This week, presenter Dan Hall welcomes back a Santa sack of guests, each with an exclusive musical treat for listeners. The singing festive elves are: Ty McKinnie (ep 2), Aruan Duval (ep 3), Paul Andrews (ep 9), The IZM (ep 10), Vincent DiGeronimo (ep 11), Matthew Presidente (ep 22), TIN (ep 25), Tommy Atkins (ep 31), Venn Smyth (ep 32), Mr Slade (ep 35) plus special guests London performers Derek and Orla presenting their Christmas single.
This is the final episode of Season 1, with a new series beginning on 1 March 2022 with a two-part special featuring British rapper, QBoy (Spotify).
Dan Hall is a TV, film and audio producer whose credits include the podcast series ‘Been There Done That with Susan Osman’, ‘Cher and the Loneliest Elephant’ and ‘Freddie Mercury: The Final Act’.
Hello and welcome to another episode in our December festive specials. Last week you had a full interview with our wonderful theme composer Paul Leonidou. And this week the treats just keep coming. A number of season one guests have put their heads around the door to say hello and sing us some festive tunes.orld and well, who knows what:
Music is wonderful. As I say in the introduction, it helps us feel connected and know that we are not alone. And I do hope the artists you've met this year through the pods have helped bring you comfort and entertainment and what has been a tough old time and roll for Christmas that can bring its own heap of challenge.
So reach out to each other and reach out to strangers. If you want to chat to other listeners of the pod, you can find them using the hashtag #QueerMusic or just do your bit by being kind online.
Now, our first guest joined the family in September. We clicked straight away and spent far too much time laughing and not recording. He lives not far for me. And so it's no coincidence that we ran into each other soon after at a fundraiser for GMFA HERO, a local gay men's sexual and mental health charity.
And in this era of lockdowns and restrictions, it was genuinely lovely to meet a podcast in real life anyway, before welcoming TIN back onto the pod, let's hear a clip of his episode.
Normally I say now, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Tell us about your story. Frankly, I don't give a shit right now. I want to know. I want to know what the story of TIN’s “fuck boy lifestyle in electronic pop form” is all about!TIN:
You know it wasn't until I moved here from Australia that I really discovered my sound, my vibe, what I really like. And I guess London is such a rich city that it allowed for me to discover what I love most about myself.
And I would write about that, and one of the things I really learnt was how to love my looks and love, you know, how I behave around people. And then, yeah, that would often translate to me being a fat boy.
And I decided to stop writing about that. Hi, everyone. This is Jen coming at you from Down Under. It's been a tough time for so many this year, so please reach out to each other. The smallest things can make a huge difference.
Coming up shortly is my new Christmas single ‘Baby in a Bow’. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you have a safe and festive holiday season.
Many thanks to TIN.
Now, way back in the deepest depths of May, we dropped Vincent diGeronimo's episode. So much Queer music is dance orientated that Vincent's beautiful lo-fi sound really jumped out at me. He turned out to be a wonderful guest, and I can't wait to have him back in the future episode to talk about his new album.VINCENT:
I was born in New York City, I lived in New York City until I was about ten, and then my family moved us to a very small town in Connecticut.
Yeah. And my whole family is from New York City, so I still, to this day, can't make sense of why they chose to do that. And I was always very theatrical. Even as a kid, I would watch like Janet Jackson, music videos and Paula Abdul music videos and just copy the choreography.
And so my parents put me in dance class, and.DAN:
So are un at this point. Are you out of New York or are you still in New York?VINCENT:
I was out of New York from from the age of ten to 18. I was in this small town in Connecticut.DAN:
So what was it like going because I'm a Londoner, so I grew up in a big city. So what was it like for you? Just New York being in your DNA and being your norm and suddenly having that stripped away?VINCENT:
And ho ho ho. Happy holidays to all subscribers, listeners and fans of In the Key of Q, I'm Vincent deGeronimo from New York City. And as a special festive gift just for you, I'm going to play a live acoustic version of Holly Jolly Christmas.
I do hope you enjoy.DAN:
Vincent diGeronimo there coming to us from New York.
In May, I interviewed The IZM. He was the first rapper to appear on the show and gave us some moving and very personal interview. And in June, he returned to appear in our black Queer America specials.
Let's hear a clip of the same show before going straight into his Christmas message.THE IZM:
Music is my. That's my, that's my husband. I love him. He loves me. He's never cheated on me. He's never lied to me. He's never call me fat when I sell fat.
I remember hearing adults making comments about me being a little sweet. From maybe when I was like seven, eight, nine. So when you're in school and you know, you're just kind of trying to figure things out.
And you hear people calling you a faggot or call you a sissy, and you don't really understand why you don't know what it really means, but you just always something bad. That was what I dealt with.
Yes! Season's greetings to all of you. I am from the great city of Newark, New Jersey. first of all, I want to give a shout out and love to Dan in the In the Key of Q family. It was an honour to be a part of season one and peace amongst all of you.th,:
I would like to Premiere the next single. The first single was ‘Don't Move’, which is out now on streaming platforms now, but I want to give you guys the exclusive. This is ‘Goodnight, Mr. Williams’ interlude for Michael K Williams, who was a huge inspiration of mine and I wanted to pay tribute to him, so I hope you guys enjoy it.n of mind, soul and spirit in:
You can follow me on Instagram. ‘In Da House’ will be out on December 26, but here is Goodnight, Mr. Williams’. Peace, family, hope you like it.DAN:
Many thanks to the IZM there who has gone on to become a real friend of the show.
Now, Venn Smyth joined us in October, sharing his fantastic music and stories of rural Scotland. I loved how his extensive musical training hadn't driven out of him a love of a good pop melody before hearing especially recorded gift.
Let's take a listen to a clip of his episode.VENN:
I know it’s probably cliched, but like, honestly like music has had always been part of. What I love to even as the younger kids as well, and so like writing. That's music, but even like writing, write it like, you know, writing stories, I wish is that as young kids poetry as well, I definitely was always doing that and
I kept diaries as well, which there's still some dotted around everywhere. Probably make some interesting reading. But yes, I used to just write a lot and get my thoughts out that way. And which eventually can, I guess, turned into like songwriting and through some amazing sort of teachers, they're able to, I guess, can see that and hone those skills with me. Yeah, definitely. And then, you know, there were there were friends as well, and I think inmates made sort of stronger relationships with only a few people as I never had, like a big group of friends.
But those individual relationships were really kind of crucial to me, particularly those high school years as I kind of got older.
Hey, Dan, and all the listeners In the Key of Q, it's Venn Smyth here coming by to wish you a very happy holidays. It's been a busy old year for me, and I'm ready for some time off and hopefully to make some space for more creativity next year.
That's the plan, anyway, but I'm hoping that you have a really fantastic festive season and I want to let you know that I've also rereleased one of my songs from a few years ago, which is all about New Year or Hogmanay, as we say in Scotland.
It's called ‘Come January Snow’, and it kind of looks at all the mixed emotions that you feel around this time of year. Some good, some not so great, but thinking about those, but also the things that you might get in the year to come.
So I'm going to play you a little snippet of it just now and then hopefully you can listen to over the festive season wherever you listen to your music.DAN:
Venn Smyth, thank you.
In August, the wonderfully sex positive Matthew Presidente joined us all the way from Vancouver in Canada and brings to us a beautiful acoustic version of his lockdown inspired Christmas record quarantine Christmas. But before we hear that is a clip of his episode.MATTHEW:
So, Dan, I'm a queer themed piano singer songwriter based out of here in Vancouver, B.C.. I've been doing music here since about 1999, when I was about 19 years old, I started writing and recording my first album. I've always been big on putting out albums like every couple of years, put out an album, have a bit of a different theme, have a different look and style as opposed to sort of blasting out singles all the time. Growing up, I had a lot of different influences. Everything from rock to metal to, you know, more balletic singer songwriter kind of thing.
As an independent artist, I like that I'm flexible. I've never really been tied down to a specific genre or a specific band. I've worked in duos and trios and full band kind of stuff, depending on what the project calls for.
But I've always kind of taken control of it. Not not just because I'm a diva, but because I have a vision for it, right?
Hey there, Dan, and everyone at In the Key of Q, this is Matthew Presidente all the way from Vancouver, Canada, and I just wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.
It's been another strange year, but everything seems to be opening back up. I'm getting back to live performance in person, which has been wonderful. I actually have a very big Christmas show coming up with my full band.
It'll be our first one back. All together since the pandemic, it's going to be on December 23rd and it's at this awesome venue here in Vancouver called the Roxy. But I want you all to know that you can watch it from anywhere in the world because we're going to be streaming it live.
So I do hope you'll tune in to our special full band Christmas show at The Roxy Thursday, December 23rd. All you have to do is go to Roxy Vancouver and you can catch it on their YouTube, Twitch or Facebook page.
In the meantime, I'm going to sign off with the little quarantine Christmas song that we wrote last year.
Thank you so much. I'm Matthew Presidente, and that was ‘On This Quarantine Christmas’.DAN:
A big thank you there, Matthew.
Aruan Duval's episode dropped in March and was the first broadcast episode that I recorded. The poor man is a good friend, and I dragged him onto the show to allow me to get up to speed ready for what I had to interview people who are new to me.
He gave a beautiful interview and it was great for me to have a chance to get to know his music better. Ireland's Christmas gift for us is amazingly an unreleased Christmas single, and also we should give a big give cue thanks to the song's producer, the most lovely Chris Marshall at Rhythm Shop Records.
Before we hear this exciting exclusive, let's first hear a clip of Aaron's episode this.ARUAN:
Yeah, my parents had a lot of vinyls and tapes of, you know, as I got it into music, I very much devoured all of that and got myself into trouble all the time playing, playing my dad's finals, you know, and getting things out. Roberta Flack, Boney N and I just thought it was all just like my parents' taste of music was was was quite varied. Although similar, though, they were both. They were both more Rolling Stones and Beatles.DAN:
It's always very empowering, but moment in your life when you start to drill into music and start to realise, Oh, I actually like this or dislike this independently, I know lots of people are saying ABC, but in fact, I'm going, you know, x y z.ARUAN:
Absolutely, absolutely. And your musical tastes change over the years. I mean, I love listening to your, you know, old Bucks Fizz records. But you know, that's not my musical tastes. Now I enjoy listen to it because it invokes what that meant to me as a ten year old, eleven year old or whatever it was then.
But, you know, it's not the kind of music I would listen to that was new music today that it would possibly buy.DAN:
Now I'm glad you brought up Bucks Fizz.ARUAN:
As as as as I raised it last. Like, we perhaps got done and we go down the wrong rabbit hole here and see where this goes.DAN:
We've started, so we'll finish.
Big thanks to my lovely chum, Aruan Duval for that exclusive.
And so the safety curtain comes down to the interval marking the end of this first act. Please join me for Act two, which is available now on this string.
In the meantime, a big thanks to TIN, Vincent DiGeronimo, The IZM, Venn Smyth, Matthew Presidente, and Aruan Duval for supplying us with Christmas exclusives. It was lovely to have you all as guests and thank you for your continued support on the podcast.
Paul Smith does the show’s PR and Paul Leonidou at unstoppablemonsters.com composed and performed the theme tune. And of course, Paul Leonidou appears his own episode which was published last week.
Big festive thanks to Kaj and Moray for their continued support and to you for listening.
Stay in touch using the hashtag #QueerMusic and I'll see you shortly. This is Dan Hall signing off.