Words: Thomas Stichbury
Todrick Hall has gone on the record about his past struggle to be heard as an openly gay man in the music industry.
In an exclusive interview in Attitude's February Travel issue, out now to download and to order globally, the singer reflected on his experience of working with ex-manager Scooter Braun – who represents Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber – and not being able to express himself freely.
“There are a lot of producers out there and people in Scooter Braun’s position who have the ability to change the world when it comes to music," Todrick says.
"I don’t think they understand how much, growing up as a young gay man, it would mean for me to be able to turn on the radio and hear a man say the word ‘boy’, ‘he’ or ‘him’ in song.
“I tried to explain that to Scooter several times when I was managed by him and it didn’t necessarily – ” he pauses.
“I can’t say how he felt about it but I feel that without walking in that path, without experiencing that, without going through all the things… about being called fag, sissy and punk, that anyone can understand how powerful that’d be.”
Todrick, 34, hit out at Scooter on social media last summer in support of close friend Taylor Swift – the pop star’s back catalogue of music was bought by her sworn enemy Braun in a deal with her former record label reported to be in excess of $300million.
“When you are creative and are given a universal or God-given gift to create art, business or no business, there should never be a time where someone can take your voice and what you created away from you,” he argues.
Photography: Conor Clinch
The 'Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels' hitmaker, who grew up in Plainview, Texas, recently turned up the volume on his sexuality with queer anthem 'Fag', taken from his album Haus Party Pt 2.
“I was conflicted about whether or not to put the song out but I think reclaiming a word that people have used to destroy you and making it empower you lets little kids who are being called that at school or whatever [know] that [they] can definitely come out on top,” he explains.
Currently appearing on TV talent show The Greatest Dancer – which continues Saturdays on BBC One – Todrick hints a collaboration could be in the works with co-judge Cheryl.
“I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it is something that has been discussed… whether we’re going to collaborate on music or on making a beautiful biracial child is up for debate,” he teases.
Read the full interview with Todrick Hall in Attitude's February issue, out now.