"You can expect to cry, and the unexpected thing is that it won't be sad all the time," the singer says of his new record

By Alamin Yohannes
June 08, 2021 at 08:30 AM EDT
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One thing Vincint adores is pop music.

"I love the joy in it," he tells EW, "I love the idea that you could listen to a song and dance your ass off so much you may pass out, but you're still crying at the same time."

Vincint plans to bring that energy to his debut album There Will Be Tears (out June 11). Since dropping his first single "Marrow" in 2018, the Philadelphia-born singer has stayed busy, becoming a finalist on the singing competition show The Four, releasing his soulful 2020 EP The Feeling, and having his song "Be Me" featured in the Queer Eye season 5 trailer.

Vincint's musical journey began as a child. His father was a singer in a group called Christ United Gospel Singers, while his mother introduced him to Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and other divas of the era. Their music would build the foundation of the work Vincint makes today - including his forthcoming album, which he notes is "about being human and being alive and understanding that not everything has to end in sad tears."

Ahead, Vincint talks about getting started, queer talent in music, and dancing.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get started with music and develop your sound?

VINCINT: My dad was a singer in a gospel group called Christian and Gospel Singers and I started music because of them. Then I found all the divas because of my mother and her obsession with Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and every other woman you can think of who sings. That's how I found my voice in music.

I didn't really listen to a lot of male singers other than my father. That influenced my sound and the way that I write because the women I looked up to always write about the things that they felt they couldn't say with their speaking voice.

I want to go back to your first single, "Marrow." What made it the right song to introduce people to your music?

It's funny because it's so opposite from what I do now. It's an R&B-ish song. I was trying to find my voice and I was figuring out what I wanted to say and talk about. I wrote a song about loving someone so deep you could feel it in your bones. For me, I wanted to introduce people just to my voice, so they could hear who I was and what my writing sounds like. I wanted to make sure people heard me first before they saw anything. It was me finding my place in music, for sure.

"Remember Me" feels it was more in line with the music you're making now. How did it compare to "Marrow" and what inspired it?

Yeah, it was the first time I was true to myself. I was a little afraid at first about putting out music and doing pop and being Black. Then I just stopped worrying about what other people were going to think about and started making the things that really made me happy.

I got dumped in a bar by this boy that I loved and he left me; I wrote that song in the middle of a club in West Hollywood on the dance floor. That was the first time I was struck with a moment of "I need to write about this right now." This is what art is, feeding off your own experience. I wrote that song and it became such an anthem for me and a lot of people because it was just so honest. It's like my own personal "Dancing On My Own."

When you're writing music, what inspires you and what's your process like? What are you pulling from?

I pull from my friends and my own life and experience. I'm a huge people-watcher and I like to make up a story in my head. It's imagination mixed with reality and I'm putting myself in the middle, thinking "how would I tell this story?" I try to pull from my real experiences often because honesty is the biggest component when it comes to making really good music.

What can we expect from your debut album?

You can expect to dance honestly, that's the tea. I make music for people to feel good. You can expect to cry and the unexpected thing is that it won't be sad all the time. Maybe it'll be a relief that you didn't think that was going to come. I want them to take away from this the feeling that it's okay to be human and to express that emotion.

There's songs on the album about losing people and having a broken heart. There's a song called "The Friend" about not being the main character in your own story, where you've been in love with someone forever and them loving someone else and what that is like. There's a song about a cheating, good-for-nothing ex and you kill him and you go to the dance floor and party all night.

How do you view the current pop landscape as a Black, gay man? What hurdles have you seen as you've entered the space?

The same way as any person - who's in opposition, who looks like me, and who lives my life - has faced in anything. It's always some kind of battle, but I'm not looking at this narrative to be I'm going to overcome this; I didn't create that narrative, white people did. That's not my battle to fight. I'm not here to prove to you how good I am. You know that I'm good, it's the reason you're here.

I'm here to make really good music and I make really good music. I'm really good at what I do and hopefully that inspires other people who look and sound like me and want to do this and do it to the best of their ability. Not to appease someone that they think can open a door for them, or has the keys to the kingdom because the keys to the kingdom belong to the artist.

Vincint
Credit: Liam Graham Haehnle

Are you encouraged by the amount of queer talent there is in music at the moment across genres?

Gay people are f---ing fabulous. It's awesome that I have so many great people on my album. One of the things I just happen to be blessed with is having talented queer friends. Queer talent right now is leading the forefront of how music is sounding and that's really, really sick. To look out at the landscape of pop music, R&B, rap and see us at the forefront and pushing the narrative that you don't have to think of me a certain way for me to make really good music.

Anything you'd like to add?

I want to mention that Princess Precious on Higher is the reason that song is so amazing. Sure I'm good at writing songs and I sound great, so does Alex, but Princess Precious is the heart and soul of that song. She's a beautiful transwoman from the ballroom community who is making waves. She deserves all the love and praise that one person can get.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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