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Our Lady J's Return to Music

Our Lady J's Return to Music

<p>Our Lady J's Return to Music</p>
courtesy Karpel Group

The multi-talented writer, director, and musician is back with her first song in a decade.

Our Lady J first rose to prominence as a pianist and musical director, doing everything from touring with Sia to performing at Carnegie Hall. But after her 2013 album, Picture of a Man, she pivoted from music to television.

The multi-hyphenate artist has been busy over the last decade, first writing on the show Transparent, where she was lauded as the first out trans person hired in a Hollywood writer’s room, and then later writing, producing, and most recently directing on series like Pose, American Horror Stories, and American Horror Story: NYC, as well as developing her own projects.

But now she’s coming back to her first artistic passion with “Future of Us,” a collab with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus that debuted at an exclusive hush-hush performance at the Met Gala. The song is a powerful anthem about resilience and love in a world that is growing ever more chaotic. We talked to Our Lady J about returning to music and what this new song means to her.

The Advocate: Why did you decide now was the time for you to return to making music?

Our Lady J: Last year’s WGA strike put a hold on several projects I’d been working on, and like most other WGA writers, I was happy to support the guild in their demands, but the sudden stop in artistic output was a jolt to my system. So, I placed all of my creative energy back into songwriting, which had taken a back seat to my screenwriting ever since I started working in television in 2014. Most of the songs I wrote ended up finding a home in a new musical that I’ll be workshopping this summer, but several of them didn’t fit, so I recorded them and will be releasing them one by one this summer.

The Advocate: The lyrics to “Future of Us” are so evocative, do you have a favorite line in the song?

Our Lady J: “This is the hand turning to hand / This is the past catching up / This is the mind turning to mind / This is the lost giving up.” A lot of the messaging in the world right now is focused on what we shouldn’t be doing, with very little emphasis on growth and creation. When we turn towards each other in the spirit of creating a new way of living, rather than destroying what we perceive to be wrong or unjust, then we give up on being lost. We find our way back to a sustainable coexistence.

The Advocate: The lyric “Nowhere to turn now but hope” is so powerful — how do you find and hold onto hope in your life right now?

Our Lady J: I started the lyrics as a stream of consciousness to try to excavate my anxiety and fear about everything that’s happening in the world, with a goal of working towards a place of hope. But as I continued to write, I realized that the list was endless, and that the only way to turn from the worry was to consciously choose hope. Hope is a practice that gets easier the more we choose it.

The Advocate: Can you tell me a bit about your upcoming song “Little Queen” and the other music you have coming up?

Our Lady J: My second release this summer will be “Little Queen,” which is a song I wrote for my trans and queer siblings to remind us to shut out the noise and just do our damn thing, to be our faggot selves and worry about hell later.

Listen to "Future of Us" by Our Lady J here:


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