Singer-songwriter Brandon Stansell recently released his summer time single, "For You". Premiering on Billboard, he released the music video to his bright, love-laced track “For You,” starring RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Eureka O’Hara.
The music video follows a playful, love-at-first-sight storyline with Stansell teaching O’Hara to see her own beauty, transforming her into an even fiercer version of herself now confident enough to approach her newfound crush.
Thank you for chatting with Music Update Central! What's the inspiration behind your newest single, "For You"? What does this song mean to you? Basically, we wanted people to feel good! I co-wrote “For You” with MYLEN who also co-wrote Slow Down & Hometown (among others) and we both just wanted to make something that captures all the goodness our partners bring into our lives. I always tell people that my boyfriend is the most kind-hearted loving person, so when it came time write something that was reflective of the person he is, it had to be bubbly and bright!
In the music industry, what sets you apart from other artists? There's the obvious, being an out gay artist in the country world - but on a much deeper level, I'd have to say it's that combined with my sound. You know, it’s funny, I grew up in Tennessee but felt I had to leave Music City to actually find my voice. Living in Nashville is a lot like living in LA where everyone you meet is an actor - in Nashville, everybody’s a Country Music singer. I found it hard to find my own voice in sea of so many other people doing exactly the same thing, so I left and I’m glad I did. Moving to LA gave me the space I needed to narrow in my sound and style in my own unique way. Coming back to Nashville, the thing I hear most is “I didn’t expect to hear that voice come out of you” and that makes me feel like I’ve actually honed in on what is uniquely mine and the music I always knew was in me.
Who are your biggest inspirations who influence your musical career? I've got a real soft spot for the ladies - insert joke here. I grew up on mostly 90’s female country - Reba, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill. And then when I was in college, I started falling in love with artists like Skeeter Davis, Brenda Lee, and Dolly Parton. And now I’m crazy about this new wave of female singers coming out of Nashville - Kacey Musgraves, Raelynn, Cassadee Pope, Maren Morris, Cam, etc. So, it’s not that I don’t love the men - because we all know I do love men - but it’s always been the women of country music who have inspired me and been my greatest influences.
You recently released the music video for "For You." How did that come to be? So, Billboard Pride just premiered the new video last week which was basically a dream come true and definitely a first for me. My manager initially had the idea to bring Eureka O'Hara on board, and I’m so glad he did. It was so fun to bring drag into the Country space. I think for a lot of people this might be their first exposure to what is such a big part of gay culture - I’m just glad it’s Eureka they’re seeing first. She’s the real deal. She’s tough as nails and funny as hell. She is also a fellow Tennessean, so having her on set felt a lot like being home except she had more hairspray and heels than my momma ever had! Being from the South, she also understands and shares my passion for LGBTQ visibly in the Country Music space - we both grew up loving country music but never seeing ourselves reflected in the music we were singing along to.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue a musical career? When I was six-years-old, my parents used to drive me back and forth from Nashville to Chattanooga to do shows at Opryland. I did my very first show on the Opry stage, so naturally I joke and tell people I have spent my entire adult life just trying to get back to where I started. So, I have been performing my entire life - I’ve done everything from dancing on Taylor Swift’s Fearless Tour to singing in a lycra onesie Off-Broadway - it’s been quite the journey. But I didn’t start writing my own music until I was a bit older. One of my biggest hangups was the fact that I didn’t feel I had much to write about - and then I got dumped by my first long-term boyfriend and suddenly the floodgates opened. The one true upside to a broken heart!
You can learn more about Brandon by visiting www.brandonstansell.com.