My Pride Anthems: Todrick Hall

Daniel Welsh
My Pride Anthems (Photo: HuffPost UK)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and that includes how we’re all celebrating Pride in 2020.

With huge public gatherings out of the question, we’re asking a range of LGBTQ celebrities and allies for their personal Pride anthems, to help us all get into the Pride spirit from lockdown.

Musician, songwriter and choreographer Todrick Hall is the latest star to share his top picks in our My Pride Anthems series.

In addition to his music career, you may have seen the Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels singer teaching the queens to dance on RuPaul’s Drag Race, judging the contestants on the most recent series of The Greatest Dancer or on YouTube, where his impressive and hyper-colourful music videos have racked up millions of views.

(Photo: Todrick Hall)

Here, Todrick reveals why Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga’s chart-topping duet is already a modern Pride anthem, and shines a light on a new “queer icon in the making”... 

Taylor Swift – You Need To Calm Down

 

“The first time I heard this song I absolutely loved it. I love all the layering and the vocals that Taylor did on the track. And I just love songs with a great theme with a clear message and great lyrics, obviously I connected with the song for so many reasons.

“It’s really, really fun and very clever, and it’s very rare that you hear a song that you can’t compare to any other song, with a similar title, or a similar theme. You Need To Calm Down was one of those songs that was so necessary for its time and so unique and different, and about a subject matter that we all need to hear.”

Kim Petras – Malibu

 

“I love Kim Petras, I think her voice is phenomenal, I love that she feels rebellious and fun and edgy and new and young and hip and current. I love her story, but I love that her story doesn’t overshadow the most important part about making music, her gift. She has a great, great gift and a great message to go along with that.

“I got to be a part of the Malibu video as well, so I love that she is taking this moment to find ways to be creative and find ways to put music out there and involve so many people, while never leaving her home, and allowing a lot of people in the queer community to be a part of her song.

“By definition, her song is a queer anthem, because [the music video] is filled with a legitimate rainbow of social media influencers, celebrities and recording artists. I loved being a part of it, I’m grateful and so flattered that she asked me.”

Vincint – Be Me 

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“This is just a really powerful song, with a really powerful message. Vincint has a beautiful voice, he is just a beautiful light, his energy is so awesome.

“I love the fact that he is so proud of who he is, and the fact that he landed the new anthem for Queer Eye is just really, really awesome, I love the way that show represents so many different people and such a diverse cast of characters. I love that they are having a person of colour, who is also a queer icon in the making, create the anthem for the show. I think that’s the way it should be, and I hope they continue to use queer artists for the seasons to come to be the theme song for the soundtrack to every new season.

“I think that’s a really awesome thing and something to look forward to and a great opportunity to give to queer artists.”

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

 

“I’ve always loved Gaga and her perspective. And fan doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Ariana Grande. I love Ariana Grande. What I love most about her – on top of the fact that she’s one of the few artists that can actually deliver a solid vocal that will stand the test of time, and can be compared to the greatest people who have ever recorded vocals in pop music – is the fact that she’s such a strong woman.

“She stands up for herself always, and stands up for women’s rights and she’s one of the first pop artists of this generation that I remember walking on stage with a Pride flag. I love how proud she is of the relationship she has with her openly queer brother, and so the fact that both she and Gaga are on a song together is awesome. And I love that they’re dancing and there’s costumes and a budget for the show.

“It’s starting to get into this place where people are too cool for school, and they don’t want to do something that seems like they tried… it’s kind of cool to do a less is more approach, but for me, I’ve always loved that Gaga goes full out 100% and is always in competition with herself to do bigger and greater things.”

Dua Lipa – Levitating

 

“I have to say...  I have never not been a Dua Lipa fan, but I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t understand the hysteria around Dua Lipa… but I have become such a massive fan.

“Levitating just makes me feel so good, I love the lyricism and how fun it is, and I love that it feels like a riddle, it must have taken whoever wrote the lyrics a really long time to write them. And it seems like a lot of care went into it. But she also delivers it with such a careless swag that makes it seem like it was nothing for her, it just rolls off her tongue. Now that I have become such a superfan, and listen to her music religiously and know every lyric to her latest album, it’s really cool for me to be like ‘I now understand why everyone likes her’.

“That’s the cool part about being an artist, we all have people that don’t like us... and I love when you can not have the greatest enthusiasm about an artist’s work coming out, but you have to sit there and smile and admit that it’s undeniably amazing, and you have to stop yourself from humming the music, that means the artist has done their job. And getting to the next level of their career, reaching out to people and getting people like me who aren’t necessarily their demographic – I mean Dua Lipa might not be looking for African-American men in the their thirties to buy the music, but I bought the album, I’m not streaming it, I bought it.

“I hope that we end up at a Pride event together or I run into her somewhere because I just want to let her know that she has converted me. I don’t know what her fanbase is called, but I’m one of them.”

Todrick Hall recently released his EP Quarantine Queen, written, recorded, and produced in the space of a week during lockdown. Watch the music video for Mask, Gloves, Soap, Scrub – a reimagining of Todrick’s song Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels – below:

 

We’ll be adding each celebrity’s song choices to our bumper My Pride Anthems playlist each day. Take a listen below:

READ MORE:

My Pride Anthems: Paul O'Grady

My Pride Anthems: Munroe Bergdorf

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.