Josef Salvat says his sexuality has 'always' been an issue in the music industry

The Australian artist opens up about his struggles whilst trying to make it in the music business.


Australian singer Josef Salvat reveals that his sexuality was seen as an obstacle whilst making a name for himself in the music industry.

As he pose out now, the alternative-electro artist opens up about the struggles he faced with a record label at the beginning of his career.

“It [my sexuality] has always been an issue,” he starts. “No one would ever ask me [if I was gay] and I wouldn’t say, even though I had a long-term boyfriend at the time.


Photography: Frank Fieber

“They [the label] had this meeting and were like, ‘Is he gay? Is he not gay? How should we market him?’” he continues. “It was so f***ed.”

Josef – who released his acclaimed debut album Night Swim in 2016 – says it took him a while to accept, let alone embrace, his identity.

“My sexuality has not been a straightforward path. It has not been an easy process. I found it very hard to accept myself at times,” he explains.

“I felt shame and then I felt ashamed for feeling shame.”

“Sydney is a very queer city in some respects, but I feel like ‘gaybourhoods’ pop up so intensely and necessarily in places where there isn’t a wider acceptance of queerness, so people create tight communities because it’s actually a hostile environment," he adds. "Australia was that growing up.”

The former lawyer, now based in London with his beloved pooch Monty, stresses that he is much more comfortable in his skin these days.


Photography: Frank Fieber

“Yeah, oh my god!” he exclaims. “I’ve been quite sloppy in my own personal navigation of it, but there is a beauty in that in a way for me. I’m proud of myself for where I’ve gotten to.”

Indeed, Josef, 31, is currently living on cloud nine after meeting a man earlier this year.

“It happened in February and it’s turning into the most amazing thing and it’s broken a drought I’ve had for seven years,” he gushes.

Even more serendipitously, Josef teases that his new beau was born from the lyrics of his song ‘In the Afternoon’ – taken from his upcoming album Modern Anxiety (out 15 May).

“He doesn’t like politics, but he knows a lot… he has his coffee black… and he likes his hair pulled back,” he lists. “It’s like, wow, I’m an oracle!”

Read the full interview with Josef Salvat in Attitude's Sex & Sexuality Issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: save 45% on the cover price in print, 13 issues for just £9.99 to download to any device.