The singer-songwriter on how Sink The Pink, Spice Girls and RuPaul all inspired his latest floor-filling dance anthem.
The British singer-songwriter reveals how getting lost at Sink The Pink, Spice Girls, and one of RuPaul’s most famous quotes inspired his latest floor-filling dance anthem.
If there’s been one song on repeat in the Gay Times office this summer, it’s been Blonde and Bryn Christopher’s Me, Myself & I. The thumping dance anthem recalls the very best of 90s house and disco, delivering an infectious chorus and fierce vocals.
It continued Bryn’s string of floor-filling bops after the massive success of his Sigala single Sweet Lovin’, and his co-write on last year’s Came Here For Love.
We caught up with the Brummie singersongwriter over a latte to talk about the inspirations behind his huge club thumpers, why he really wants to collaborate with RuPaul, and how he’s feeling more empowered as a gay man in music than ever before.
We’ve been loving Me, Myself & I all summer long. What’s the story behind that song?
I had the idea of Me, Myself & I as a title, but then the concept came from a Sink The Pink night I had with one of my best mates. But then my friend left me on my own and when it’s at the Troxy it’s really hard to find anyone – especially when everyone is dressed up. So for an hour and a half I was on my own and it was witching hour – y’know, the time when everyone starts to kiss each other and pull each other. I came to a point where I was like, ‘Right, I either try my hardest to find someone to pull or I just dance on my own.’ In my head, what happened was Spice Girls probably played, and I realised I didn’t need anyone, I don’t need love, I don’t need a man. So it’s basically about that: having the best time on your own. Lyrically, the middle eight is massively inspired by the RuPaul quote ‘If you can’t love yourself then how in the hell are you going to love anyone else?’ So it’s meant to be positive. Luckily, Blonde ended up loving it and it became a single. The gays have all latched onto it, because it’s got everything we love about pop music. Great dance music, great melodies, a nice lyric, and a big vocal.
The music video really adds to it with all the drag queens and plenty of queer visibility in it.
Yes, and Blonde were really cool with doing that idea. When I told them where the concept actually came from, they were like, ‘We want to make sure that comes across in the video.’ I was blown away by Freida Slaves in the video, and it kind of meant more to me. We were actually involving the community. It’s also the first music video where I’ve been quite flamboyant. It was such a magical day.
How important is queer visibility in music, because it’s generally a place a lot of kids look towards?
Most queer people are usually quite creative, and so to see it in the music industry is a major thing. At the moment there’s loads of great people like Years & Years, MNEK, Troye Sivan, there’s loads of really great artists that are gay and are doing really well. When I was young, the only ones around were George Michael and Elton John who were straight first and then came out later. When you’re a little kid you want to look up to someone. Just like being of colour, not seeing many mixed race guys on television, you just don’t know who to relate to. So then you straighten your hair because you want to look like the white guys. But now I’m seeing mixed race guys on TV and they’ve got curly hair. It’s the same with seeing someone who is gay on TV, you go, ‘I can be that – no-one cares.’
You co-wrote Came Here For Love which Ella Eyre recorded with Sigala, which then went on to be the official Pride in London song last year. Was the inspiration for that LGBTQ-themed, or was it just by chance that it fitted so well?
I kind of feel subconsciously I wrote that for Love Island! I mean, they’ve played it loads. It’s just perfect by default. I don’t remember specifically writing it for Love Island, but every time it gets played I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’
Have you ever written a song from a queer person’s perspective, but then it’s been given
away and had to be changed?
Yes, I have. Sometimes I write quite promiscuous lyrics. So Came Here For Love for instance, we had to change the pre-chorus because the lyrics I had were not suitable for a girl to sing. About four years ago I wrote a song for Blonde called Heartbreaker and the lyrics were really blatant. It was all, ‘You’re my man’ and I wrote it for a Jennifer Hudson-type voice. They turned around and said they wanted to give it to Alex Newell – who I love by the way – but I was like, ‘Actually, I want to sing it.’ So I got to sing it once live with them and it was the first time on stage that I sang lyrics with male pronouns. It felt so powerful. It was like, for all those people wondering, yeah, I’m gay. Recently I’ve been much more open to writing whatever I want and owning the pronouns.
Have you got any more dance anthems in the pipeline for us?
I’ve got a song with Jaded that I’m really excited about. At the moment I’m working with quite a few new artists. Other than that, I’m working with loads of different writers and producers that I love.
How do you know when you’re writing a song if it’ll be for you, or for someone else?
If I’m actually writing for an artist I have to take a step back. However, with Came Here For Love, I wrote that for myself and then seven months later it got given to Sigala, and then they wanted Ella Eyre to sing it. At that point I have to be like, yeah, Ella can sing it. I love her – she’s an amazing artist. So that’s when you can step back. Usually, if they’re great singers, I will accept it. Otherwise they should just leave me on the track. I usually try to sing it so hard that no-one else can do it better!
Going back to RuPaul, have you ever reached out to see if you can work on some music with him for one of his albums?
I have! I’ve only ever messaged people who I absolutely love. One time I messaged Linda Perry about five years ago going, ‘You don’t know me,
but I’m the biest fan and one day we’ll work with each other.’ I almost did it so that in 10 years time when I’m writing with her I can go, ‘You can go on Facebook and see that message.’ But she actually messaged me back! It was two huge paragraphs and I was blown away. RuPaul is another one that I have been messaging going, ‘We need to write together!’ I would die to write with him. I want him to hear Me, Myself & I, because then he might let me write his musical!
Imagine if Me, Myself & I was a lip-sync for your life...
I would die. I want to play RuPaul in his musical. He needs to do one about his whole life. He’s such a good writer. He doesn’t really need me to write with
him, but I would just love to collaborate in some way.
I was going to ask about your dream collaboration, but you’ve kind of already answered that.
Well, there’s also Sia. When I signed to Sony ATV for my publishing deal, they kind of got me by saying they could get me in a writing session with Sia. It never happened, but then I don’t know what I’d do in a Sia session. I’d be like, ‘You’re my idol, you come up with the best melodies in the world, and have great lyrics,’ so I really don’t know what I’d do.
Who is your LGBTQ icon?
Oh I know, Gimme Gimme Gimme’s Tom Farrell. He’s my idol. I loved that show – I used to know all the words. Me and my friends used to write on the back of our books the whole script, and then we’d act it out. It was primetime and he was a gay character who was really funny and you loved.
How was your coming out experience?
I haven’t actually come out to my family, because I’ve never been in love. I didn’t see the point of sitting my mum and dad down and saying, ‘I’m gay’. She’d probably just say to me, ‘And..?’ They know. Like, my brother hasn’t come out as straight, but he’s got a female fiance so that’s how they know he’s straight. When I fall in love, I won’t tell them I’m gay, I’m just going to be at dinner and say to them, ‘Oh, this is my boyfriend.’ Until then, I just don’t see the point.