Out artist Ryland James titled his new single, “3 Purple Hearts,” after an interaction on his social media led to love.
“Early last year, my boyfriend-to-be commented three purple heart emojis on one of my Instagram pictures. I noticed it and somehow immediately knew he was someone special. We fell in love quickly and spent the summer together.
“When he had to move back home due to the pandemic, we had to do long-distance. It was one of the most difficult growth periods of my life, but through that growth I learned more than I ever have about myself, and most importantly learned to be proud of who I am.
James says the relationship led to his decision to come out publicly.
“I’d never shared that part of myself with my fans or even a lot of my family before,” says the artist. “It was the most honest I’d ever been with myself and the people in my life.”
“That time was scary for me, but that was the most rewarding decision I’ve ever made,” adds James.
The tender guitar-drive track is James’s musical interpretation of that emotional time in his life: “It’s about my first love and the freedom to be myself that I continue to feel from it every day.”
Hit play and make sure you follow him on Instagram here.