Singer-songwriter Michael Blume gave some lucky fans a sneak peek at his debut EP, "When I Get It Right," with an intimate New York concert on May 24.
In the video above, Blume performs his funky new single, "Colors," before a sold-out crowd at The Box, a downtown Manhattan nightspot. The clip should give West Coast audiences a taste of what's in store when Blume takes the stage June 12 at L.A. Pride.
The 26-year-old New Jersey native describes his sound as "progressive R&B," and lists Aretha Franklin, Frank Ocean, James Blake and Beyoncé among his many musical influences. Speaking to The Huffington Post, Blume called his forthcoming Pride performance "an insane opportunity," noting that it's giving him a chance to play alongside established pop stars like Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX.
Although he's an out-and-proud gay man, Blume said he didn't feel any specific artistic responsibility to the queer community other than to "call into question the assumed, the unquestioned, the hegemonic -- and grill it to pieces!"
"I do feel a responsibility to stir things up -- to make people uncomfortable, to make them question some of their norms," Blume, who now resides in New York, said. "To have them say, 'Wait a minute, there are these rules I have been following my whole life, and my whole family does, too, and all my friends follow these rules, too, and the rules make little to no sense and cause a lot of people to be excluded and pained and left out. Why am I following these rules?'"
As far as the message of his own work is concerned, he added, "I try to be real and upfront and truthful and say provocative and new ideas. I have some new ideas to share with folks, and I don't hide them."