By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com May 01 2014 8:00 AM ET
As we sit down to talk about the release of Matt Goss's latest album, Life You Imagine, the debonair British crooner reveals he went back to the studio and rerecorded the album’s track “I Do” – an ode to committed relationships – after a gay couple’s marriage proposal during an early performance of the song in Las Vegas.
“I realized my original lyrics weren’t completely inclusive,” Goss admits. “When I wrote it I just wrote the song, but after I saw that couple propose I went back in the studio. I wanted to create something that was even more inclusive. Hence the line, ‘Keep the love in your eyes.’ Because I realized it’s not just about being someone’s husband or wife. You can be with someone for 10, 20, 30 years, and if you can look at that person and still see love in their eyes, that’s the biggest blessing you could ever ask for. So I wanted to create something that was profoundly romantic and would actually make people think about those moments.”
Formerly a member of the British boy band Bros, in which Goss performed with his twin brother, Luke, the soft-spoken singer has earned a gentleman’s reputation since striking out as a solo artist in 1995. That demeanor is perfectly complemented by the singer’s suave sound, making his Las Vegas revue a crown jewel among the entertainment offered by the iconic Caesars Palace for more than six years.
Goss is straight, and yet the mild-mannered musician’s cool calm is quickly replaced with heated passion as he reveals his irritation with antigay bigots who continue to battle against marriage equality despite the overwhelming evidence that Americans’ attitudes have evolved. “It’s absolutely wrong, and that’s why I support marriage equality,” says Goss. “How can someone be a loving partner for 20 years and have no rights? Who decides that? There is no question that this is a human rights issue and all people deserve the right to be acknowledged. It always seems to come down to a bigger question of faith and religion for a lot of people, but that’s not the point. We don’t need to get into all of that. That’s something that is a personal matter. Because in regards to basic human rights, people should be given the same rights across the board – it’s not even a question. That’s just something that just has to be. “
“It’s just not fair,” he adds. “When I see someone I know worrying about whether or not they are going to be able to keep their home that they lived in for 20 or 30 years [after their partner dies], it’s absurd. As a logical and loving human being, I think it’s something that has to be addressed.”
Vegas sure has changed over the years. And the 45-year-old artist is confident the day isn’t far away when universal equality for LGBT people will be a reality. “I think it’s a case of the machine having to catch up with the general consensus,” he says. “I know for myself, when I see gay friends of mine who have been together for many years, even if they’re not married, I just think of them as married. I don’t question their relationship, and I imagine most people feel the same way and don’t have a problem with people loving each other.”
The inclusive feel of “I Do” is also evident in several other tracks found on the singer’s latest collection, including the inspirational track “Strong,” which can easily be reinterpreted as a coming-out anthem. “It’s interesting that the song has already been so many different things to different people,” Goss says of the tune. “A friend of mine who was overweight and wanted to get fit told me she used it every day to encourage her when she exercised, and it was also just used on Good Morning America when they were covering the Boston Marathon. So for somebody who is coming out – which has many different levels to it and can obviously be a torment-filled moment – if that song can encourage people to be strong in that moment and have courage to believe in who they are, then I’m a lucky man.”
It’s a message the artist says was in the forefront of his consciousness when he chose the title for his latest album, Life You Imagine. “I think imagination is limitless, and too often we’re afraid of our own imagination. Usually that comes from other people who tell us what we can or can’t do,” he says. “But in choosing the title Life You Imagine, I wanted to encourage people – gay, straight, or in between – to be free, to be strong, to be romantic, to be compassionate and acknowledge your feelings. Because there’s a lot of beauty in life.”
Life You Imagine is now available on iTunes and via the offical website for Matt Goss. Watch the music video for "I Do" below.