Drake Jensen: The OUTlaw Rides Again

The country artist opens up in his new album, OUTlaw, and talks with The Advocate about his apprehension over publicly coming out.

BY Jase Peeples

March 12 2013 5:00 AM ET

Photo Courtesy of Randy MayesWillam would certainly be a difficult act to follow, but if you could pick any artist to work with on a future track, who would it be?
Pink. She’s so inspiring because she’s stood up in her own way as a woman. She cuts her hair the way she wants. She wears her clothes the ways she wants. She says what she wants. She sings what she wants. She is of her pure self and when someone is their pure self I think people are very attracted to them. Plus she’s incredibly talented as a musician and that’s very important to me as an artist these days because so many things are manufactured, but she’s an artist who is very real.

Speaking of sharing your pure self with the world, your new album OUTlaw contains several personal tracks you wrote. Do you have a favorite?
I would have to say the eleventh track on the album, "Be" is my personal favorite. It’s interesting because I had a song on the last album called "I Found Me" and "Be" is about that progression after finding yourself. It’s like when you move into a new house and you’re very excited, but it takes a while to settle in. When I wrote "Be" I was in that transitional stage of getting comfortable with the person I’ve become and for me that journey has been very long.

Being an out country artist, you’ve undoubtedly helped a number of LGBT people on their journeys as well. Have you heard stories from fans who’ve told you how much your visibility and music have impacted them positively?
Yes. In fact, I once got an email from a guy who said watching my video "On My Way to Finding You" kept him from killing himself. The video featured my husband and me, and it was about how we reunite in the end. People often say gay relationships are hard to keep together, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that before anything else you must be best friends. Because there’s always something to fight about, but in the end if you’re best friends, it lasts. I think that idea was so sincere in that video and that guy who was so lonely that night watching the video, he really got it and realized there was hope for that. Inspiring someone like that was very moving for me.

Is there a tour in the works after OUTlaw drops?
I’ve got some dates lined up. I’ve got Sugar Bear Weekend in Montreal coming up and in September we’ll be in the U.S. for the whole month. We’ll be in Georgia, Ohio, Vermont, and we’re in talks for San Francisco, San Diego, and L.A. as well as Texas. One of the best parts about not being signed to a label and being independent is getting to perform in the spots where people really want you.

 

Pre-order your own copy of OUTlaw at Drake Jensen’s official website today and watch the video for the lead single "When It Hurts Like That" below.

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