“Straight stories in music videos are the norm, whether we like it or not. If I have the opportunity to give visibility to an LGBT+ story, especially taking in account the fact that I am openly gay, it seems ridiculous not to do so.”
One week away from the release of his new single “Dois A Perder” (which means “Two to Lose” in Portuguese) we spoke with Tiago Braga, an openly gay Portuguese pop artist that promises to fight for LGBT+ representation in the Portuguese music scene.
Interview by Nelson Farrim.
Pictures by Gonçalo Sabença (@goncalosabenca)
What can you tell us about this new single?
That it’s completely different from everything I’ve done so far. I will inevitably sound arrogant, but I think people aren’t really expecting what’s coming next. I can tell you it’s a lot darker and more mature than my previous single, “Ilusão” (which means “Ilusion” in Portuguese).
And the title of the song? Do you want to explain us the meaning of “Dois A Perder”?
Essentially it’s because the song talks about a toxic and destructive relationship. It’s about that one person we’ll all never forget, that ride or die that has made us suffer badly and say we never wanted a relationship again.
When this type of relationship ends, I think both people always lose. There is always one side that loses more than the other, just as there is always one person who loves more than the other. But in the end they both lose because they destroy each other.
Your songs are always about amorous disappointments, aren’t they?
Hahaha, yes they are! I’m a sucker for heartbreak songs, I have no problem with wearing that label. I tend to write about what happens to me and what affects me the most.
The relationship in which I loved the most in my life was coincidentally the most toxic and destructive relationship I’ve ever had. But at the same time it was the most important one, because of everything it taught me, no matter how cliche this sounds (and it sounds a lot, I know). We’ve all suffered because of a sucker who broke our hearts. I took advantage of mine to create something with artistic value and transform what I went through into something that I think is beautiful, and that in a way can help other people cope with their breakups.
I’ll hardly ever be as rich as Taylor Swift writing about my ex, but a girl can try!
And what about the music video? Are you going to continue the story you started in your previous single?
I think what works in the “Ilusão” music video is precisely the open finale. So in this music video I wanted to do something different and purely fictional, something that I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time. I based the story on an American classic, which has already been re-interpreted in a thousand ways throughout history, but I gave it a modern times twist. And of course, I did a version where the main characters are a gay couple instead of a straight couple.
So does that mean we’ll also see an LGBT+ story in this music video?
Of course! Ever since I did the “Ilusão” music video I promised myself that I would never make a music video without LGBT+ representation again. Straight stories in music videos are the norm, whether we like it or not. If I have the opportunity to give visibility to an LGBT+ story, especially taking in account the fact that I am openly gay, it seems ridiculous not to do so.
In fact, at the risk of sounding arrogant (again), I think something like this has never been done in Portugal, or at least not in the music industry.
Because first of all, it’s not every day that a gay Portuguese pop artist releases a music video with a gay story. Second, because even taking into account what I did with the music video for “Ilusão”, I think this time the story leveled up in terms of LGBT+ representation.
In the “Ilusão” music video the interactions between the characters were text messages, brief glances, conversations, and only more towards the end of the video is a brief glimpse of a sexier scene with more skin. In this music video I lost my “fear” and not only will there be sexier scenes with more screen time, I will be the one interpreting them as well.
Then you’ll be the actor! And who is the lucky guy who will be acting along with you?
Nuno Nolasco ! Recently he was part of the cast of “Pedro and Inês” and “Self Destructive Boys”. I already wanted to have worked with him on the “Ilusão” music video, but at the time it was very difficult to match our schedules. For this music video it took a lot of gymnastics on a logistics level, but we managed to make things happen.
I really admire Nuno’s work and I think that being an actor who cares about giving visibility to the LGBTI representation in the works he does would make him the perfect fit for this music video.
“Dois A Perder”, Tiago Braga’s new single comes out March 21st on all digital platforms.
Make sure to follow Tiago on social media to stay tuned for his release!