One of my favorite parts of the OUTMusic Awards is meeting and hanging out with other artists and making new connections. In this video I’m with the RightOutTV family, we had loads of fun… watch and enjoy RightOutTV’s Marlee Walchuk doing a group interview with Athena Reich, Garry Novikoff, Jeffery Straker, Dudley Saunders, Suzanne Nuttall, and your’s truly.
Topping the list with 6 OMA nominations, soul singer Nhojj heads to Las Vegas for the 8th Annual OUTMusic Awards and a special OMA VIP Concert. The ceremony will be held at Planet Hollywood on December 16 and the concert on the eve of the awards.
Caribbean soul singer Nhojj is leader of the pack at this years 8th Annual OUTMusic Awards celebration picking up 6 nominations. Sponsored by LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA) and booked as the biggest night in LGBT music and entertainment, the event takes place December 16 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and culminates 3 days of gala festivities.
Known for his versatility and LGBTQ affirming lyrics, the award winning artist is nominated for Best Producer of the Year – “Live Your Life“; Best R&B/Soul Song – “Live Your Life”; Best Jazz/Cabaret Song – “You’re a 10“; Best Song on a Soundtrack/Instrumental – “Finding Me Making Love”; Biello-Martin Love Song – “He & Him” and Best Spiritual/Inspirational Song – “Amazing Grace“.
Close behind with 4 nominations are Rachael Sage, B. Slade, Sugarbush, and Matt Zarley. Artists with 3 nominations include sean360x, Vicci Martinez, Mike Acerbo, KIN4Life, Brian Kent, and Solomon. Other nominated artists include Baron, Frenchie Davis, San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus, Swanny River, Las Krudas, Stephan Nance, Jason Walker, Marck Angel, Michael V. Doane, Ginger Doss, Kevin Wong, Michael V. Doane, Kiya Heartwood, Mark Barnes, Brett Every, and Athena Reich.
Nhojj made OUTMusic history in 2009 with his ballad “Love” becoming the first black male to win an OMA. Last year he took home the trophy for OUTStanding R&B/Soul song of the year for his anthem “Gay Warrior Song“.
“Winning is great,” Nhojj admits, “but really all the nominees are winners for having the courage to stay true to who they are and create music that affirms all of us. I’m celebrating regardless of who takes home the trophies.”
A VIP OMA Intimate Concert performance is set for December 15. Nhojj will share the stage with Universal Group recording artist Vicci Martinez, American Idol and The Voice contestant Frenchie Davis, million selling reggae/fusion recording artist Diana King, RightOut TV award winner Matt Zarley, and Las Vegas gay Latino performer Giovanna Aguaya.
The award nominations highlight a great year for Nhojj. He released 2 singles, a music video, and a documentary short produced by Emmy nominated Michael Burlingame. The short “Nhojj MUSIC and the word” went on to receive the Indie Fest Award of Merit in the gay/lesbian/transsexual category, Nhojj reached #1 on OutVoice Song chart and last month, his acoustic YouTube rendition of “He & Him” won the RightOut TV award for Best “Living Room” Performance. Press mentions included The Huffington Post, Gay City News, Next magazine and his performances included NYC Gay Pride, Chicago’s ALT Q Music Festival, and the first “Out & Proud” Brooklyn Museum concert.
“The best thing about music,” Nhojj explains “is its power to bring people together… even the most unlikely of people, for instance two of my biggest fans voted differently than I did in the last presidential election. It surprised me at first, but after contemplation, I realized, music is a shared experience – gender, class, race, sexual orientation, politics – none of these things matter. Music transcends boundaries.”
In January, 2013, Nhojj returns to New York City to record his 5th studio album and film a documentary about his work.
The 7th Annual OUTMusic Awards kicked off with amazing performances by Women who Rock – in every genre! It was great to see Jazz singer/drummer and Living Legend honoree Paula “Styx” Hampton jam just as beautifully as heavy Rocker MilitiA. Judging the standing ovations, the audience loved it too!
Earlier, I walked the red carpet, doing interviews, smiling for photos, and hoping nothing was out-of-place, judging from the QTalk and GBM News videos, I did alright – (I’m about 20 minutes in QTalk and 11 minuest in GBM News).
Comedian Tammy Peay hosted this year’s awards and kept us laughing, as she introduced presenters and performers. I loved the variety of acts on stage, I think there was something for everyone – Folk-R&B-Soul-Pop and everything in between. I got a sense that everyone was just as excited as I was – it wasn’t about winning and losing as much as it was about celebrating how far we’ve come.
Some of my favorite performances were BSlade‘s space age Disco tribute to Icon Sylvester, Tona Brown and Aida Strings classical piece, Athena Reich nerdy cocoon to sexy butterfly number, Deepa Soul funky rock anthem, American Idol contestant William Scott‘s Uganda tribute, Raye6 grand circus finale, and the Hip Hop segment which featured baron, Infinite, Foxxjazel, Shorty Roc, Last O, Empress Milan, DJ Mary Mac and The 5 Star Music Nation.
The OMA for R&B/Soul song of the year was in the 2nd half of the show. I was sitting with my good friend Bob Schaffer (we filmed Amazing Grace at his NYC apartment) and rapper Bone Intell. Da Doo Dirty Show host DJ Baker and artist Lovari presented the Award. Marck Angel was sitting in the row behind me, Jesse O couldn’t be there, but I’d promised to text him if he won, I’d talked with Kalup Linzy briefly at last year’s Awards, and even though I didn’t get to meet Tyrangem, I follow him on Facebook. Anyone of us could have won.
I stared at the floor while they read the nominees and I remember thinking “wow” when I heard my name and all the applause. I got to the stage, gave DJ Baker a big hug, and completely forgot all the people I needed to thank… lol. All I could think of was The Gay Warrior Song and its importance, and why I wrote it. This song has been with me for 7 years, growing and getting stronger, and it is dedicated to all women, men, and transexuals around the world who are fighting for Love – hold on! Truth will prevail.
I do want to say a big thank you to my manager Ron for all the love, I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – I would not be here without you. Another big thank you to the bloggers for all your support, independent and internet radio, (especially DJ Baker) for all the spins and mentions, Diedra Merideth and everyone at LARA for working to keep the OUTMusic Awards alive. Finally I want to thank you – my friends, fans, followers, subscribers, and supporters. You’re presence means the world to me… thank you sooooooo much for being in my life and taking this journey with me.