Grammy Award-winning R&B/pop singer and producer Steve Lacy graces the cover of the new issue of Variety magazine. Inside, he gives an in-depth interview about his career. It touches upon his sexuality and how he doesn’t feel like a role model for the LGBTQ+ community.
Lacy, 25, first came to attention in his role as a guitarist with the band The Internet, before releasing his own self-produced solo material in 2017.
His first album, Apollo XXI, came out in 2019, but it was 2022’s Gemini Rights that took him to a new level, thanks to the global success of the song, “Bad Habit”. It hit number one on the Billboard 100 and has been streamed over a billion times on Spotify. Gemini Rights won the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary album.
Lacy revealed that he wasn’t heterosexual in 2017 on a Tumblr thread. A fan asked him if he’d date another man. Lacy responded, “Sure, why not.”
Soon afterward, headlines began to appear saying he’d “come out”.
Lacy told Variety he didn’t see this as a “coming out” announcement.
“But I didn’t really come out,” Lacy said. “I didn’t try to — it just kinda happened. I don’t care to announce who I’m into sexually. I think it’s silly. I never felt like I needed to come out.”
On the same Tumblr thread, Lacy also prompted some online controversy by saying he wasn’t sexually interested in other Black guys.
“I’m just not attracted to Black boys. … I still love them and want them to do well in life, we just won’t date,” Lacy said.
Another of Lacy’s The Internet bandmates, vocalist Syd, is also queer. She said she did not know about Lacy’s sexuality before the Tumblr thread made waves. It prompted her to have a heart-to-heart with him and offer support.
“I think being a gay man is very different from being a gay woman,” Syd said. “I didn’t even want to assume that I knew what he was going through. I just wanted to let him know as a sister that you can play this as low-key or as high-key as you want to. It doesn’t matter, and whenever you’re ready to open up about it, we’re here.”
“I’m just expressing myself”
Lacy doesn’t shy away from singing about an ex-boyfriend’s “deep throat” and “heavy dick” on Gemini Rights. Much of the album concerns the aftermath of a love affair with another man. However, he still resists attaching any specific label to his sexuality.
“I never care to speak for anyone else, because I think all of our experiences are so different from each other,” he said. “I guess I have a selfish perspective of myself in the world, and I’m just expressing myself. I’m not necessarily doing things for other people to feel good about themselves.”
A snippet of his song ‘Bad Habit’ became so popular on TikTok that it was used in over 400,000 videos this summer.