Billy Porter: ‘Singing was my superpower. Singing was my weapon. Singing was my saviour’

Billy Porter joins the latest episode of PROUD Radio with MNEK on Apple Music Hits to discuss his new music, forthcoming film project and more. During the conversation, he reflects on working with MNEK and their collaborative process, and shares the importance of his new song ‘I’m Not Ashamed Anymore’, written in response to his decision to speak publicly about his HIV status. He also reflects on the background to his single ‘Children’, discusses his role in Pose and teases details of his upcoming project Anything Is Possible. Plus, MNEK plays tracks from Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, Summer Walker, Truth Hurts and Lucy Pearl.

Billy Porter On Writing ‘I’m Not Ashamed Anymore’ With MNEK…
My manager had been setting up writing sessions for me with a bunch of different writers here in America and over in the UK with you guys. And for whatever reason, he knew that we would be connected. And so I came over, we wrote another song that’s on the upcoming album called ‘I’m Not Ashamed Anymore’, which I just fell in love with and we did that in the moment together. And that also came from, you know, it was like, I came over I think in April and I knew that on May 19th, 2021, I was coming out to the world as HIV positive. And I wanted to talk about it. And so we wrote this piece and it was so great and it’s such a beautiful song. And then I came back to America and like a week later you sent me the second one.

Billy Porter On His Single ‘Children’ And His Negative Experiences With The Music Industry…
And I just, the back of my head blew off (when I read the lyrics to ‘Children’) because I’ve been doing this a long time. Singing was my superpower. Singing was my weapon. Singing was my saviour. Singing got me out of my circumstance. Singing saved my life. And the only time that my singing voice, ironically, the only time my singing voice didn’t work for me was in the music business. It’s the only time that my singing voice did not work for me and my journey in the music business has been very tumultuous. And a lot of that is based on back in 1995, through 4 through ‘97, my first R&B offering came out in ‘97. Nobody would listen to me. The space was very homophobic. Everybody was trying to make me straight and an R&B crooner and I’m not an R&B crooner. I can, but that’s not who I am at the core. And so when I heard the song, I was like, this project in general but that song specifically in that moment, it was like, this is the music that I have been wanting to make for 30 years. This is the song. This is the music. This is me. It’s like, it was spilling out of my own mouth. And it was. It was. And you guys captured everything that I wanted to say.

Billy Porter On Playing Pray Tell In Pose And His New Feature Film Anything’s Possible…
I think about it all the time, how blessed I am to have been given the opportunity to play Pray Tell. And now those doors have been opened and now we get to be the leaders of making sure that our stories continue to be told. That’s what’s next. And the movie that I just directed, it’s called Anything’s Possible, and it follows a black trans girl in high school. It’s a coming of age rom-com, romantic comedy, about a black trans girl. And it’s about trans joy, it’s about trans hope. It’s major. And I’m really, really excited about it.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter