Emerging from the queer community of Orlando is a new artist to watch in 2018.
Bronze Avery’s soulful vocals are complemented with vulnerable lyrics that LGBTQ listeners will totally identify with. His ability to capture emotion through a single track is on par with the greats of pop.
Avery’s video for his debut single, “Leave Together” depicts a loneliness all too familiar to most queer people at one point or another. Pulling inspiration from a particular point in his life, the video captures that feeling of leaving a club alone. As he moves around an empty bar, he takes one shot after another, collecting playing cards. He returns as if on a loop, going through the same cycle of clubbing and looking for someone to take home.
We recently caught up with the young artist as he prepares to move to LA. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, he’s lived all over the country, but he finds his hometown of Orlando to be what’s truly shaped him as an artist.
You live in Orlando. Is that where you’re from?
I was born in Orlando, but I’m a Navy brat. I moved in this huge circle around the United States. We started in Orlando, moved to Seattle, went to Virginia, Washington DC, Atlanta, and I ended up back in Orlando. And I kind of stayed here after my parents got a divorce.
But it ended up being a really good thing because although Orlando doesn’t have the largest creative community, it created a place for me to kind of stand out and really find my ground and kind of cement that it was something I could do.
And it made me want to travel to other places and do more and see what was really out there.
Would you say any of the other places had a strong impact on you as a queer person or as an artist?
I would actually say Orlando. I’ve been living in Orlando for the past 12 years. And it has, by far, my favorite gay community that I’ve ever been a part of. I used to go to Pulse every single week, every single Wednesday for college night. I still go out all the time in Orlando.
It just has such a great embrace for the LGBTQ community. And it’s also where I grew up for most of my adult years. I didn’t really get to go out gay clubbing when I was in 12 in Washington DC. But by far, from all the places I’ve visited, Orlando has such a great and surprisingly large gay community.
And it’s surprisingly supportive as well.
How did the shooting at Pulse affect you?
I was actually not in Orlando. I was helping out a friend because she was performing at Bonnaroo, so I was in Nashville at the time. When I heard the news, I wrote down in my journal that this has got to be the worst day of my entire life.
I was extremely heartbroken. Everyone here was. And I was more so shocked that something like this could actually happen somewhere I grew up, somewhere I was literally visiting every week. It was so insane. Not only me, but it inspired and connected everyone in the Orlando area to come together as one.
It seems like everyone is more inclusive, more well-rounded, and more connected than they ever were in the years I was living here. So, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Of course, it was a tragedy.
But it really brought a lot of people together.
Tell me about the shot glasses and the playing cards in the “Leave Together” video. What was the meaning behind that?
My least favorite type of music videos are the ones where you’re in like five or four different scenarios, and they just cut to these scenes, back and forth. So, I thought, I can’t do something like that. I had to do something a little more meaningful.
The video is actually a social commentary on what was going on in my life and a bunch of other people’s lives. It’s that you go to the club with the intent of going home with somebody, and you end up leaving with nobody. And you kind of get stuck in this loop where you do it over and over again.
So, it’s me taking these shot glasses and playing this game of, maybe I’ll go home with somebody tonight, maybe I won’t. And if I leave with nobody, it’s kind of starting that loop over and over again, kind of endlessly.
I was definitely going through that a couple years ago where I thought that was going to make me happy. And a lot of my friends were doing the same thing. But I felt like this song was the perfect way to introduce that concept, and the video kind of shows it.
I loved the creative direction. Was it all your style or was it a collaboration?
A lot of it came from Jeremiah (Dunlap). I told him I wanted to go into it doing a really awesome one-take video, and I told him the kind of videos I like and the kind of videos I don’t like.
I was really inspired by Dua Lipa’s videos because I love how it’s telling a story, I love how it’s telling a message and it’s not just her in different looks, different scenarios. So, I said, let’s go with that, let’s do a really awesome one-take. So, we collaborated back and forth. And it started off very generic, like I was just gonna go home with somebody.
But I thought no, it has to be something a little deeper. He was thinking about it, and that’s actually when he came up with the idea of having everything kind of loop over and over again.
So, we actually found a body double in Nashville who looked really similar to me, which was surprising because I’ve never found anyone who looks super similar to me. So, that’s how it came about. We went back and forth, and once we solidified the idea, we just put it into action.
Stream or buy Bronze Avery’s “Leave Together” here. Watch the video below: