industry is very liberal and welcoming, especially for LGBTQ individuals. Have you found that to be the case?

MK: I found that it's open when it serves itself. There are places where it makes sense to put a gay face or a Black face to meet quota, at times.

I want to go where love is—I don't want to be tolerated, but appreciated. In this industry, there's the attitude of "We're going to tolerate it because it's bankable." That's why the Image Award nomination means so much; it's about my community celebrating my community. I'm doing music for the world, but it's through being Black, gay and American as well as my experiences that color all of that.

But this business is a business first. The bottom dollar is what it often boils down to, so I put stock in myself now. Protect your joy, at all costs. As much as I love what I do, this business doesn't have a heart, mind or soul. I hope that, one day, this industry will truly reflect the world we live in.

I sometimes struggle with the success I have. I hope to have a really long career, but I think about those before me who wanted to live out loud, and the industry wouldn't allow them to.

WCT: I do want to end this on a more upbeat note. If you could collaborate with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

MK: That's really, really good. I think the first person who comes to mind is fellow nominee Lucky Daye. I think he's so spectacular and unique. [Note: At this point, the phone connection suddenly ended.]

WCT: [After being reconnected] So, you were telling me how you wanted to collaborate with Justin Bieber on "Yummy, Part 2."

MK: You absolutely did not hear that! [Interviewer laughs.] But, going back to what I was saying, I do think Lucky Daye has a great brain.

Another singer I'd like to work with is [gospel singer] Tamala Mann. She has a Stradivarius of a voice; she's just perfect.

My wild card is Kacey Musgraves. She's a writer par excellence and her presentation is spectacular. I love her singing and storytelling—and I'm a firm believer in the reclamation of Black people singing country. There were people like Charley Pride, and I'd love to do a tribute to him.

Kilgore's website is MykalKilgore.com . The 51st NAACP Image Awards will air Saturday, Feb. 22, on BET Networks.


This article shared 2815 times since Wed Feb 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Bette Midler, Macy Gray caught in anti-trans controversies 2022-07-06
- Bette Midler explained her controversial tweet about what women are being called and insisted there was nothing "transphobic" about comments she initially made, according to Newsweek. Midler initially caused a huge reaction online when she suggested ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, NFL player, gay country singer, 'Bliss,' MGK 2022-07-03
- LGBTQ+ teen sensation JoJo Siwa will guest-star in the third season of Disney+'s hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Out Magazine noted. She will play Madison, a Camp Shallow Lake alum. Also, Corbin ...


Gay News

Ricky Martin at center of $3M lawsuit 2022-06-30
- Superstar singer/actor Ricky Martin has been sued by his former talent manager, Rebecca Drucker, Deadline reported. Drucker was Martin's manager during 2014-18 and 2020-22. The complaint, filed June 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks in ...


Gay News

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years 2022-06-30
- On June 29, Chicago-born R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, The Chicago Tribune reported. The sentence marked a fall from grace after decades of sexual-misconduct ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'All Day I Dream' festival Aug. 6 in Chicago 2022-06-29
- All Day I Dream of Chicago Shimmer—part of the global touring festival All Day I Dream (ADID)—will take place on 31st Street Beach on Saturday, Aug. 6. After 10 years of producing hundreds of iconic day ...


Gay News

MUSIC Taylor Bennett announces free July 22 show at Lincoln Hall 2022-06-29
- Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett—whose year has included teaming with Champion Athletics for a clothing line and tour; dropping his new project, Coming of Age; and much more—announced his free homecoming show on Friday, July 22, at ...


Gay News

Pride in the Park pumps up the volume in 2022 2022-06-27
- From East Monroe Street to East Jackson Drive, Pride in the Park covered just the right amount of territory in the Grant Park area in downtown Chicago on June 25 and 26. Butler Field was overrun ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash attendees party during Pride weekend in Chicago 2022-06-27
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash took place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson 2022-06-26
- A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez 2022-06-26
- Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

Lynda Carter releases new single, 'Human and Divine' 2022-06-23
- Many people are familiar with actress Gal Gadot as superhero Wonder Woman. However, decades before, Lynda Carter wore the bracelets and wielded the golden lasso as the Amazon princess who set many hearts (of men and ...


Gay News

Back Lot Bash taking place June 25-26 2022-06-22
- The inclusive music fest known as the Back Lot Bash will take place June 25-26 at 5238 N. Clark St., in Andersonville. Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women's events and the limited presence of ...


Gay News

The Andersonville Village Market returns for summer 2022 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (June 21, 2022) The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome back its 2nd annual Andersonville Vintage Market, featuring antiques, home décor, jewelry, accessories, clothing, music and ...


Gay News

Chicago Philharmonic launches 2022-23 season 2022-06-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - (June 20, 2022) Chicago Philharmonic has announced its 2022-23 symphonic season on the heels of a 2021-22 season that ended with the sold-out Chicago Premiere of Marvel Studios' Black Panther in Concert. The ...


Gay News

Chicago Pride Fest adds new features to the outdoor celebration 2022-06-20
- The Chicago Pride Fest outdoor celebration returned June 18-19, as local Pride events lead up to the parade on Sunday, June 26. The festival featured music on three stages and more than 150 vendors running down ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.