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Interview | Nashville-based singer Myylo opens up about past relationships and coming out

The singer tells Attitude about coming out to his dad after having his first same-sex kiss

2019-02-26

Words: Steve Brown

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Myylo dropped his latest single 'Cyborg' in mid-February and is the latest single from his upcoming new EP - which is set to be released this year.

While speaking exclusively to Attitude, Myylo opens up about how the song is inspired by his first ex-boyfriend and how, although they have split, he feels that relationships these days 'just don't end these day'. 

Myylo - who was grew up in Los Angeles - reveals he started coming out when he was 13 and penned letters to his family and friends about how he identifies and recalls an embarrassing moment when he came out to his dad (it involves New Year's Eve and hickeys all over his neck... 'it was gross', he says.) 

1)      Tell me more about your new single 'Cyborg'.

I put it out two weeks ago, but I wrote it in my room and I was jamming to this Carole King style of chord and I’m really inspired by a word, usually a word sets me off, and I was thinking of a random word. I think I actually used a random word generator and found the word cyborg and that’s how the chorus kind of came together and I was really thinking about my first ex-boyfriend, first love. That person was a lot of things for me. A friend, a boyfriend, an ex, a lot. And wanting to get that person back into my life and in this stream of consciousness, I wrote this song through the use of the word cyborg and the Carole King chords.

2)      You say it is about why things didn’t work out with an ex and learning to dance about life’s mishaps and laugh through the tears regardless. What happened to inspire you to make this single?

I think we just had a very complicated relationship, where things are drawn out, you know? I mean, I’ve known him for years, we are weaving in and out of each other’s lives in so many ways. We had high school summer’s together, we were long distance in college a while and I still know him as an adult, and see him every time I am in New York City, so I think what’s kind of happening is we both feel like we might the one that got away and even though, maybe we shouldn’t be together, it’s just for some reason we still feel like we need to have our lives intertwined. So I think having this person constantly existing in your life despite existing in the romantic form is kind of confusing and that’s what happened and it’s what makes our relationship worth writing about for me because it’s kind of a weird situation. Does that make sense?

 
 
 
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3)      Definitely! I am actually going through the same thing with my ex.

Totally. I think relationships just don’t end these days. You know, we have access to people’s Instagram, and we have their phone numbers and we can text them any time and like, I don’t know, there’s this culture that we have on an ex that keeps them very near without having to be near. I think that’s why kind of grey relationships exist.

4)      Do you think social media is a good thing to help people move on from an end of a relationship?

No, I don’t think it’s a good thing. I think a clean break is healthy but, I don’t know, I think there’s something magical about having someone in your life that knows you in a certain way and have the relationship transform into something else. I think if you can exist in that space with that person and have new boundaries, it can be a gratifying relationship. Yeah but no, I don’t think it’s great, but I think it’s a space that we are going to have to navigate unless we just delete them from Instagram.

5)      With the amount of dating and hook-ups app these days, do you find it hard to find ‘the one’?

I don’t really believe in ‘the one’. If you’re in a relationship, you have made that choice to stay together with someone that you really want to make it work with. There’re billions of people on the planet, so I don’t think you need to put pressure on one person to be ‘that’ person. I don’t know if it’s easy or hard, it just depends on finding someone with similar values, who wants the same thing as you at the same time. I think it’s difficult to find someone you want to make that choice with who also wants to make that choice with you. That is the hard part. Because you never know, when you meet someone, if they want the same thing. When I first moved to Nashville, there was a guy I really wanted to date. I was like, ‘This is awesome. We have similar interests and values and like we are chatting to each other, this is going to work out’. And just because you have all these things in common doesn’t mean you are on the same page. I wanted to be in this space where I wanted to date, and he was in this space where he had just come out of a relationship and wanted to be single. There are so many things that have to fall into place at the same time and that makes it difficult.

 
 
 
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6)      You’ve said before that your sexuality bounces around – sometimes you identify as gay others queer, is that still the same situation?

I think I am a man who is attracted to men. Gay and queer mean different things to me and they also mean different things to other people. I don’t know, every word is so, this is actually a very difficult question, because in different times of my life I have identified as gay and in other times I have identified as queer because of many different reasons. But I identify as a man who is attracted to other men. That is probably the easiest way to leave it.

7)      How did you come out to your friends and family?

It was good. I am a Jewish kid from the Valley in Los Angeles, so I think I have a different experience to a lot of people because I grew up in a very liberal community. I started coming out when I was 13. I was lucky enough to grow up with the likes of Tyler Oakley already on YouTube when I was coming out and I was watching Degrassi and there were two dudes kissing in that beautiful Christina Aguilera video and my mum’s best friend was a lesbian, so I had a lot of exposure to that and I was bullied for being gay so I was like, ‘What is that? I must be that’. So, I started coming out when I was 13 and I came out in an AOL message to one of my best friends and then I started this two year journey through middle school and high school coming out to all my friends and then I wrote letters to my brothers and then I came out to my mum in a letter and then embarrassingly, when I came out to my dad I had just had my first kiss. It was New Year’s Eve, it was glorious, and it was gross and I had massive hickeys all over my neck and my dad picked me up and he was like, ‘Who are those from?’ And I said the person’s name and he had an obvious boys name and he was like, ‘Oh, is that a girl?’ and I said, ‘No, this is a man. This is clearly a boy’ and then we launched into this whole story about having safe sex basically for like an hour. So all in all it was a positive experience. Glad to be out.

8)      Did anyone advise you not to publicly come out?

I think it’s a two-fold question. Within the music industry itself, it wasn’t an issue, like, there weren’t any of my co-writers or anyone in the industry who said, ‘You can’t be out in general’. But there was a societal pressure not to come out and I have had meetings where businesspeople have suggested that the audience isn’t ready for artists to just be out. So yeah, those things still do happen but I kind of think it’s all, I don’t know, those opinions, typically for me, have come from straight people who don’t have any understanding of the gay community and the fact that queer fans want queer audiences and want to listen to stories about them and because there are so many ways to access art, that we have all of these new communities that could be formed through that actually relates to our stories. So yeah, there was pressure in certain situations but I kind of tuned it out because I knew that those people had no idea what they were talking about.

9)      We are currently going through, what I describe as, a queer movement in the music industry with the likes of Olly Alexander, Sam Smith etc. When you were starting out, did you ever think this would be the case?

I think as a teenager I didn’t really think about. I didn’t think about the future like that. Now I think there are so many artists who are modelling how to be queer or trans, like Sam Smith writes sulky gay tunes, Brenda Carlisle is an American goddess, Janelle is doing this pansexual thing. There are so many models on how to be someone who isn’t straight or cis that you couldn’t possible have those thoughts anymore.

10)   Recently, Dolly Parton said that she thinks terms like pansexuality, bisexuality and gender fluidity are ‘fashionable’ for some celebrities to use. Do you agree with that?

No, I don’t. I think as a queer person, there’s a lot of exploration with your gender identity and sexuality, trying to find out who you are, and it is constantly evolving in the conversation you are having with yourself. I think this is the first time all of those terms have been so widely used in the common lexicon or in the headline in the news or Facebook or Instagram or Twitter that people are coming into contact with these ideas for the first time or some are coming into contact with it so much that they cannot help consider so within that space, I think people are allowed to explore the use of those terms and go from there. I think there’s this culture where you have to have everting figured out but I think gender rand sexuality is so grey, I think a lot of people of moving into that greyness and trying things on which is why, maybe, some people say it is fashionable but people are just exploring, which is a good thing.

11)   You’ve got a new EP coming out next week. What can people expect from it?

This is going to be a re-release of the past five songs which I also thought would be a single project. So, with the EP, I am putting all the songs together so people who are already familiar with the music and the songs, there will be a single place for them to be able to stream the music, so that new fans can also get new music in the same place. And what people can expect is a few more singles and a new music video in the wake of that and ideally a few more tour dates. And moving on from that, I have a few more singles throughout the rest of the year and I hope to release a second EP by the end of the year as well.

Myylo’s new EP will be released on March 8. Listen to 'Cyborg' on Spotify here.