It began in his therapist's office — VINCINT's gay and a millennial, so this shouldn't be a huge surprise.
"I talked to my therapist and she was like, 'Hi, you should sit down and write down all the things that are really stressful in your life because you're having a moment. And you should confront them all,'" the singer says. He went directly to the store, bought a stack of index cards and began covering his room with them. "I wrote down all the things that I wanted to talk about, the relationships I had been in, everything that had caused me stress, anxiety, trauma. And I confronted them because I felt that I needed to grow. And the only way to do that was to put away the old baggage and clear out that shit."
Index cards begat songs and songs begat There Will Be Tears, his debut album (out now). It's filled with summer pop perfection, songs of an angsty yet hopeful heartbreak. There will be tears while listening, yes, but there will also be the infectious beats make you want to dance and let loose. In fact, if I'm at a club or Pride event this summer and they don't play "Higher" (featuring Alex Newell with Precious) or "Kill My Heart" (featuring Parson James and Qveen Herby), I'll have no choice but to cut the music. DJs will fear me. Meet me in front of the Stonewall Inn because something is profoundly wrong in this world and the only way to right it is by crying on the dancefloor while listening to VINCINT's soaring vocals in "All Over Again."
Last year, producers from Queer Eye reached out about VINCINT doing a song for the show's fifth season. He has no label, no publishing deal, and he knew this was a huge opportunity for an unsigned artist. There was one small issue: they didn't like any of the 10 songs he sent over.
He told them, "If you give me the night, I can write a song." VINCINT called his co-writers, telling them, "Hi, clear your fucking night. We have work to do", and over the course of that single night, they wrote and recorded "Be Me," which became the anthem for the fifth season of Queer Eye and has since become one of VINCINT's biggest songs, having been streamed over a million times as of this date.
With the release of There Will Be Tears, VINCINT enters the next phase of his career. The album shows off not just VINCINT's unbelievably impressive voice, but it's a debut of a fully-formed artist and musician.
"Your art should be honest. You could sound like nails on a chalkboard and still sell out a stadium if it's real, you know? I just prefer to sound and feel like Whitney Houston because that's what gives me life," VINCINT says. "I've been blessed because my dad was an amazing singer and he helped me train my voice. He helped me find my voice."
There Will Be Tears is available now.
Listen to VINCINT on the LGBTQ&A podcast here.
LGBTQ&A is The Advocate's weekly interview podcast hosted by Jeffrey Masters. Past guests include Pete Buttigieg, Laverne Cox, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Billie Jean King, and Roxane Gay. New episodes come out every Tuesday.