Steve Grand is a gay American underwear model turned country singer whose first song, ‘All-American Boy’ went viral last year. As a gay love song, it is not something you hear of often which could also be quite risky especially in the south of America with which country music is associated. Grand posted on his site “I believe a good love song is a good love song.” Further adding “I believe that a song in which a man sings openly about his love for his man, or where a woman sings openly about her love for another woman, will have the world singing along one day. It may not be tomorrow but it will happen.”
There is also something unique underway. Instead of going on X Factor or another reality TV show, he has gone direct to the public and his fans in order to get his big break and to keep his message and his music as “authentic as possible” which is something I admire.
Building a loyal following through his YouTube channel which currently has three music videos, ‘All-American Boy’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Back to California’. Grand is asking his fans to “be his label” by funding his debut album. He set a target of $81,000 (around £48,500) In the first 24 hours of his online campaign which started on 26th Feb he raised $115,000 (That’s around £69,000). This number is rising hour by hour and his campaign is open until 29th March. Grand is offering incentives from signed photos, a 30 second song written by himself about the donor, and even the clothes off his back, flogging sunglasses and shirts that he’s worn in his music videos.
All-American Boy is a video that has something that many of us can relate to, a story of falling for a straight or closeted guy (it’s not quite clear), having a flirtatious relationship with the climax of a romantic (if not drunken) kiss, only to be hurt by rejection when they go back to the seductive girl at the party.
Not only is the video fun to watch but the song is catchy with it being something that I have been humming and replaying in my mind over and over. As a business graduate I admire this new and inclusive way of drumming up support, a way to break the barriers that the large record companies can put up. Making the fans “the label” is like having the fans of a football club being the shareholders. It can only encourage a strong and robust support with grassroots investment of emotion, time and energy as well as money.
So I wish Steve Grand all the luck in the world and wish to share his catchy songs with you all. So share, donate, follow (@SteveGrandMusic) and all being well Grand hopes to have his first album out in May.
You can find out more at his kickstarter site: www.kickstarter.com/projects/stevegrand/all-american-boy-the-album