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2021 Christmas Special (Act 2)
Episode 4121st December 2021 • Gay Music: In the Key of Q • Dan Hall
00:00:00 00:29:19

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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.

 

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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’.

Transcripts

DAN:

Hello, and welcome back to episode two, act two of our December festive specials. If you didn't hear Act one, I suggest going back and hearing the chat and songs from previous guests TIN, Vincent deGeronimo, The IZM, Venn Smyth, Matthew Presidente and Aruan Duval. We’ve a second batch of season one guests now plus two Crazy Christmas loving visitors making their Key of Q debut at the end of the episode.

Here in London and it looks like there's another lockdown on the way. So do you know what outcomes the onesie and on goes the kettle.

This Christmas do reach out to each other, reach out to strangers. If you want to chat to all the listeners of the pod, you can find them using the hashtag #QueerMusic. Or just do your bit by being kind online. You know what to do.

Enjoy the show.

Mr Slade joined us last month in a thought provoking episode in which he challenged the spaces where queer music identity has compromised itself to be accepted by mainstream life.

MR SLADE

uld have sounded like back in:

So I was very much inspired by the music I grew up to and the music that I found very sexy, to be honest with you, which were like artists like Billy Idol and Blondie and David Bowie. But I wanted to create something a little bit more modern and a little bit more fun, and helps create and take a bunch of my different influences and just combine them all.

DAN:

Now you spoke there about Billy Idol. I had such a crush on him.

MR SLADE:

Who didn't?

DAN:

Oh, my goodness me.

MR SLADE:

When did you first discover you were gay? When Billy Idol! I think we all owe Billy Idol a big. A big thank you.

DAN:

Yeah. If religion wants someone to blame for all the gay men, blame Billy Idol.

MR SLADE:

Hi, this is Mr. Slade. I'd like to wish everybody listening in on In the Key of Q a very happy and safe holidays. Much love.

DAN:

Many thanks to Mr Slade. I really liked his queer positive stance on his future retro glam rock sound.

In May, we dropped Paul Andrews’ episode. His production is absolutely out of this world, and his singing voice has a beautiful, melancholic, mature control about it.

Many of my guests are considerably younger than my 48 years, so it was great to feature an old bird like me! Let's hear a clip of his episode.

PAUL:

I grew up in a musical household. My mom was was really into music and she would go buy records every week, those 40 fives. It's so funny because she didn't know the name of them and she would have to go into the record store and sing sing the song.

You they’d go, oh, it's Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke and my mom was like, No not Sir Duke. This isn't the right record. Yes, ma'am, it's Sir Duke. But she would go like weekly and buy records. So we had this collection that we would just play all the time.

DAN:

So even in these early stages of your life, music still really, really appealed to you.

PAUL:

My mom used to buy us the song books for like hundred popular songs, you know, and it would have like Chicago and the Go-Go's and all, you know, different pop groups. And I learnt by looking at the chords up top, Oh, it's actually the guitar tablature is actually the chord here.

And I started learning about harmony myself, and I think that's where I got the fascination with harmony.

Hello, this is Paul Andrews. I wanted to wish all the In the Key of Q listeners out there very happy and healthy holiday season.

I've been very busy working on a new album that's set to come out this January. It's called From the Distance and you can hear the first single into existence on all streaming platforms. And right now, I want to share with you a stripped down piano vocal version of a song from my first album.

It's called Midnight in Blue.

DAN:

Thank you for coming back onto the show, Paul. Gosh, what a voice you've got.

My next guest has been on the pods, not once, but twice. He appeared in our second episode, which dropped in March and was also a key contributor and the black Queer America specials that landed in June.

Ty was not only a wonderful guest, but also agreed to take part right at the beginning before any episode had even published. His faith in what I'm trying to do with this project is hugely appreciated. Cheers, Ty.

TY:

Let's just talk about little Tyree, who grew up in Atlanta, that's what Ty is short for it. Short for Tyree. That kid was a super smiley super. Intelligent, outgoing kid who internally was freaking the fuck out because he knew he was gay and didn't know how to really navigate that in his world, but he was definitely just such a like such a joy. All he ever wanted to do was make his mom happy. I definitely recall listening to a lot of Sierra because Sierra's from Atlanta as well. And so I had, like a lot of hometown heroes, like growing up actually to listen to.

So I had Sierra's debut album Goodies on CD and her next album, Evolution, and I had that in my CD player like that since I just dated myself to say CD player. But yeah.

DAN:

I bought Madonna LP's, so please, let's have none of that!

TY:

I know. I know.

Hey, hey, hey. Happy holidays to subscribers and listeners of In the key of Q, I'm Ty McKinnie from Brooklyn, New York, and as a special festive gift just for you. I'm going to play a live acoustic version of my song Chill. I hope you enjoy.

DAN:

Thanks to Ty McKinnie there for sharing that exclusive with us.

Now, there's not long to wait now before hearing your surprise special guest at the end of the show.

As a fan of Country music I discovered Tommy Atkins thanks to a Spotify algorithm, and I had no idea that he was actually British. His episode dropped in October. And let's hear a clip of it now for myself.

TOMMY

I've just released my debut album, Cold Truth Be Told, and I've been releasing music for just over two years now and I've been very lucky to have some number one chart across the UK, Canada and New Zealand. And my music is more in line with the nineties country that I heard growing up.

So lots of fiddles, ducks and steel guitar. But I do have openly gay lyrics and that was something that was really important to me as an artist. You know, I wanted to come out and have a real country sound, but also remain true to myself.

DAN:

Why is having an openly queer identity in your music important?

TOMMY:

I think because I never heard it growing up, particularly in country music, queer country, openly queer country is a really is a new thing. You know, we had a couple of major country stars come out around 2010 2011 with Shelly Wright and Ty Herndon, but it was kind of after their commercial peak in the nineties and early noughties. And even then there was backlash to it from some country radio and the country scene as a whole. So, you know, we never got to hear them on the radio. In pop music, we've had some great songs like Born This Way by Gaga, Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves, which had told people that love is love. Now it is time to show them. It's time to present these songs the way Sam Smith has done with their music over the last few years.

Hi, everyone, this is Tommy Adkins, and I'd like to wish all you listeners of In the Key of Q a very merry Christmas. It's it's been a year, hasn't it? It's been quite a year, but I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who support my music since I spoke to Dan.

I'm thrilled to say that since then, my debut album called Truth Be Told, hit number one on the country charts both here in the UK and over New Zealand, and it also hit the top ten all genre albums over in New Zealand.

So again, a huge thank you to anyone who's downloaded the album or bought the CD version or streamed it. I love you. Thank you so, so much, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone you've interviewed this year. When I say a huge thank you for sharing our stories and connecting us to people all around the world. As the host of a radio show myself where I do not talk anywhere near as much as you do, I know it's a hell of a lot of work to get this podcast edited and put out there, and

m yet more amazing artists in:

DAN:

And now to wrap up our episode, we in fact have a lovely pair of brand new guests who bring with them a gorgeous, gorgeous festive spirit. So a big in the cute, cute festive. Welcome to Derek and Orla!

DEREK:

Thank you so much for having us and merry Christmas.

DAN:

Merry Christmas and merry Christmas to you! Now, could you tell us a bit about yourselves?

DEREK:

I'm sure we can.

ORALA:

We are a queer couple that live in London, but Derek is from Ireland. From Cork.

DEREK:

Yes. If the accent hasn't given it away already.

ORLA:

And we do our own YouTube series Derek Canola, do we read together quite a lot?

DEREK:

I guess we do our own comedy web series on YouTube, Derek and all I do, and we have just released our first ever Christmas single around.

ORLA:

We are absolutely obsessed with Christmas. We love it. We've got decorations up all year round.

DEREK:

Yes, I mean, we are the type who if they started selling Christmas trees in August, we would definitely have the Christmas tree up and all this.

DAN:

I, you know what? I think there's something that's so magic about Christmas. I always try to pretend that, Oh, I'm too old for this now, but then I get to about a week before and I get completely sucked into the whole spirit of it all.

DEREK:

There is no such thing as being too old for Christmas.

DAN:

Yes.

ORLA:

Remember, it's not just for Christmas, it's for life. And I will be singing our new song, Nothing for Christmas.

DAN:

Are we going to be able to play some of the song here on In the Key of Q closing credits music?

DEREK:

Absolutely. We'd be offended if you didn't.

ORLA:

Yeah, you can take as much as you want.

DEREK:

There's an offer!

DAN:

And now where could people get the single?

DEREK:

So it's available now on iTunes and Spotify and everywhere streaming Apple Music.

ORLA:

You can get it on YouTube as well if you go to our own web YouTube page. Derek can only do it's on there right now, along with other Christmas Eve videos and our other comedy stuff from throughout the year.

DEREK:

Also, it's important to note as well that a portion of the sales for the single are going to support LGBT charities, so we're supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust and Stonewall, so it's a good cause. Yeah.

DAN:

And for those who don't know those charities, could you give us a quick description of what they do?

ORLA:

Terrence Higgins Trust supports people with HIV and AIDS and does some lovely, lovely work within the community, as does Stonewall, who helps the community as a whole as well. Globally, globally really supports the LGBTQIA and plus people.

DAN:

Now to wrap up our show then, would you like to introduce for our listeners your Christmas single?

DEREK:

Yes, we would as well. A huge Merry Christmas from Derek and all that. And to celebrate, here is our single.

ORLA:

Nothing for Christmas.

DEREK:

Merry Christmas.

DAN:

And I do hope you enjoy these Christmas gifts from our wonderful guests, and that is the final episode of series one. Series two begins on Tuesday 1 March 2022, but fear not, this feed isn't going quiet.

Over on patron.com/inthekeyofq I published weekly exclusive episodes for Patreon subscribers, and I'll be publishing some of those on this feed to give you an idea of what they're all about. So please consider subscribing on Patron to keep the podcast alive and to get exclusive access to these many episodes.

Do you have a guest you'd like featured in series two, or maybe you'd like to feature yourself? Reach out to me on socials or on email at podcast@inthekeyofq.com

A big thank you once again to my guest today, Mr. Slade, Paul Andrews, Ty McKinnie, Tommy Atkins and Dereck and Orla. Paul Smith does our show's PR and Paul Leonidou at unstoppablemonsters.com composed and performed the theme tune.

And of course, you can hear Paul Leonidou in his own episode published this month and available on this feed. Of course, there's a link to it in the show notes.

A big festive thanks to Kaj and Moray for their continued support and to you for listening.

And I know it's been a nuts year, and it's certainly not over. But don't get suffocated by silence or isolation. Reach out to each other. Be kind to each other. There's links in the show notes for help. If you just need that extra little bit of advice.

This is producer and presenter Dan Hall signing off. Have a peaceful Christmas and New Year.