One of our favorite Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members, Miss Lawrence, is now officially a singer, with his first single “Closet Freak” available on iTunes today via Kandi’s imprint Kandi Koated Entertainment.
We caught up with Lawrence to talk about his music background and the message he wants to give the world through his music today.
While we’ve seen a couple of attention-whoring Bravo Housewives use the show to jump off a “music career,” Lawrence is the real deal.
On his musical background:
I’ve always had a gift of song. I’ve been singing since I was little, and I started singing professionally between [the ages of] 12 and 13. But it was very much Gospel, very much message music, inspirational ballads and stuff like that. I’ve performed with some elite orchestras and I’ve traveled all over Europe and everything. At the same time, I had a strong interest in the beauty industry.
By the time I was 18, I took a break from singing because I knew I had a great voice, but I didn’t know what my calling was. I pretty much found who I was in the beauty industry. And that’s where I adapted the whole “Miss Lawrence” persona.
On singing Gospel music as an openly gay artist:
I think message music and Gospel music touches home for everybody. It’s about what you feel on the inside. I still am very close to Gospel music. I sing a Gospel song pretty much every morning when I wake up. Me singing Gospel music, or any artist singing Gospel music that is gay, I would hope that no one would worry about what the world thinks about them. That’s something that’s personal, for me anyway.
Not only did Miss Lawrence have success in music and a proven talent long before he joined the Real Housewives Of Atlanta cast three years ago, he had no idea that being on the show would lead to his return to the music business.
I was not thinking about it. This whole opportunity is still surreal for me. I didn’t think about it until me and Kandi talked about the potential project.
The two singers, both graduates of Atlanta’s Tri-Cities Performing Arts High School, thought that it would be an interesting undertaking for an openly gay artist to create music geared towards mainstream audiences. And they have done so in such a way that Lawrence hopes will take the focus of off his sexuality and place it on the quality of music.
I don’t know if audiences are ready for [an openly gay artist]; I would hope so. I just hope that they’re ready to receive what the song is talking about. And I hope they’re ready for change. The song hits home in a lot of areas: I think it hits that wife whose husband mistreats her in the streets; it hits that gay individual that may have a friend that’s only their friend at home; or that young teenage girl that has a best friend that mistreats or betrays her at school. I hope that people will grasp that and stop focusing on the fact that I’m an openly gay artist. That’s not necessarily the message. The message is more so, “I am confident, I’m free, I believe in freedom of self expression. As opposed to “I’m gay and I’m gonna do a song.”
Miss Lawrence does plan on releasing a full-length album, but he has been focusing solely on “Closet Freak.” “Being that this is my first single, we wanted to make sure that it was up to my standards and the world’s standards,” he explains to Bossip. “So we put all of our attention into that before moving on to the album.”
The sound on the album will be almost a resurgence of Disco, back to the days when dance music was driven by vocalists. Miss Lawrence plans on combining his love of club music with vocal influences including Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Donna Summers. His music also carries a message.
You only have one life to live. Don’t be in the closet in anything that you do. Whatever you do, let your light shine. I don’t care what it is, whatever situation you’re in, you take the best of that moment and put it out there. Don’t let anybody mistreat you. Don’t deny who you are for somebody else. Just live. Cuz you only get one chance at it.
He is currently gearing up for a promo tour of the East Coast and Southeast, as well as the release of his first line of beauty products. Miss Lawrence also has a few other media projects brewing that he keeping under wraps for the moment.
If you missed his live performance of “Closet Freak” on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” last Sunday, you can see a pre-recorded performance as part of the Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 3 Finale, which airs this Sunday at 10pm EST.