Bronx native Sir Ari Gold does not mince words on the title of his sixth CD, Play My F**kn Remix, out June 4.
As one of the few pop singers who was out in his music from the start of his career, Gold is still breaking ground. He bares it all in the 3-D teaser video for the first single "Play My F**kn Recordno small feat for this Billboard top 10 recording artist, who received a Visionary Award from the LGBT Recording Academy (LARA) at the OUTMusic Awards in 2012.
Windy City Times: Was the title of your upcoming CD Play My F**kn Remix inspired by the line in the Jennifer Lopez song "Play," where she yells "Play my mutherf**kn song!"
Sir Ari Gold: Not at all. Play My F**kn Remix is the name of the album, but the single is "Play My F**kn Record." It's a calling card and positive song. From what I've seen, there is a growing acceptance of LGBT people and, even in music ,we finally have a lot more openly gay artists out there. So they are playing our f**kn records.
WCT: Is there enough acceptance?
Sir Ari Gold: Not really. Even though we have some people that came from American Idol and have had that platform, there is still a dearth of openly gay artists and certainly gay content in pop music and on the radio.
We've seen for quite some time now characters on TV and we've seen gay films in the theater. When I came out with my first self-titled album in 2000, there was really nobody on the pop-music scene that was singing about being gay. I just recently came to the realization that there was a 20-year gap between the time that artists like George Michael, Elton John, Boy George and Melissa Etheridge all came out after they were big superstars. In my eyes, they paved the way for an artist like myself to be openly gay from the beginning of my career. So when people in the music industry told me that I should be in the closet and then come out, I felt that that was disrespectful to the work that these superstars had done in order to pave the way. So I thought that I could be openly gay from the beginning of my career and singing about it in my music.
WCT: Why do you think that so many artists don't come out?
Sir Ari Gold: Maybe because there is still a lot we're fighting for in terms of visibility and our civil liberties. The music industry has been going through change and turmoil and people have been very scared about taking any kind of risks. I think one of the biggest reasons is probably because of AIDS. Right after all those superstars came out, instead of that propelling us into positive change, it kind of scared everybody back into the closet. and we also lost a good amount of allies or role models.
WCT: Last December you posted a teaser 3-D video on YouTube for Play My F**kn Remix where you run through the streets naked, holding a sign over your private parts. Whose idea was it?
Sir Ari Gold: All mine. [Both laugh.]
WCT: Were you nervous about doing that?
Sir Ari Gold: I didn't know what all the laws were and I found out afterwards and I'm just grateful that I wasn't arrested. I'm happy that I didn't know all the rules because I thought that I was being fairly cautious. But I wasn't scared and it was quite liberating.
WCT: Tell me about growing up as a gay orthodox Jewish kid.
Sir Ari Gold: I was definitely made fun of in class throughout my childhood, maybe in part because I liked Wonder Woman and I twirled around in class. There were even some moments when I felt that I was not accepted by teachers. I was certainly well-liked by the girls, and the boys had a hard time with that.
WCT: Can you give us a hint of which songs are going to be on the new remix CD?
Sir Ari Gold: It's sort of a mixture between some of my personal favorite music tunes that I've had over the years and tunes that I never had a chance to release for one reason or another. I have an entirely new version of "Wave of You," where we re-recorded the vocals.Then there's two brand new songs as well. It's really kind of a music retrospective and I like the idea of that because it pays respect to the past with an ear to the future.
WCT: You were nude in the video for the song "My Favorite Religion." Were you ever asked to compromise your artistic vision?
Sir Ari Gold: Some of my videos are nothing that you don't see on prime-time network TV. We have submitted videos to programs that did not pick them up because of the gay content. They may not say so outright but they would say that it's "not mainstream enough." But I'm sure that when it comes down to it, they were uncomfortable about the gay content.
WCT: Music producer Clive Davis recently came out as bisexual. Where do you stand on the idea that people are either straight or gay?
Sir Ari Gold: It's anybody's right to claim what sexuality they have for themselves. If someone is being a hypocrite and saying that they are against one thing and doing another, that's a different story. But we should all be allowed to define our own personal sexuality.
WCT: You are also a DJ. What is the appeal of DJing?
Sir Ari Gold: I love to be able to play the music that I love and that inspires me, including playing my own music. That way I don't have to worry about the DJ playing my f**kn record!
Sir Ari Gold's new CD Play My F**kn Remix is out June 4. To find out more about Gold, visit www.arigold.com .