Nick Deutsch's new single, "Hard To Love A Man," is a folk-pop ballad about men written from a gay man's perspective. Still, the New York singer-songwriter feels the song has a universal message about men, "toxic masculinity" and love, and hopes his fans -- both straight and gay -- are able to see themselves represented in its lyrics.
"Is it hard for women to love men, or just men to love men? Is it hard for just queer men to love themselves or straight men, too? Obviously with the horror of the past week, I feel it’s all true," the 29-year-old Illinois native said of the song, which can be heard below. "It’s hard for men to love themselves, love other men, and have society accept men loving men."
The song will be featured on Deutsch's forthcoming EP, "Heart Saver," which is the follow-up to his 2014 debut, "Crazy Ride," and slated for a release later this summer. Describing his sound as "heartstring indie pop," Deutsch cites Kacey Musgraves, Sam Smith, Adele and James Blake among his musical influences.
The singer-songwriter, who came out in 2014, told HuffPost he felt confused and angered by the deadly June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people and injured 53 more. Ultimately, he sees the tragedy as further proof that openly queer artists need to take the professional risk of presenting themselves authentically in a cutthroat music industry.
"As long our world needs fixing, we have to do our part," said Deutsch, who hopes to hit the road after the release of "Heart Saver." "If I have a love song about a man, I’m gonna put a man in the video. I’ve never backed away from being honest about my sexuality or my struggles, and I think we need any voices we can get."
He went on to note, "I feel the music business and the fans really just care about being who you are -- gay, straight, bi or fluid."