Pride Month 2020: Heather Mae and Crys Matthews join forces for 'The Singing OUT Virtual Pride Tour'
Artistes Heather Mae and Crys Matthews are following the release of their new single 'Six Feet Apart' with 'The Singing OUT Virtual Pride Tour', a virtual event that sees the two join hands to spread their message of social justice, hope, and love from coast to coast in a celebration of LGBTQIA+ Pride.
'Six Feet Apart', released back in April, was a powerful track that paired the phenomenal talent of award-winning songwriter Heather Mae with the equally gifted Crys Matthews. It is a stunning ballad that documents the difficult and confusing times we currently live in. While the song was released at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown and thereby spoke to the increasing feelings of isolation and powerlessness many were feeling, its message is even more poignant now during Pride Month this year, when many from the LGBTQIA+ see themselves continuing to battle against the law as well as society so they can access the same basic human rights as other groups, all while the world has erupted into massive protests demanding accountability from law enforcement for perceived human rights violations, particularly against marginalized groups like black and queer communities.
To top it all off, the heart-wrenching track that highlights Matthews' blend of Americana, folk, and blues, as well as Mae's soulful vocals, was a win for LGBTQIA+ communities. Mae, unfazed by what a typical pop artist today is 'supposed' to look like and how the typical pop artist is 'supposed' to sound, following an eight-month period of silence to recover from vocal nodules back in 2016, vowed to dedicate her soulful vocals to the pursuit of creating music that made the world a better place. She has since tackled complex topics surrounding mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, self-love, racial injustice, social inequality, and women’s rights through her work, much of which was inspired by her own personal experiences and identities including being a queer, plus-size woman living with Bipolar Disorder, as well as the experiences of her multifaceted fans with whom she has forged connections throughout her many years of touring across the United States. Mae crafts powerful lyrics and unforgettable music about life’s moments, from the quietly chaotic to the explosive, including music like her independently-released debut EP 'I AM ENOUGH', which reached #58 on the iTunes Pop Album charts and saw the artiste dubbed "the new queer Adele" by L-Mag.
Mae's newest project, 'GLIMMER', is a collection of nine songs supporting one central theme: 'Feel To Heal'. Within the grooves of the new album, Mae wrestles with the complexities of existing as a human with mental illness. From her #MeToo-inspired feminist anthem 'Warrior', featuring a choir of 100+ female vocalists, to 'You Are My Favorite', a love song written for her wife inspired by her own wedding vows, Mae shows she’s nothing less than a powerhouse. And on 'Six Feet Apart', she got to collaborate with another powerhouse of an artiste.
Matthews, a prolific lyricist and composer, has already won significant recognition owing to her latest full-length album, 'The Imagineers', and an EP titled 'Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers'. Her dynamic songwriting won over critics, while the selection of thoughtful songs about love and life rooted in social justice themes won over the hearts of listeners, earning her accolades and awards, in addition to aiding her People Music Network's Social Just Songs contest win at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance. Drawing inspiration from driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the compelling and heart-breaking love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, Matthews' songs speak to the voice of our generation and remind us why music indeed soothes the soul. Her brand of Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and funk that blends into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies and punctuated by honest, original lyrics has been her claim to fame, earning her comparisons to everyone from Toshi Reagon to Tracy Chapman to Ruthie Foster.
With both powerhouses already being on the road to individual success, it's nothing short of magical seeing and hearing them working together on 'Six Feet Apart'. But the artistes have another gift for fans just in time for Pride Month 2020: the first-ever virtual pride tour, also called 'The Singing OUT Tour'. Recognizing the mentally taxing experience that social distancing is for members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, Mae and Matthews hope that their virtual event can bring some light to people's lives and remind them that Pride is, after all, a celebration.
With the goal of bringing the queer community and their allies together to lift one another up and honor the resilience of the community at large, the two artistes will unite to perform some singalong anthems and will also include games and giveaways as part of their 21-night Pride event. The event description states, "We may not be able to physically gather, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our stories and our people. We don’t give up - we adapt!" The sure-to-be unforgettable experience has just one caveat: all who attend must do so in their most dazzling pride outfits! "Come dressed in your best Pride gear - however you identify!" the description continues, "and get ready to sing along, play games, compete in giveaways every night, and share connection and community in what will be a memorable VIRTUAL Pride concert! Let’s gather together in song and spirit and keep Pride alive in 2020."
Tickets for the event can be purchased via the Singing Out Tour website.