I believe that music touches the heart and soul. Music inspires creativity and broadens our minds so that we can be great people. Music derives from a Greek word “Mousike” which means “art of the muses” so it’s no wonder why it gives us inspiration. Music has always been a part of my life. When I was a teenager I listened to music all day long to drown out the real world, I guess that is where my creativity came from.
Every year before Spring begins, I seek out new music to add to my mp3 player so that I can listen to something that will get me through my 2 1/2 hour bike rides. Today I got to listen to an openly-gay country/folk singer named Justin Utley. He is a New York City based singer-songwriter and he released his first full-length studio album in 6 years entitled “Nothing This Real’ on November 11th. I really enjoyed listening to his album because I love his voice and his singing style. He isn’t bad to look at either.
I don’t know what it is about his music but it’s soothing to listen to. Every song tells a story and every song I listened to I was able to relate to in one way or another. I guess that is why I know I’m going to love listening to him. I believe that he has a true “It Gets Better” story. I found this information about him.
“An Ex-Mormon raised near Salt Lake City, Utah, Utley is perhaps the only openly gay performing artist to have survived ex-gay therapy, a practice that he vocally opposes. His experience coming to terms with his sexuality and religion have emerged as strong themes in his songwriting and on-stage storytelling.
“I’ve been asked if I could take any of it back, you know, what I’ve experienced. I wouldn’t,” says Utley. “Its part of me, my story, and its been a hell of a journey. And I’m here to share that.”
I was a member of the Mormon church when I was a baby and again when I was a teenager. I wasn’t as involved in the church as he was, but I believe that if we were more involved I probably would have been.
This is actually something that I have come to terms with in my life as well. I wouldn’t take any of it back because it is what made me who I am today. Intolerance towards me instilled my ability to be more tolerant towards others. I was taught hate, but it ended up teaching me the opposite. It seems like he has the same attitude. It made him a strong person and that is what I like about him. When you know an artists story, it makes you connect with them on a deeper level.
“Released in 2005, Utley’s first album Runaway received critical acclaim from audiences and critics in the LGBT community and created a dedicated online following.
“The lead single has been announced as Great Escape and was premiered by New York publication Next Magazine on their website on November 1st. It debuted on Sirius-XM’s OutQ radio channel following Utley’s interview with the Six Pack show on November 2nd. A music video for the single is scheduled for production in early 2012.”
It is too bad that I didn’t know about him back in 2005, but I’m glad to know him now. Better late than never eh?
His single “Stand for Something” won the 2011 award for Outstanding Country/Folk song of the year by the LGBT Academy of recording arts. That’s something to be proud of. He has also acted; he played the lead role of Tommy Dautry in the New York musical “Our Country” which I also didn’t know since I live in Bakersfield. He also won best actor at the Planet Connections theater festival in 2010. That is something to really be proud of.
His latest album was released on 11/11/11 and is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon as well as his website and Facebook.
For more information including booking and interview requests, contact Dan Maierle – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Utley is someone who I am going to be paying serious attention to. I will definitely be buying his music to add to my mp3 player.
‘Meet Justin Utley’ EPK Video: