It’s Pride! Throughout June, HollywoodLife is running The Sound Of Pride, a month-long feature where members of the LGBTQ+ community pick songs that should be on your Pride 2022 playlist. In the final days of June, The Sound of Pride shifts its focus to help those who celebrated this month retain that spirit of jubilation — and that determination to fight for greater acceptance and tolerance — for the rest of 2022. Joining for the second edition today is Darren Hayes of Savage Garden.
Darren’s picks come on the heels of his new music video for “Poison Blood,” a song detailing his experiences with depression and suicide. However, for The Sound Of Pride, Darren chose another one of his songs instead. “I’m all about the love, baby,” he tells HollywoodLife. “There’s so much doom and gloom in the news, so many legal protections under threat for our community – when I made this [song], I let loose and imagined myself on a dance floor letting it all go. In a world filled with so much hate, let’s try being in love.”
However, Darren isn’t here to be a Pollyanna in the face of continual attacks on the lives and rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world. “Remember that Pride began as a political protest, and it worked!” he says. “ So many of our freedoms today exist because of people like us, being bravely visible and loving ourselves for the people we authentically are.” He captures that resilience and unwavering determination to live free and happy in his picks for The Sound Of Pride.
Beyoncé, “You Won’t Break My Soul”
Darren: Our freedoms are under attack now more than ever. This song is already a future classic gay anthem. You want to take away our right to marry again? You’re afraid of drag queens reading to children in a library; meanwhile, there’s a gun violence epidemic sweeping the nation? Hold my Cosmo.
Darren Hayes, “Let’s Try Being In Love (12” Extended Mix)”
I’m all about the love, baby. There’s so much doom and gloom in the news, so many legal protections under threat for our community – when I made this remix, I let loose and imagined myself on a dance floor, letting it all go. In a world filled with so much hate, let’s try being in love.
Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique ft. Maluca, “Love is Free”
I defy anyone to stand still when this song starts. It’s the sexiest, sleaziest groove, and there are several moments where you can shimmy. What’s not to love?
HollywoodLife: What is the vibe of Pride 2022? How would you describe the attitude going into June?
I think Beyonce just coined my catchphrase for Pride in 2022. It’s an affirmation I find useful in the face of so much homophobia and bigotry we’re facing in the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the U.S. at the moment. ‘You won’t break my soul!’. I’m so tired of feeling like a victim, so tired of turning the other cheek, metaphorically when it comes to some of the outrageous legislation that is coming out of the far-right political circles aimed so cruelly and squared at the most vulnerable of us. My vibe is unapologetically strong, vibrant, queer, and unbreakable.
Pride is a time to celebrate the unsung heroes of LGBTQIA+ history, those who have paved the way and fought the good fight. Who deserves some more mainstream recognition this year?
I turned 50 this year, so my generation was deprived of many electronic music pioneers who really shaped mainstream queer club culture due to their passing from the A.I.D.S. crisis in the late 80s. It still makes me angry because we lost so much valuable time due to ignorance and bigotry that could have been spent finding treatment for the virus. Instead, a failure to treat patients like humans led to an almost complete lack of government-funded research or even acknowledgment of the tragedy unfolding.
We lost an entire generation of queer culture, and that saddens me. Their music survived, however, and continues to shape everyone from me to Madonna. One of my favorite musical contributors from those early years is the genius Patrick Cowley who is probably most famous for the Disco legend Sylvester. So much of the music I love today can be traced back to the work that Patrick did in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact – much of my new music is inspired by Patrick’s solo work, like the fabulously over-the-top ‘Megatron Man.’
What were your plans for June (and what are you up to for the rest of 2022?)
Sadly, but also with gratitude, I’m working! I’ve got so much music coming out this year. I just got back from Australia, where I headlined the 2022 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of 40 thousand people, and now I’m off to London to announce news of my U.K. tour next year. I’m a busy boy. I’m doing Pride in spirit only this year. But believe me, I’m very proud.
Do you have a Pride 2022 message to share with the HollywoodLife audience?
Remember that Pride began as a political protest, and it worked! So many of our freedoms today exist because of people like us, being bravely visible and loving ourselves for the people we authentically are. Our freedoms are under attack now more than ever, so while you’re celebrating (and please have a cocktail for me,) also remember to write to your local senators and be loud in your voice too. You are the future now.