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TJ Osborne Says He 'Doesn't Have Anything to Hide' on New Album

TJ Osborne Says He 'Doesn't Have Anything to Hide' on New Album

TJ Osborne
Katie Kauss

Brothers Osborne's upcoming self-titled record is their most personal yet.

These brothers have no more skeletons in their closet!

TJ and John Osborne are sticking to their roots as they gear up for the release of their new record Brothers Osborne.

Back in 2021, TJ came out as gay and made history as the only out singer signed to a major country music label. The duo has also earned a slew of accolades, including a Grammy, five CMA's, and six ACM Awards.

Aside from his commercial success, TJ has found the most fulfillment by living his life as a proud gay man in the country music world.

TJ recently chatted with The Advocate to talk all about the new record, how country music is evolving with minority representation, and the latest on his relationship with his adorable boyfriend Abi Ventura.

The Advocate: Congratulations on your upcoming new album Brothers Osborne. Why did you want this record to be self-titled?

TJ Osborne: I felt like for the first time with this project, we were in a spot where we didn't have anything to hide anymore. We're ourselves more now than ever. I think all the songs were made from a place where there weren't any more filters, which I thought, you know, made the music better.

This is us, whether you like it or not. It certainly was more fun to make and made me fall back in love with doing this again.

You guys are also very involved with this record in every way. You and your brother co-wrote every song on this album. I have to imagine that must be very therapeutic. How fulfilling was this album for you?

When you start off as a new artist, the sky's the limit. Then, you have some success and it gives you something to lose. It's hard not to overthink it. Then, you know, you get to this place where you're more confident. The more that you are yourself, at least for us, is when we've always had our most success and the most connection with our fans.

It's just been fun. I'm creating for the sake of just having fun without any any other bull**** attached, so it was nice.

I think that's one of the reasons so many of your fans, especially in the LGBTQ+ community, have really fallen in love with you. You keep touching on the fact that you just want to be yourself and it's really paying off. You even received the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign. How incredible does that feel?

It feels amazing. With all this anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric that's been going on politically, I hope that doesn't discourage people from doing it. I have no regrets. The freedom I feel now, the happiness I feel now, is just so far beyond anything I've ever felt before. It just pains me to think of anyone that's still stuck in that same place. I just hope that they find their own pathway out of it.

I hope I can give people some courage to be themselves. That's worth more than any paycheck or any award that I've ever received. As of late, I just hope that we're not taking steps backwards and we can all eventually stand up and get through this weird wave of just hate or whatever you want to call it.

You're not just a positive representation for our community, but you're such a positive force in country music. As we see country music evolve, why is it so important for you to be 100% yourself?

I learned through the pandemic that I wasn't very happy. I had everything I ever dreamed of, but I didn't put a premium on my happiness. There's just nothing worth risking my happiness. I love what I do. I love the country music community and I love everything we do.

Some people think I challenge the people in our genre to think a different way, which is true in certain aspects. I also think it's just as important for people who don't know anything about country music to challenge their views. There is a space for them here and hopefully they come, because if they don't, that is certainly not going to change any of those preconceived notions.

It's not just me. It's going to take lots of people saying, 'we are country music. This is ours too. You can have it with your ideals and we can have it with ours, but there is a place here for us.' As see that as we tour, I hope we see it more and more and more.

A lot of people will say like, 'you're the first person to have done this or the first person have done that,' and that's not what it was about to me. I just kind of don't like hearing that because it wasn't about being the first, really. I mean, more than anything, I just really, really, really pray that I'm not the last.

I love that you just mentioned that you're going on tour because there's nothing like seeing you on a mic in person. What are fans in store for when they get to see you on tour?

We try to have a creative environment that is fun and happy. Everyone can be themselves and let their freak flags fly. One of the biggest things with me coming out was just simply the honesty there. I've got nothing to hide. I'm really proud of this new record. If you come to one of our shows, you'll probably be surprised at how welcome you'll feel and how you'll feel right at home.

If you could pick one song right now off this new album that you would want to listen to on repeat, what would it be?

That changes all the time, but one of my favorite tracks right now is "Goodbye's Kickin' In." It's a vibe we haven't done before. It's a song really about that moment when you're about to break up, but then suddenly you have make up sex or whatever, and you go back into it again. I like the subject matter.

There's so much personality in this album. I personally love "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!" I am bopping to that right now.

That one was really fun too! I think that's a good example of us just making music and you could just tell we have a real sense of freedom about us. We don't have to conform to anything. We're just having fun and making music and that is certainly a favorite of mine as well.

I have to tell you, one of the highlights of the year for me was interviewing you and your boyfriend Abi earlier this year at the Grammys. How is Abi doing?

He's doing great. He's actually up here with me in Chicago right now. I can tell you this... we're playing in Chicago and we all came up here to surprise Kacey Musgraves for her birthday. We're going to have a weekend here in Chicago, so it's just been nice to not only be in a relationship, but also to have a partner intermingled with our friends. It just feels easy and it's nice.

That's exactly how it should be! I really always enjoy chatting with you TJ, so thank you again for the time.

The feeling is very, very much mutual. Hopefully we cross paths again soon!

Brothers Osborne will be released everywhere September 15. To get more info, check out the official website.

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