A young musician from Brighton has made a thought-provoking music video to show that gay love songs can be just as powerful as straight songs.
Simon Walton (24) is a singer-songwriter who, like many others, draws on his own experiences to write love songs. The difference is, Simon is also gay. As a teenager, Simon felt confused about coming out and today he feels homosexuality is often under or misrepresented in the media and music industries, even though many of the most prominent members are (sometimes secretly) gay.
Simon wants to see more focus on loving and romantic gay relationships so they can be as normalised and accepted as heterosexual relationships.
When he was younger Simon says he was given confusing mixed messages about homosexuality, and he fears this is still the case for young people thinking about coming out. One of Simon’s biggest problems is that, even when a musical artist is gay, they often sing lyrics as though they are in a heterosexual relationship, presumably because it is thought that gay relationships are less marketable.
Simon sings and produces his own music with lyrics about loving gay relationships. The video track is called What About You? and features lyrics from the perspective of someone experiencing heartbreak in a gay relationship.
Simon says there is serious message to get across: He says:
“I hope this will show young people that are coming out that you can be who you want to be in life, you don’t have to hide who you are in order to be successful.”
Simon tell us more about his video ‘What About You?’
This video is part of my campaign to challenge perceptions of gay relationships in music. I have been working with the charity organisation ITV Fixers to document my project.
I am an avid fan of mainstream pop music and follow the songs that are currently in the charts. However, I feel that there are very few openly gay musicians in the mainstream who truthfully sing about their relationships.
It would seem that gay relationships are still considered ‘taboo’ and discussing them may even jeopardise an artist’s record sales and popularity.
If we live in a more accepting and tolerant society- should this taboo still be apparent in the mainstream music industry?
I wanted to address this in my Fixers project, thus I recorded a song about another male (which is made clear by using the word ‘boy’ in the bridge section). I didn’t want to over emphasise or dramatise that I was singing about a gay relationship, I just wanted it to be honest, the same way if a female were singing it about a male.
The concept for my video was to reflect the lyrics of the song ‘WBU?’. This song is about my troubled relationship with my boyfriend. The first few scenes show this frustration and anguish. We used a perspex screen between us to represent a barrier of communication, again reflecting the lyrics of the song.
Watch the video
Watch Simon’s journey
Visit SIMON WALTON WEBSITE for more info.