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Q&A with Gabriel Joseph: Gay singer-songwriter calls music his "safe haven"

SAN DIEGO – There is no shortage of musical and artistic talent in San Diego, and many of these individuals are even closer to home, part of the LGBT community. Dallas, Texas native Gabriel Joseph is one such musician who has only called San Diego home for about three years, but has already made a name for himself in the music scene.

The performer, who came to San Diego on a whim after packing up his car with no money in his pocket and no idea where he would live when he arrived, says that music is a form of therapy for him, especially dance music.

“I find it funny when people there is no real depth or soul to dance music,” Gabriel Joseph told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. “For me it’s quite the opposite. Dance music is my therapy, my safe haven. When I am dancing, I am free.”

Joseph says his current musical style has a very electro pop/dance music feel to it, which makes him happy because he is a dancer at heart.

“I live for a beat and there is no better feeling than watching your friends drunkenly dance to you music. It’s the best!”

Joseph, who says his style is “ever-changing,” started writing music 11 years ago and first wrote a lot of ballads and country music. He has written all sorts of types of music and said he just likes to “tell a story and paint mental image through sound.”

We asked this rising star a few more questions about his music and he was more than happy to share.

SDGLN: When did you get into music?

GABRIEL JOSEPH (GJ): I was actually born partially deaf and have had major surgery in my ears and had tubes inserted, so to me sound in general has always been a fascinating and foreign world. As I got older and my hearing got better I became obsessed with music. I would stay with my grandparents during summer breaks and my grandma was always playing oldies, which I loved! Just seeing how happy a song would make her, made me happy. I wanted to be able to do that for others.

SDGLN: What do you hope to achieve/inspire with your music?

GJ: I knew I was gay at a very young age and growing up I didn't really see anyone like me or that I could relate to so I felt very alone and like an outcast. I still to a certain degree feel the same way now. We have come a long way in pop culture but I still feel like we are holding ourselves back. Most artistS now who are openly gay don't start their career that way; and that's fine, to each their own but I think it's so important to let the younger generation know that yes, you can achieve your goals and dreams without having to hide or modify any part of who you are. Some see being gay in the public eye as a kiss of death but at the end of the day, my music, hard work and drive will define who I am, not someone's uneducated opinion of me. I want to inspire people to just be proud. We all work hard and we all have dreams, embrace it! Celebrate it! And like my baby mama Latrice from "RuPaul's Drag Race" says, "Make them EAT IT!"

SDGLN: Do you have any inspirations/mentors?

GJ: I know this is cheesy but my mama is such an inspiration! My father went to prison when I was very young and we lost everything, which really wasn't much to begin with. My mom, five brothers and I moved into a one bedroom roach infested house; it was so tiny! I shared a bed with my mom and little brother while the rest of my brothers had random mattresses throughout the house. Even though she was exhausted from working so much she always managed to find time to express her love and affection for each of her children and keep a positive attitude. Our electricity and water would often get shut off because we couldn't pay the bill and my mom would just light candles and sing church hymns to us and would remind us that though it didn't seem like it at the moment, we were truly blessed. She was right. Such an amazing and strong woman! She does exactly what a parent should do and that is to love your child unconditionally. Words cannot describe my love and respect for her.

SDGLN: What projects are you currently working on?

GJ: My self-titled EP just came out digitally world-wide and I am working on the next single off that EP which is called 'Show Me What U Got'. We just did a dub-step remix to it and working on the choreography now. The goal is to shoot a music video for it by the end of August. I am such a visual person so the choreography is so important! It's going to be sick, I cannot wait!

SDGLN: Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

GJ: I honestly live for the stage and performing live. As long as I am still passionate about music and art than that's all that matters. I want to make music as long as the world will allow ... and being married to a good looking, successful foreigner wouldn't hurt either.

The details

Follow Gabriel Joseph on Twitter at @GabeJosephMusic, on Facebook or GabrielJosephMusic on Instagram.

Gabriel Joseph will perform as the special guest at a show called “Dance For Your Life” on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Ruby Room at 1271 University Ave. in Hillcrest. The show will feature four dance groups: Kinology, The Booniez Crew, Pixie Stix and House of Mo. SDGLN Staff Writer Ben Cartwright will host the show.