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Hot American boyband Brockhampton have given an exciting interview in ShortList. In it, they talk about diversity, the message behind their music, and what sets them apart from other bands.
The six-piece comprises four lead vocalists – Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Merlyn Wood and Dom McLennon – and vocalists/producers Russell ‘Joba’ Boring and Ciaran Ruaridh ‘Bearface’ McDonald. They speak candidly in this refreshing interview.
On expressing himself and normalising sexuality, Kevin Abstract says, ‘I’d see negative comments and forget [being gay] was a big deal to some people, that some people hadn’t heard it before [he says]. My goal is just to normalise it. Straight rappers talk about their sexual relationships without warning me. And they are more explicit and violent. I have to express myself and who I am.’
On wanting to be an icon to inspire fans, he also said, ‘I don’t want to be a queer icon, [he says]. I want to be an icon. In order to make a change, I have to exist in a traditionally homophobic space such as hip-hop. If I were to just be this queer rapper, who only spoke to queer kids… I don’t think I could as effectively make a change for another young, black queer kid growing up in Texas. Brockhampton’s music, [he says], is for all types of people.’
‘I still feel different to the majority of artists,’ confides Merlyn Wood. But he sees this as an opportunity.
‘I don’t think we’re outsiders in the music industry, but our experiences are outside of what most people experience. Our journey is different. [Pause]. And no one should be afraid to do something different,’ Merlyn says.
Meanwhile, Dom McLennon insists they’re just average guys with some positive values.
‘We’re just normal kids,’ he says, ‘but we feel we should hold ourselves to good values. We don’t like to hurt people. If expressing ourselves individually helps people, that’s what we’ll do.’
Merlyn adds, ‘Everyone who is a fan seems really happy and excited. I can tell that our music has a positive effect on people. I think it brings clarity and joy.’
ShortList is running a competition with a chance to win one of six limited-edition ShortList x Brockhampton football shirts exclusively designed for the shoot. You can access this enter the competition at shortlist.com.