Aaron Sibley is a London based singer who, at a relatively young age, has performed at Pride In London and competed to represent Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest. Luke Marlow sits down to talk with him.
With his new single “Falling Through” out now, THEGAYUK caught up with him to discuss life, music, and all things Eurovision.
TGUK: Hi Aaron, Welcome to TheGayUK. How has your 2019 been so far?
AS: Hi, thanks for having me! 2019 has been great so far. I’ve kind of hit the ground running in terms of my music. I have been busy in the studio recording and I have been out, performing, as much as I can. Busy start to the year but I’m loving it!
TGUK: Tell us a little bit about yourself – where are you from, where do you live – who is Aaron Sibley?
AS: I am from a small town in south England, and two years ago I decided to move to London to pursue my dream career. Growing up in a small town was great in general but it did have its negatives.
Being able to express myself was very difficult as I didn’t know anyone else like me. Music seemingly helped me to escape and I put all my confusion and feelings into music.
Nowadays, my life is mostly an open book, to be honest, and anyone that knows me, know I’m an honest, open, sensitive, motivated and hardworking kind of person.
“…growing up gay in a small town was not easy and I found myself denying the possibility that I could be different. And even now I am completely comfortable with who I am, nothing can erase that feeling of thinking “I am different to everyone around me”.
TGUK: Your latest single “Falling Through” is out now – what is it about and what inspired it?
AS: As I mentioned before, growing up gay in a small town was not easy and I found myself denying the possibility that I could be different. And even now I am completely comfortable with who I am, nothing can erase that feeling of thinking “I am different to everyone around me”. “Falling Through” is the musical personification of the feeling I felt when I was coming out.
TGUK: There’s an emotional intensity and an honesty to your work – is that important to you? Is exorcising these thoughts and experiences into music a cathartic process for you?
AS: Oh yes, that’s definitely important to me. I think writing from the heart and drawing from experience whether it’s personal or instinctual is important to me, I find it inspires a truth that is meaningful and that people can relate to it, no matter what their personal experiences.
Whenever I’m writing music or in the studio, I find it can be a very cathartic process. Sharing music that’s personal almost feels like a therapy session, as if you’re giving a piece of yourself away. My music is very honest and ‘raw’ and this is essential when creating music from the heart. Even though my songs are personal to my life I like to think that they could resonate with an audience (LBGT or otherwise) and they can take something away from it that’s unique to them.
“Artist’s like Bowie, Elton John, Madonna have been celebrating the ideology of queerness for years and have inspired me; how they constantly broke the mould, were constantly evolving and had their unique style that put a middle finger up to what was expected of them at the time.
TGUK: In terms of queer artists out there-there are certainly more than ever before but, as a whole, we’re still rather under-represented. Why do you think that is, and Who are your inspirations on that front?
AS: I think the level of queer representation in the mainstream has flourished in recent years and it’s great to see, but we still have ways to go in terms of queers bands and artists expanding from predominantly ‘gay’ audiences and becoming more widespread. Artists like Years and Years, MIKA, Sam Smith, Frank Ocean have really branched out in terms of their unique sound, style, visual representation and what it means to be queer.
The fact that the LGBT community have slowly but surely been granted the rights we are entitled to, has allowed for artists and queer music to evolve from being viewed as ‘sub-culture’, ‘niche’ or ‘underground’ to a more universalised sound that allows artists the free reign to celebrate what it means to be queer and introduce new music to wider demographics.
Artist’s like Bowie, Elton John, Madonna have been celebrating the ideology of queerness for years and have inspired me; how they constantly broke the mould, were constantly evolving and had their unique style that put a middle finger up to what was expected of them at the time.
“Eurovision music is vastly underrated in the UK
TGUK: We know you’re a big fan of Eurovision – having competed in the National Finals for Moldova back in 2018. What is it about Eurovision that you think appeals to the Queer community so much?
AS: Eurovision is a celebration of all things camp! It’s a serious competition that all the artists and countries involved don’t take lightly, however it’s all wrapped up in a nice glittery bow!
We all love watching fierce women and leather bound men get up and strut their stuff to a cheesy pop song or ballad that gets the audience going wild.
I, however, love the music side of things. Eurovision music is vastly underrated in the UK. Every year I fall in love with a song, and I might not even understand the language. Eurovision connects people worldwide on a musical level and it’s interesting to hear different sounds that are inspired from all parts of Europe.
TGUK: How was it being an openly Gay Singer in Moldova for Eurovision – an Ex-soviet State.
AS: This experience was incredible. My song qualified to the national finals of Moldova, A county with limited LGBT+ presence. I was a little worried before heading out to Moldova as I did not know what to expect in terms of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, they do not have the right to be who they are over there and it is considered still not normal.
Whilst in the country I was receiving messages on social media from people who were not able to come out, telling me that simply my being there performing in their country gave them Pride.
The whole experience proved how important Pride still is. And it made me aware that I have a voice to help make LGBT+ people celebrate who they are.
TGUK: Working as an independent artist can be tricky – but in the last couple of years you’ve competed in Eurovision and sung to crowds at London Pride. What are your ambitions for the next few years?
AS: I’m just going to carry on working hard, keep laser focused and enjoy the process. Being in London for only two years and perusing a professional music career here for less than that, I’ve achieved quite a lot. BUT I have a long way to go. I am aiming for new opportunities and adventures this year amongst other things. I’m currently in the process of writing and recording a musical inspired EP with a talent LGBT musician friend.
And I am releasing a new EP on 16th March. I am hoping to perform at more Prides this year and of course pursuing Eurovision once again. I will be performing as much as I can and I am so excited to begin writing new solo music again.
Thanks to Aaron Sibley for taking the time to chat with us – new single “Falling Through” is out now, and you can check Aaron out at the below links:
Photos provided / (C) Aaron Sibley