Wrabel hit the music scene last year with his autobiographical and emotional single “11 Blocks”. He wrote down and published so many feelings most all of us know a little too well. He puts his heart and soul into his music even when it hurts. As an out gay man he sings about those moments when relationships hit the rocks. His music really bridges the pronoun gap. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight or anywhere on the human emotional spectrum. Everyone can relate to these feelings and these songs.
Wrabel took some time to speak with Equality365 about his music, new single and life in general. He is performing in Portland on Monday, March 13th and at the Triple Door in Seattle on Tuesday March 14th. Get your Triple Door tickets here. Check out our interview and his new single “Bloodstain” below.
Earle Dutton: Tell me a little about your music?
Wrabel: I guess the number one focus for me is emotion and feelings. I can’t really write anything that isn’t a true story. That can be kind of limiting because if I don’t have a story can’t really write. So then, I dig through things like my Skype history looking for that time I got broken up with over Skype (laughter). My songs are very much pages out of my journal. I start out in front of the piano which is sort of my safe place, my security blanket.
ED: How does it feel to scream some of those emotions to the world?
W: It can be very scary. I went on my first tour toward the end of last year. I think one of the most things was the connection with people. I am still not used to saying the word fans because it feels really weird. I just love connecting with people at the end of the night. I talk to people after the show. I think it is powerful to hear that people relate to my songs.
ED: Have you run into anyone after they realize you wrote a song about them?
W: Yes, I have. Even now I am seeing somebody and writing songs about him. I have not spoken to the protagonist of “11 Blocks” but it is very clear who it is. I have talked to his friends and they have come to some of my shows. One of them talked to me after the show and knew exactly who the song was about. It is a little weird. I write a song, well because that is what I do. Then, four months later it is on the radio and I think, ‘Hmmm I didn’t really think this through.’ (Laughter)
ED: How did it feel when you heard your first single on the radio?
W: That was the craziest thing ever. I want to say the first time I heard it was the day we shot the music video. I was with my manager and we were driving back to the hotel. It was an unbelievable feeling. I still cry every time I hear it. I want to jump out of the car and turn it on in someone else car to see if it is really playing in all of the cars or just my car. Am I the only person that can hear this song? I need to know.
ED: How has being out is shaping your career or career path?
W: I think I set out with it being a non-issue. This is me. It is who I am. It definitely frames and inspires all of my work. I am a boy writing about other boys. It has been really cool to see how much you can affect people in a positive way. I have even noticed it on social media. It is just so powerful, inspiring and humbling to see that I can just be myself and inspire someone to just be who they are. Putting yourself out there and really being your true self can make you feel sort of vulnerable but it is where the true power is as well.
Wrabel’s new single “Bloodstain” (Lyric Video)
ED: Could you tell me a about your new single, “Bloodstain”?
W: It is such an uplifting song, no not at all (laughter). It kind of is to me though. I think I have kind of a warped view of things though. The song was started by Ben Abraham and Helen Croome. They sent it to me and at first I was a little nervous. I have never taken an idea from someone else. I am very insecure as it is. I listened to it and had goose bumps within four seconds. Ben came out to LA and we got to go into the studio and work on it. I got to really put my story into this song. The song kind of goes through my first relationship when I was nineteen to this “11 Blocks” relationship when I was twenty-three-ish.
ED: You have already done some great collaborations. Is there someone out there that you would really like to collaborate with?
W: Yes, definitely. The song never came out but I worked with Kylie Minogue. I got to work with her on her last album. The song didn’t make the cut but I was like oh my god. She is just a gay man’s dream. I know it is really cliché but I would love to work with Adele. Out of left field, I would love to write a song with Nicki Minaj. She has these songs where she is just sings her heart out. She just has all these emotions. I don’t feel people give her enough credit.
ED: Do you have a message for LGBTQ youth?
W: It is such a confusing time. It feels like we are making such big strides and then they are dashed to the ground. I think they should focus on the support that we are rallying. I feel like a lot of people from all over are gathering and standing with us. It is a beautiful thing to see. It sucks that we have to go through all of the scary stuff to get there. Look for support and safe spaces. Try to be a safe space as well.