Richard Cortez: The OUTmusic Interview

-by Jeremy Gloff
-appeared on OUTmusic’s Myspace Page
-February 5th, 2009

Hey! It’s that time of the month again. Not my period silly, it’s OUTmusic featured artist time! This time I took some time to chat with Richard Cortez. Make sure to check out his webpage www.wollenbergrecords.com and his myspace page www.myspace.com/richardcortez
Here’s what Richard had to say: 🙂

1) you just got back from south carolina recording your new album. tell us a bit about that experience?

south carolina was an incredibly eye opening experience for me. both as a musician and a person. i’ve been knee deep in homosexuals (having lived and performed in and around wilton manors) for the last few years and to travel to a place that was slower and less “distracting” really allowed me to concentrate on the project. being there i was honestly able to create something solely based on what’s inside of me and not my surroundings.

2) what is the title of your new album? why did you choose that title?

“sleeping with strangers” – which is also the title track of the album. i chose that title because the album tells the story of a young man learning about life and love in the gay bar scene. i thought the phrase “sleeping with strangers” sounded both enticing and appropriate – so, i just trusted my gut and went with it.

3) what can richard cortez listeners expect different from your previous releases?

well, a lot of my previous projects are quite harsh when it comes to my vocal performance. a lot of belting and emotional screaming. however, over the last couple of years i’ve spent a lot of time breaking apart albums and asking myself what i like and don’t like about them and through that i realized that i wanted to showcase a more tender side of myself… i realized that i don’t have to scream to get my point across. so – with the help of the weepies and beth orton – i think i sound a little more grown up. but i guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. haha.

4) you also live in florida. as a queer musician do you feel support from your community?

oh yes. i couldn’t think of a better place to live. everyone here, from the magazines and publications to the fans… have made me the confident openly gay artist that i am today. without their love and adoration, richard cortez wouldn’t be richard cortez. end of story.

5) what is the last song that made you cry?

gosh, what a great question. it’s actually from the motion picture soundtrack once – and the song is called “falling slowly” – check it out. amazing flick and even better score.

6) what’s been your favorite moment as a performer?

i just headlined south carolina pride with rupaul over the summer. that was pretty killer. you spend your whole life as a young gay man wishing you could be as fierce and impacting as “super model of the world” rupaul…. and then you wake up one day and you’re sharing a stage with her. mind blowing.

7) you lived in New York for awhile…tell us about that experience?

i lived in new york prematurely. i don’t think i was ready to live there when i was living there – i didn’t have enough know how to make it on my own. moving back to florida was the best decision i could’ve made at that point in my life – however, i wouldn’t give up the incredible people i met while living there or the amazing memories that still make me smile and well up every now again for anything. new york left it’s mark on me artistically – i hope to return one day – when i can afford it. ha.

8) what are your future plans?

well, i’m taking my life one busted guitar string at a time these days. i have many aspirations as both a performer and a person. i want to tour more extensively, i want to continue to help other artists through my record label and i want to live a happy and a healthy life doing what i love most – making my music.

9) any advice for other out artists?

never EVER sacrifice your voice or your artistic vision for ANYONE. there is only one YOU – and only YOU can make YOUR music. if someone doesn’t like what you do… f*** them, it’s not making people happy – it’s about doing what you love for the people who love you for doing it.

10) and my traditional final quetsion, favorite madonna song and why?

haha, oh man. here we go. you know something – i never really liked madonna until i started covering her material. i know, i know – what kind of gay am i?! right now, my favorite madonna song is “substitute for love” – the lyrics are amazing. i’m a lyrically driven artist myself and almost always i love a song because of it’s lyrics. hence my love for ani difranco. it’s rare that a song will touch me because of it’s musical production – but this song does both. i love you madonna.

And there you have it. Richard is a sincere person and great songwriter/performer. It was my pleasure to interview him. For more out artists check out www.outmusic.com and www.queermusicheritage.com. Thanks to JD Doyle for his help with this feature!

Til Next Time!
Jeremy Gloff

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