A Great Big World's Chad King opened up about the experience of working on the pop-rock duo's new single, "Hold Each Other," which is a love song featuring lyrics performed by a man to another man.
Even though he's been out for about eight years, King told HuffPost Live this week that co-writing the song with A Great Big World's other half, Ian Axel, was very much a personal challenge.
"I grew up in a very small town in Florida where there was not one gay person, and I didn't [meet another] gay person until I came to New York for college," he said. "When I would write, I don't know...the female pronoun would be the go-to pronoun, no matter what, because that was just what I knew."
King admitted that his struggles may have been indicative of internalized homophobia, brought on by growing up in an environment where he felt like he didn't fit in.
"I didn't even realize I had any sort of homophobic thoughts to begin with until this song came about," he said. "It was a very big deal for me, and I'm so proud to stand behind it now."
Both King and Axel, who is straight, hope that "Hold Each Other" encourages other out performers like Sam Smith to be more gender-specific in their songwriting. The song, which features a guest rap by Futuristic, is the first cut from the new album, "When The Morning Comes," which dropped Nov. 13.
"I think artists should...not [be] lying by omission," Axel said.
Also in the interview, Axel recalled the moment that King first came out to him as gay, and said, "For the next few days, you had a smile on your face constantly."
Also on HuffPost: