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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Matt Zarley: Change begins with him
MUSIC Extended for the online edition of Windy City Times
by Joe Franco
2012-02-08

This article shared 3492 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Matt Zarley released his first album, Debut, in 2002, the same year People Magazine named him the first openly gay "Hottest Bachelor." Since then he's had numerous albums, appearances and is still going strong. In late 2011, he released his latest album, Change Begins With Me, featuring one of Billboard Magazine's top new dance singles, "WTF." Windy City Times spoke with Zarley on his work, life and loves.

Windy City Times: Your first album, Debut, received much critical success. You now have Change Begins With Me under your belt. How do these albums differ and what influences have led to your own evolution as a singer and songwriter during the last decade?

Matt Zarley: This recent album was cathartic. A bulk of the project was written after a bad break-up of a long-term relationship. I had to learn to come to terms with what had happened. This was a lot more personal than my older material. I knew what I wanted to say but didn't have an overall view of the end product. Being an independent artist is expensive. I needed an album with a long shelf life so I have lots of remixes of the songs on that album already released and coming up.

WCT: Whom did you work with on the remixes?

Matt Zarley: I was extremely honored to have Moto Blanco work with me on "WTF." I also have a great artist, Cahill, doing some remixes. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be working with such great artists in their own right.

WCT: Now, "WTF" is based on a whirlwind romance that you had with someone described as a "famous Hollywood actor." Why the reluctance to divulge his identity? Has the song generated any word from him since your break-up?

Matt Zarley: Well, it was a whirlwind romance, like you said. Ten years ago I might have been more about making sure everyone knew whom that song was about, but I'm not about that. I wrote a song, got it out of my system and that was that.

It's funny that there is all of this buzz surrounding who it's about. I only off-handedly mentioned that he was an actor in an interview and it's grown to be this tremendous story. He's an "out" actor but people really caught on to the "famous Hollywood actor" angle.

We have talked since then and have made up. It's been superficial. I'm sure he's heard the song but I'm not sure he knows it's supposed to be about him.

WCT: When did you come out? Did you find it difficult? Why did you decide to come out when so many others on Broadway or in Hollywood or the recording industry still remain silent on their sexuality?

Matt Zarley: I came out when I was 21 and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I felt freer. My dad took it a lot better than my mom did. I think she had this vision for what she wanted my life to be and it was just more difficult for her. My dad just took my hand and said, "I know." I'm still very close with both of my parents.

It's so important to be yourself. Hopefully, that will make things easier in the long run. When I first started recording music and Debut came out, People magazine really wanted an openly gay guy to feature in their "Hottest Bachelors" issue. My sexuality was not something I had intended to push, but there you have it.

As far as the recording industry goes, Billy Porter was quoted as saying, "Matt Zarley is a do-it-yourself bitch." Personally, is it more difficult for an out gay man? I don't know. The major labels might ask, "How do we cover this up?" But I really don't know.

WCT: Your website, your press releases and a number of your interviews are focused on your personal appearance. Do you find that the focus on your body and your looks undermines your music?

Matt Zarley: Believe it or not, I have always had body issues. I started work as a dancer. I'm built like a football player. I don't look like a dancer. If I had to pick whether people remembered me for my music or my looks, I'd rather they respond to the music. The physical focus is so prevalent—not just for gay men but for everyone! It's exhausting! Unfortunately the gay community can sometimes be unforgiving or not as accepting when it comes to personal appearance.

I'm not a gym rat. I also do not want people looking at me and thinking, "God, he's a slob." It's much harder when you get older to keep that up. I just wish people could see past all of that.

WCT: Well, you look really put together in all your publicity photos. Who handles your look and your wardrobe?

Matt Zarley: I don't think I got that gay gene when it comes to clothing. I'm great when it comes to putting money into things for my home but not so much when it comes to what I'm going to wear. I think I drive my publicist, Michael Caprio crazy. I always seem to ask a day before a shoot, "What am I going to wear?" I worked as a dancer in New York City for years; there was no schedule for what you had to wear. Unless it was a costume, you just did your own thing.

WCT: Do you have any significant artistic influences that inform on your music? Is there anyone you've worked with who really "wowed" you?

Matt Zarley: Oh, of course! Babyface for one. I'm a bit obsessed. Also I am really obsessed with Whitney Houston. I used to study her vocals back in her heyday and she's been a big influence on my sound. I did get the opportunity to work with Chaka Khan and I can tell you she is probably the greatest musician I have ever worked with.

WCT: Is there anything you'd like to say to your Chicago fans?

Matt Zarley: Yes! Request me for Market Days! The audience there is so amazing.Also, get out there and support one another. The more we can help gain visibility for each other, the more out artists we'll have. This really stretches out into more than just music too. This could help all of our voices.

For more information on Matt Zarley and to see his upcoming appearances and hear his music, visit www.mattzarley.com .


This article shared 3492 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bros,' awards, Bjork, video-game love story, 'White Lotus' 2022-12-04
- The gay rom-com film Bros started streaming on Peacock on Dec. 2, Out noted. Written by Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller (and directed by the latter), Bros was produced by Judd Apatow and starred Eichner along with an all-LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae 2022-11-27
- Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...


Gay News

MUSIC: Sophie B. Hawkins talks LGBTQ+ youth and living an authentic life 2022-11-24
- In the '90s, singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins made quite an impression on people with the entrancing song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and its accompanying video. She also had hits such as "Right Beside You" ...


Gay News

WORLD Brazilian musician, top LGBTQ+ cruises, Elon Musk, anti-trans attack 2022-11-20
- Brazilian musician Pedro Sampaio revealed that he dates men and women, Out noted. Sampaio has 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, more than 5 million followers on Instagram and several music videos with more than 50 ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser 2022-11-20
- Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Everyone counts their eggs before they're hatched, and other dish to start the week 2022-11-14
- "I'm Not Defending us.Haters are Gonna Hate...Doesn' Matter That we're Happy & Not Bothering Anyone" —Cher tweets her response to criticism of her relationship with music producer Alexander Edwards—who is less than half her age. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans 2022-11-13
- Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner 2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Singer Aaron Carter dies at 34 2022-11-05
- Singer Aaron Carter—the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter—has died after apparently drowning at his L.A. home at age 34, according to media reports. TMZ originally reported the news. The outlet said that he was ...


Gay News

Openly gay country performer Patrick Haggerty passes away 2022-11-04
- Patrick Haggerty was the first of his kind. Long before Ty Herndon, Paisley Fields, Brandi Carlile, Orville Peck, Andrew Sa, or Trixie Mattel, Haggerty recorded what is widely cited as the first gay Country music album ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...


Gay News

Dave Koz's annual Christmas concert on Dec. 8 at The Chicago Theatre 2022-10-29
- Out gay saxophonist Dave Koz has released his eighth Christmas CD, Christmas Ballads, and will perform at the Chicago Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 8, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas ...


Gay News

'Too Hot to Handel' taking place Dec. 3-4 2022-10-29
- The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., welcomes back "Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah" for its 18th presentation. This year, for the first time, the popular jazz-gospel-rock-funk version of G.F. Handel's traditional ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Michigan bill, trans woman killed, school musical, Alabama drag queen 2022-10-23
- Michigan House Republicans recently introduced legislation that could have the potential to throw parents and doctors in prison for life for offering gender-affirming care to children under the age of 18, MLive.com reported. Under House Bill ...


 




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.