EDGE and Lexus NX Beat have partnered to profile six of today’s hottest LGBTQ+ recording artists. Look for the video profiling Leopold Nunan and Chanel, of Chanel and the Circus, to premiere at EDGE on Monday, March 14. Meantime, enjoy this interview with Leopold Nunan.
Brazil-born, gay singer-songwriter-producer Leopold Nunan is the force behind highly danceable, remix-friendly singles like “Multiple Personality,” “Feeling Like Myself Again,” and “Ballin’ in Beverly Hills” (the latter featuring Brazilian drag queen Pietra Parker).
Based in Weho, Nunan has also jumped into acting — he’s played a gay alien ambassador from the planet Pansexion — surely a sister world to Transsexual, the home world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter? — on the Bric TV sci-fi satire “The United Space of America.
EDGE: You identify as gay. How does that identity inform and inspire your music?
Leopold Nunan: Oh, yeah. I’m an openly gay, queer performance artist. That brings me wings to accomplish anything I can come up with, from the core of my creativity. I want to be as liberated and as free as I can in my expression. And, with that, I want to inspire others to be themselves. There’s nothing better for us than to be us. I want to encourage kids out there that are suppressed to really look for their liberation in their creative process.
EDGE: Your country of origin, Brazil, is a place of contradictions: Known as a place that’s dangerous for LGTBQ+ people, Brazil is also known for its infectiously joyful gay culture. What can we learn in America from Brazil’s LGTBQ+ community?
Leopold Nunan: In Brazil, unfortunately, we have this contrast that is really almost an aberration. On one side we have the Carnival, which is a very open space for people to be themselves, you know, for people to be as free as they want, and to celebrate our ancestors in Brazil. At the same time, Brazil is the country that most kills transgender [people]. It’s very full of machismo, especially now, in the hands of a reactionary, openly homophobic president. But at the same time, our pop music in Brazil became a Black queer music. So this is the backlash. I am so proud of the of the queer power in Brazil. They reached levels that other nations never reached, celebrating queer talent. This is our Brazilian resilience. I’m writing a song right now about that Brazilian resilience. It doesn’t matter how much they hate, because the love is deeper, and brighter, and more contagious.
EDGE: You’ve done acting work, as well.
Leopold Nunan: Yes, I’m on set right now. I’m shooting with Ben Stiller today. It’s wonderful. I just shot “Being the Ricardos” with the amazing Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, which was directed by the wonderful Aron Sorkin. I shot another show with Kevin Hart called “Me Time” that’s coming soon. I did a lot of TV, as well. I have so much experience in acting; I did that all my life. Acting is one of my passions.
EDGE: Has the LGBTQ+ community been supportive of you and your work?
Leopold Nunan: Yes, they have supported me. I’m nothing without them, and I’m very proud of them. Without our community, we are nobody. So yes, I really appreciate the support. And also, I feel like my stuff needs to be heard more [widely] — further than the label of LGBT. I want to make everybodydance.! There’s nothing more cool than to hear your song on the dance floor and see everybody moving to the beat and enjoying the song.
I’m so proud of what’s coming. I’m so proud of what I just did. There’s so much more to come. I call it the instant party — you can have a party anywhere: In your car, your headphones, in the gym. Music has that power for you. What a joy!
Read the entire interview here: