Do You Believe in Travis Garland?

A week after his American Idol performance, Perez Hilton’s latest protégé sounds off on Justin Timberlake comparisons, his Glee connection, and closeted boy banders.



Move over, Cher, because Travis Garland is giving us new reason to “Believe.” A former member of the now-defunct boy band NLT, Garland was rediscovered via MySpace by gossip blogger-turned-music mogul Perez Hilton, who has aggressively championed the 20-year-old talent on his site and opportunely introduced him to American Idol producer Simon Fuller. Currently working with prolific producer Nate “Danja” Hills on an urban pop record scheduled for release later this year, Garland spoke to us about his Perezcious partnership and other vocal gay admirers. How did you feel about your performance of “Believe” on Idol last Wednesday?
Travis Garland: I felt great, and I had a great time doing it. I’m just so proud of all the dancers, the band, and the drummers, because we worked really hard to get there and make it great, so hopefully everybody enjoyed it as much as we did.

Before you hit the stage, Perez Hilton stunned host Ryan Seacrest when he boldly claimed you were “better than Justin Timberlake.” That was quite an introduction, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was. I’m really flattered that Perez thinks that, but I know I have a long way to go before I get to that level and I can earn that kind of comparison. It’s awesome to be compared to Justin because he’s one of my idols.

Do you want a career like Justin’s?
I always looked up to him as a kid, and I admire the way he’s done things. He’s a classy guy, and not many people in the industry have any bad things to say about him. But besides Justin, I also admire Michael Jackson’s career — the way he changed the world with music and affected billions of lives with his talent.

Have you gotten any feedback from Justin?
I have, yeah. My friend Marty Kudelka, who directed my performance on American Idol, is Justin’s choreographer and friend. Justin heard the song and wanted Marty to let me know that he liked it. That was really awesome.

I like your cover of Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams.” Do you think she’s heard it?
I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything, but I hope she likes it.

Beyoncé covers aside, I’ve gathered from following you on Twitter that you’re an out and proud heterosexual.
I am. I’m a straight man, yes.

How’s that working out for you?
It’s working out great, man. I’m dating, but I’m keeping my options open.

If you pull a Ricky Martin in 10 years, I’ll be really annoyed.
[Laughs] Not much chance of that happening.

Tags: Music