New Music: ONR, Clinton John, Kennedi, Seth Sikes

There’s definitely something for everybody in this round-up of new music from out artists.

First up, rising Scottish songwriter and producer ONR (aka Robert Shields) returns with the powerful single “Must Stop,” featuring Sarah Barthel of Phantogram.

The single features a catchy hook and production that takes you on a ride straight to the visceral, primal scream release.

The 90s-inspired black & white/color music video is the perfect dramatic visual for the song as ONR repeats his mantra, “Must stop falling in love, stop falling in love…”

“‘Must Stop’ is a song about being repeatedly hurt,” ONR says. “A desperation to be in love and to be loved by someone, anyone — and the blows you can take when you leave yourself so open.”

Follow ONR on Instagram here.

Clinton John’s “Fresh” is exactly that – a fresh, exuberant take on the rush of new romance.

“After my first break-up it was hard for me to imagine having feelings for someone else again,” says John. “I found myself comparing any new love interest to my previous experience and how everything after that just fell short.”

“The next time I was interested in someone, it took me by surprise and definitely caught me off guard,” he adds. “It was almost like a light bulb went off in my head, letting me know I was capable of developing feelings again. That realization happened almost instantly, they were exciting and felt so fresh”.

The ebullient pure pop bop is a comfortable earworm that definitely has me bouncing.

Follow Clinton John on Instagram here.

In advance of her upcoming autobiographical EP self, out singer/songwriter kennedi drops the lyric video for her single, “Liquor Love.”

The sensual synth-pop track offers an airy, vulnerable peek into the addiction that love can be.

self is the first of a highly personal two-part project, set to be followed up by kennedi’s EP SABOTAGE in 2021.

Having been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, kennedi created two EPs to distill both sides of her mental nature. Each carry their own unique tone and represent one hemisphere of her emotional state; self being the delicate light to SABOTAGE’s manic darkness.

“The self EP is exactly what it sounds like — myself and all of the raw emotions that come with me,” says kennedi. “It’s a snapshot into how I felt in the moments during the time I was writing these songs. It tells the story of my journey over the past year — my relationships and life experiences. Honest and raw. That is self.”

Follow kennedi on Instagram here.

After sending us musical missives from his summer on Fire Island, Seth Sikes returns to New York City and renews his love affair with the Big Apple via Stephen Sondheim’s “What More Do I Need.”

Celebrating the city and its singular energy, Sikes revels in how it has rebounded in style after the worst days of the Covid pandemic.

In the buoyant, breezy video (directed by Eamon Foley), Sikes is seen enjoying the best of the city: cavorting on the subway, riding a Citi Bike, fighting with neighbors, and traipsing through Times Square. It’s pure MGM movie musical happiness.

The message of the video: Even when you’re wearing a Covid mask, New York City remains the fabulous center of the universe.

Follow Seth Sikes on Instagram here.

Podcast: NYC Pride’s Big 2020 Plans, Uganda, Albania, Daytime Emmys, PrEP

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Prosecutors in Uganda have dropped charges against 19 LGBTQ people held in jail for 49 days

• A ‘once every two months’ injectable version of PrEP has shown very positive results in clinical trials

• Albania bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’

• NYC Pride has announced a huge 50th anniversary Pride television special featuring Billy Porter, Dan Levy, Janelle Monae, and more.

• The 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations are out with big love for LGBTQ actors and shows

Here’s the link to my recent interview with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon series ‘After Forever’

• Out singer/songwriter Clinton John’s new single “Cry” taps into those frustrating times when you realize you’re really not over that lost love. Link to download “Cry.”

All that in this episode of The Randy Report.

New Music: All Singer/Songwriter Clinton John Wants To Do Is “Cry”

Clinton John (photo: Acacia Evans)

Out singer/songwriter Clinton John’s synth-pop single, “Cry,” offers his take on the internal push/pull of letting go of a past relationship.

The downtempo earworm pairs top-shelf, pure-pop production with candid lyrics that capture the realization you haven’t moved on from a former love as much as you’d hoped.

I recently chatted with the handsome Nashville-based artist about the single and a few other things.

The Randy Report: Congrats on the new single. What inspired the track?

Clinton John: “Cry” came about from the classic struggle of trying to get over someone. I had tried everything that I thought would help. I partied, hooked up with other people, basically used anything to distract myself from the feeling. After months passed, I saw that person again and all the emotion came flooding back and I was so frustrated that I had made no progress in getting over them. It was that type of frustration that makes you so mad you just want to cry and scream. And that is when I wrote the song.

Clinton John (photo: Acacia Evans)

TRR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

CJ: The best advice I have ever been given is “no one cares what you do.” It doesn’t really sound like great advice per se, but as an artist creating music it’s so easy to get in your head and the worry that people might not liking what you create holds you back from making something authentic or special. Also, as coming out as a gay artist I had years of built-up fear of what people thought of me that giving myself the freedom to just live authentically and care about what people think.

TRR: What’s next on the musical horizon?

CJ: I have a collaboration with another LGBT artist named Stasney Mav, a song called “SOLO.” After that, I have another single lined up for the beginning of June, and many other tracks in the works to release throughout the rest of the year!

Check out Clinton John’s “Cry” below. The single is available on digital download sites here, and you can follow him on Instagram here.