Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Masked country music singer Orville Peck on being out

South African gay country singer Orville Peck, famous for wearing a fringed Zorro-style mask and never showing his face publicly, has given an interview with GLAAD.

Orville Peck is a pseudonym; he has been described as “older than 20 and younger than 40.” Peck released his debut album Pony in 2019, followed by the EP Show Pony in 2020. His second studio album Bronco was released in April 2022. He has deliberately been a man of mystery, being out by only scantly addressing his sexual orientation within one of America’s most homophobic music genres.

Now, on July 9, Peck is part of the lineup of the first annual Palomino Festival at the Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. While the festival is country music in tone, the lineup features some of the most diverse and trailblazing artists within the genres of country, American, Bluegrass, folk, and more. From icon Willie Nelson to mainstream talent including Kacey Musgraves and Jason Isbell, to newer voices such as Nikki Lane, Jaime Wyatt, Amethyst Kiah. Peck is one of the artists pushing for change from within America’s only truly national music tradition.

In his interview with GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos, Peck revealed more about himself, his music, and why he became involved in the first Palomino Festival.  

“I’m really thrilled. The kind of country music that I love is not just your typical kind of top 40, run-of-the-mill country that everyone gets,” said Peck. “It’s a beautifully diverse line up and I think it’s a true representation of where our country is and where it’s moving more towards on a mainstream level.”

Peck, who was born in Johannesburg South Africa but has lived in Canada for most of his adult life, said the LGBTQ representation in country music has been a long time coming. “I think it’s always existed within country music, of course. I think it’s finally at a point where that shift is sort of happening on the mainstream level and I feel very confident that in the next 5 to 10 years, I don’t think it will be strange that there will be a lot more LGBTQ inclusion [in country music].”

“I wasn’t growing up listening to any gay men that I could relate to in country music, but I definitely related to a lot of the stories that were being told, which I thought resonated beyond anything to do with sexuality or gender,” said Peck, who says he has never not been out.

“I’ve never felt the need to be secretive about who I am in any part of my career even since I was pretty young,” he told GLAAD. “I always approached things in this kind of a petty resilience where if someone told me can’t do something, it makes me want to do it even more… and I also want to do it better than everyone else. I just have always been that way.”

Most lately, Peck joined his friend Trixie Mattel on her new series Trixie Motel which follows the Drag Queen renovating and designing a Palm Springs boutique motel.  

“We are really good friends in real life obviously and we spend a lot of time together so it’s it’s always fun to work with her.  It was lovely to be able to just do something together where we could essentially just laugh and make fun of one another which is kind of what we do just in our everyday lives!”

Read the full interview here. Tickets to see Orville Peck at the Palomino Festival on July 9 are at PalominoPasadena.com.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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