Keeping Faith w/ VINCINT

Episode · 1 year ago

Keeping Faith w/ VINCINT


Today we talk with Vincint Cannady, known by the mononym VINCINT, a singer and songwriter who adds some hope to the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the religious community. VINCINT was raised Baptist and found allyship and acceptance within his community through his peers but most importantly, his professors. Now, he volunteers with multiple LGBTQ+ organizations to fight for acceptance and end discrimination.

Be sure to follow VINCINT on IG! Your host is Levi Chambers, co-founder of Gayety. Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @Pride. Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at Your producers are Levi Chambers, Maggie Boles, Ryan Tillotson and Edited by Sebastian Alcala Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at *This podcast is not affiliated with Pride Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

This episode is brought to you by atnt Straw media. My first moment was don't fall off stage, and I've done that before. So I stood still and I started singing and I remember just watching the crowd light up with all the lights in the air and just kind of like fully being a support system. And I remember getting Terria and I turned away from the camera because I know myself and if I cry on thing, it is like it's ugly, it's like it's bad, and so I it's like Sarah Paulson, American horror story, bad time, and so I gather myself. I just remember feeling so alive. You know, it's like that feeling when you do the thing that you love and that you're meant to do and you do it with people fully, fully support you and there's no questioning whether or not you're supposed to be there. I felt so and appreciated and welcomed and it was that was overwhelming for me. It's no secret that the relationship between the LGBTQ plus community and the religious community is complicated. Religion can be either a solace or a form of suffering for many queer individuals. Last week we spoke with Ray, an artist who was kicked out of their church for loving a man. Today we talked to Vincent Kennedy, known by the MONONYM Vincent, another singer and songwriter who adds some hope to the narrative. Vincent was raised Baptist and found alle ship and acceptance within his community through his peers, but most importantly, through his professors. Now he volunteers with multiple lgbtq plus organizations to fight for acceptance and end discrimination. I'm Vincent and this pride. My name is been sin, my pronouns or he him. I'm a singer songwriter based in La Vincent's love for music started when he was very young. By the age of five he was singing and by the age of twelve he had written his first song. It all began with my dad and visny, Goston group heads in a five person group anywhere incredible, and I learned singing, at harmonies and songwriting from him and he think back on the was a lot of big artist too passed to Philadelphia and that's where I got my love and he grew up in a religious household but, unlike many other within the Lgbtqia community, he didn't feel held back or discourage from being himself because of his faith. I grew up in a really great household. My parents didn't pressure me into being something that they wanted me to be or trying to find out who I was. They sort of just let me grow up and along the way told me what was Ryan what was wrong, and the sense of others and how to be around them at how to interact and what was right and wrong in the sense of like morals. And so I grew up in a really safe place and so it allowed me to be myself. As a result, Vincent didn't filter his arm. He was able to write and saying exactly what he felt without fear of judgment. So whenever I started writing, I never had to think about it. If I needed to say a girl's name, of that would be popular, that would be cool. I didn't think about that kind of stuff. I thought about, well, what I what I liked. I like that. I thought about boys and I thought about what made me feel excited and what made me happy, and so I had anything. Is always been a part of my music because I didn't know any other way to be. I never had to hide myself from anyone or to feel, or was made to feel, like who I was was shameful, and so the reason my music is so out loud is because that's all I've ever been. This isn't to say that all of Vincence life has been a piece of cake. It's never that easy. Vincent didn't shy away from being his true self. He came out as gay when he was sixteen. He was going to... at an all boys Catholic high school when he ran into some trouble with some kids. I remember getting on safe to the talent show and singing and having an entire room of all high school boys kind of boomy and look at me and make fun and call me names, and I was there was a moment, there was a there was a small moment on stage where I thought, hmm, this could break me like this, could this? This is something that could stop me from doing anything else. This is this is what trauma is. But before Vincent could throw in the towel, someone in the crowd spoke to him and pushed him to keep fighting, and then I remember looking over and seeing my theology teacher. She was a lovely lady, Miss Sparios, and she gave me a thumbs up and she said keep going. She literally looked me dead at the eyes from the side and just said don't stop. I remember going back on stage. I was singing something from the cheeta girls. That's probably they were doing me, Um. But like we stand the chewo girls in this house and we'll do whatever we can for the cheater girls. And so I remember standing on stage and thinking, don't leave just because they're afraid of who you are, because they don't know how to be who they are. Is Not your responsibility to take that on for the rest of your life. I know that's a lot for a high school or the thing, but I come from a really intense household where we really appreciate ourselves and we talked about ourselves and we build ourselves up and the go to each other up, and so I wasn't going to let them get me down. Vincent didn't see the instigators as bullies. He saw them as scared little boys who hadn't figured themselves out the same way he has. And then I had to remember they also feel a really really sense of a really big sense of loneliness they must feel, or confusion. I'm not knowing exactly who they are who they are and how to love someone else and appreciate someone else's beauty, your gift. In case you were wondering what cheat a girls Song Vincent was performing, I'm picturing you singing strut because I just feel like that would have been very fitting. Like I do love strap by the CHEATA girls right, like I think it's a cheater girls too, but it yeah, that would not not. Yes, that would have been like all right, booming, fine, it is so truy. I think Cheetah Girls, I think Chee Sisters. Oh, you did, I did. I mean I kind of love that. I feel like that should be a single. It was iconic, I'm not gonna lie to you. For LGBTQ PUS youth, it's uncommon to be accepted and supported by their religious community after coming out. Just last week, we will opened up about his excommunication from church and the impact it had on his life. But Vincent's experience at a parochial school was different. He attended Catholic school from kindergarten through twelveth grade and was surrounded by allies at every turn. These nuns were consent, like, I don't know how I got lucky with them. Some of them are crazy, but like crazy needed because I was like wild. But I got lucky because they were. They just loved me and I didn't. I didn't expect that, especially from them, especially in that environment, especially from what they're taught about us. And so I was always I always felt safe in religion at school, but at Church I was like this isn't for me. I'm being talked about, I don't love this, but I felt they taught me that all religion is bad, just some people are. Even before Vincent officially came out, he knew his community was on his side. I mean like, I couldn't really hide why I wasn't back then, and so I never I also never tried it. It was so interesting now to look back and realize that people who fully saw me as I was and loved me regardless, and so I bring that message into my music. I bring that into my viage. was like the first music video I did, row for the SALOMARE that I put out, wasn't a church and it had trans, it had nonbinary, it had bisexual, it had gay, Haad Pan Sexual people in it and I wanted the message to be just because you're told one narrative by one certain set of people doesn't necessarily make a truth for everyone. Everyone's invited to every place. They think they're worthy of being it. And if you feel like you're not,...

I'm here to tell you that that's not the truth. You can be, stand, love, praise whoever you want to, and that shouldn't be demonized because of who you are who you love. If you could tell your younger self in Catholic school, you know one thing now, if you could go back in time, right after he performed and was booed on stage and tell him something, what would that one thing? Beef should have worn more spots. Not that I tell myself. I tell myself go harder, make them hear you, even if they don't like it, because it's not about them, is about you. This makes you feel good thing. You should do it. More Cheetah print, more cheat to sponds, more Cheetah print. I mean literally had to tell honestly you should have brought the ears and the jail that you were thinking of getting, but you did it because you're a little bit nervous and that's tea. But also you should have done Vincent has performed numerous times in front of a large audience. But one of favorite performances happened right in his hometown. I had just done a headlining thing in La Pride and the next day was Philadelphia Pride, and it was my first time ever playing philly pride and it was my first time that my parents and my entire family, like my my extended family, like my clothes new family, would ever see me head like I was the headliner for our state, for our city, and I flew in and I'll never forget standing on stage and giving the speech about accepting your children and letting them know that you love them, a Groblems of what the world tells them, and seeing my mom and my dad and the audience just like, so proud, like proud of that I've ever seen them, of me standing in my truth on this stage, crop top dawned and the bright yellow bedazzled shorts, living my fullest life, and watching my parents be so proud, like tears streaming down their faces. And I'll never forget that specifically because after the show my dad came up to me and said some of the most beautiful things I've ever heard him saying, and a year later he passed away. And so that for me was such a critical moment in my in my life, because I got to witness my father witness me and my fullest truth and my most authentic self. And it was also this beautiful moment because I started singing because of him and it became this full circle thing of I found my voice, I found my place. I'm doing really good at it and that's because of you and I am so happy that you got to see this before you didn't. This moment shared between a father and a son solidified their entire relationship and proved to Vincent's Dad just how much his son had grown. My Dad definitely knew he was sick and didn't say anything, and so I think it was more so I now realized it was himself goodbye, and there was a whole bunch of other things, but he pulled me to the side. He goes. I'm so proud of you, because I always knew you were strong, but I didn't know that you were good and strong, and I was like, one did that mean like you into? I think I'm a good person. He's like, I'm not saying that. You care more about your people then I've seen in a very long time, and I was it's because we're all the same people. And he goes, yes, but you stand up for them, and I've never seen that before and that was weird for me to hear fromhim because I was always taught like if something's wrong and you see something, do something, someone's being mistreated, you say you stand up for them. I mean if they're not sending it for themselves, you try to help. And I said that I've always been that way because that's how you a mom are, and he was again taken it back because he's like, I don't think they really realized they did such a good job and just being good human beings that it really rubbed off on me and my siblings. You know, it really like we all have issues and problems and things, but they did a really good job of making us good people. Greatest Gifts I've gotten from them.

And so that conversation really consisted of him being proud again, which was like the ultimate because I'm like, yeah, I want you to be proud of me, like look at me now, I'm doing this and I said that I would, and I know that it took a long time. You can get here, but I'm actually doing it and I'm really I'm really good at and that's because of view. Vincent's relationship with his father meant the world to him. Even with accepting parents, Vincent saw firsthand how difficult it is for some people to wrap their heads around same sex dating. I think we're driving in chest at hill and I was like I want to go to Tucker's house because we're going in a date. Had to be like one fifteen sixteen, and he kind of was taken aback because we never vocalized it, you know, like I'm the on a date with the boy day and you're dropping me off. Did you know that? I also I need money this day. Love you, and he kind of pulled the carver and he was like a day, do you know what that means? I'm was like yeah, I know what it means. I just saw Robin, my sister, gone to day the other day. I know exactly what it means. you go out with someone you like, you buy Ice Caam, you watch a movie and you go home, because that's what I thought day was and honestly that's what I still think of Ding is now. But I told her, I said, is that? Is that okay? He he kind of stopped and paused for a moment. He was just, I think, contemplating how to how to approach this in a way where he didn't make me feel like he didn't love me, because I was his biggest fear. And so he says, I love you, I don't know if I'm okay with you going on a date with Tucker and I want you know that I support you, but I don't know if I'm okay with it, to which my little smart ass replied, Oh, I wasn't asking if you're okay with it, I just need the thirty bucks to get ice cream and pizza. And he told me years later he said that was a moment I knew that I didn't have to worry about you because if you could stand up to me, my dad was six seven, if you could stand up to me and our minivan, Moll and, dropping off on a day with a boy, then I knew that you can send up anybody, because you didn't care what I thought. That wasn't important, because what I thought didn't matter, and the grand scheme of what you were about to do, you were going to do something that you were following your heart and I was standing in the way and you didn't care that I was in the way. You just pushed me aside and I'll never forget him being so so problem of because I raised you to be strong and you were strong, even when I was scared. I said, okay, good for you. I mean, I didn't realize it then, but now I realized it and it's it's nice. I mean, they did a great job and making me who I am. They raised me to be really strong. When we come back the pressure of representation, singing, competitions and new music. This episode of pride is brought to you by a TNT. ATNT supports organizations that strengthened the LGBTQ plus community. ATNT and the Trevor Project share a commitment to bringing an end to lgbtq plus youth suicide. Here's a way that you can support the Trevor Project with ATNT. Every time you post on instagram or twitter, use Hashtag turn up the love. Att will donate ten dollars to the Trevor Project Up to a hundred and twenty five thousand. So start using that Hashtag turn up the love today and let's help the Trevor Project with ATNT. Since one thousand nine hundred and seventy five atnt has been a proud ally to the LGBTQ plus community. Att Turn Up the love is an events advocacy and editorial initiative to celebrate the LGBTQ plus community and to promote acceptance and alley ship. Att Celebrates the pride in you by offering meaningful ways to have a positive impact on the LGBTQ plus community. Discover exclusive content, contests and events at turn up the LOVECOM. Welcome back. Today we're talking to Vincent, a singer and songwriter who gained a following after his performance on the very first season of the music competition the for but his platform and power as a role model still surprise him and he's reminded of his impact every time he gets...

...a letter from a fan. Every day I get a message from someone either in America or outside, and it's always a bit I'm always a bit taken back because it's I never really think of myself that way. Like I always say, I'm not here to be a role model because I'm I'm really young and I'm trying to live my life and I want to be happy and I do things that I don't think other people should do. But also if I can make you proud and you see me doing something that you want to go after, you should do that. If you are a little boy from Alabama who looks like me and you are gay and you want to be a singer and you think that it's it's impossible, I'm going to tell you that it's not. You know just by being I'll never tell you to do exactly what I do, because half of the time we're making it up, we're trying to get there. Everyone is. There's no only plan or no like suified way to do all of this. You just kind of have to be yourself and do it and make it work. And so whenever I get a menage from someone, I make sure that I put that at the front of the conversation. Hi, I'm so glad that you're here, so think about you send me this message. None of this is easy, but if you love it, you'll do it. Don't follow everything that I do, because I'm not completely sane and I don't want you to follow exactly everything that I'm doing. But I also want you to be your full of self. I want you to be as happy as you can be and that that means looking at what I'm doing in Molley and after that then go for it. With fame always comes responsibility, but for Vincent it goes beyond just holding himself accountable in the public's eye. He's also being a role model for Black Queer Youth, a rule that he doesn't take lightly. I don't take the responsibility of other people's lives on my shoulders, but it happens regardless of whether I want it to or not. It's just the way being black and gay in America and having this platform is, and so I understand that responsibility and I carry it and I make sure that I I make sure that I am good, I make sure that I do it really well, I make sure that I say what I want, say what I need and I go after the things I think I want to achieve, and knowing that others are looking at me and thinking I want that some day out that he makes it, we're cheering him on, is nothing but the most beautiful fuel that I could ever have for continuing it. And if some little boy in Alabama or in Arkansas or in California or in Philadelphia is listening and watching, I want them to know that you can do it. You know you can make it happen for yourself if you try. Since coming out and garnering fame as a musician, Vincent has become a strong advocate for lgbtq plus issues. I started working with love out through an event that I went to at the Youtube space here in La and I went to see the documentary believer that Dan Reynolds had put together. The documentary tells the beautiful story of Dan Reynolds, the lead vocalist of imagine dragons, and his campaign for lgbtq plus acceptance within the Mormon community, and I remember sitting in the back of the room been watching this entire film and weeping through the entire thing because it is truly one of them, the saddest most beautiful films I've seen. Vincent says he knew immediately that he wanted to help in any way he could. So he went up to Reynolds and asked him how he could get involved, and so from that I became a I'm a member of the love outboard now and in Circle House kind of fell into that because I'm maxwell posts and a bunch of other people who work in Utah or originally from Utah, and so I met with some of the kids while doing a love lout visit to Utah. I went to one of the in circle houses and met the kids, sat with them, heard their stories, saying with them, wrote song to them and I was like, okay, great, now I'm a part of this because I can't leave and not I can't not be here and not help them. And so they all kind of tumble.

...weaded into each other under this beautiful kind of family and relationship that I have with the people of Utah, specifically the INSERPLE houses in love loud community, because I I mean, there was a need and I need to fill it. In two thousand and Nineteen Vincent performed at the love loud festival presented by ATNT, probably one of the most chaotic days of my life, because we're in Utah, were it's like for the Utah we're truly in Mormon town, and so it's just like little gay bubble that's happening in the middle of Mormonland. And it's a stadium and I'm there and everyone's I'm there with Parson James and day is there and cashes there. She has a whole team back stage and everyone's kind of like running around. It's the red carpets happening and my manager posting to the side things like hey, you're going to go on like at a primetime you in Parson and so I want you to like really take that in. And I look out into the crowd and like there's like the Sea of darkness and then all these like pride flights come on in this beautiful rain happens in the stadium and I remember feeling so overwhelmed with pride, which is, like, I know, like cliche and like a little cheesy, but it was just so nice to see that, in this place where I had never thought I would experience such togetherness in community and just queer life, that this stadium was rocking with people and they were all there for the common goal to support the LGBT Hue community. For me, that was never whelming feeling. I never played the seating before that and I got on stage and I remember feeling like my body was like made of electricity. I just I have never felt more alive than in that moment and since then I've always wanted to feel like that. Despite the rush Vincent gets from performing in front of a stadium full of people. He says his music career come second to his advocacy work. At the end of the day, we're all supposed to be there for each other and regardless of a busy schedule or me doing something that pertains to helping myself, there's nothing more filling in helping someone else. And these kids actually needed. They don't have people who are going to be there for them, and people that they were supposed to be loved by the most abandoned them. They put them out in the street in the winter in Utah, you know. And so I think all of my needs are superseded by theirs and if I can be there that I'm going to be there. Because of the COVID nineteen pandemic, most in person pride events were moved to a virtual performance or canceled all together. You'd think this would make the month less busy for lgbtq plus creators, but Vincent says the opposite happened. I feel like I did things every day for pride last year. I was like my house became a litteral, like tick Tock Hype House. I had to do I had to be so creative with the things that I made last year. My Gosh. Now, as California continues to open up and more and more events are being scheduled for in person, Vincent is busier than ever. Two Thousand and twenty one has been a bit of rollercross. The album just came out on doing eleven and I dropped for singles before and this like kind of consecutive, like purpose for kind of way where it's like I'm going to easy guys into this, hope you like it. If you don't, don't say anything, just go away and and I'll leave too. But everyone else really, I mean the response has been insane. I just don't know what saint about it. I'm like, I'm truly like kind of gags. They just it's been it's been great, it's been crazy, it's been overwhelming. I am on cloud nine, but also have them working this entire time through Vincent's eleven track album is titled there will be tears. It features collaborations with other artists, including Zoe's extraordinary playlist, Alex knewell and Canadian duo Tegan and Sarah. The collaboration with Alex and Parson and Queen Herbey. I'll happen because they're all friends, and so I texted them very, very like shadily in the middle of that. I was like, hi, I have a sound. If you don't like it, don't answer back, but I love you if you want to be on and let me know. And they did. And the connection with puns, it's precious, who is on higher was through...

...and directory get from pose because we went to college together and we've known each other for the longest time. I text her and I was like, Hey, girl, I need someone from the ball room who can actually do this card, because I sound like an impersonator and that's not great. And within an hour she had me up the princess and precious is just truly one of the most talented girls in the game and she truly just came through so fast and so easy and was such an iconic and beautiful personal work, with the most random but coolest collab on the album with seeing and Thera, and that is I've met to get there. They're also on the board of both loud and in Circle House. We've met him passing on carpets and has always been the sweetest interactions. I'm me Fan girly and like running away at the end, but I tweeted at them because I had just written get away and I was like they would sound really good on this. I'll tweet at them because that means I don't have to really commit to a text. And so I tweeted at them and within like three minutes he can respond to being like great, let's make it happen. Send it over, and I was like, Oh shit, okay, here we go, and then I sent them over the demo, being like hi, it's not done yet, I just don't really excited. Didn't think you were responded with like here we are, and within like four days they had recorded all their parts. Since everything in we're actual goddesses and have been the sweetest, most iconic people I've ever worked with. Vincent says the response to the album has been overwhelmingly positive. I was out last endless Hollywood and I kept getting stopped and that's the first thing that's ever happened to me. Where I'm I'm walking, I'm only consistently being stopped about the songs in the album and I'm just like, I just can't believe it. It's so it's so cool, like we wrote this album last year and the fact that, like my baby's out in the world and doing so much. People are loving it and feeling things from it. Is the ultimate wind. We're all still recovering from a year of stress, isolation and binge watching Netflix, but Vincent says he's never been more ready to get back to work remixes and new songs. I started working on new songs in the middle of that album, and so now I'm finishing those new songs and working on remixes of the songs that are already out. We shot a couple music videos. We're doing some more cool TV things. I'm like busy, which is nice. Vincent wrote the album after a few dark years in his life, with everyone enduring a pandemic, protests, political escapades and life in general. He felt this was as good a time as any to release an album like there will be tears. I think the overall message would probably be that it doesn't always have to end in tears. Sure, there will be tears, you'll cry, it's sad, it hurt. It doesn't end there, and just because you're crying doesn't mean that you're broken. I wrote these songs when I was in a place where I needed to feel alive again, where I wanted to feel human again and I wanted to feel joy installgia. I wanted to feel young again and after the year that we had, I knew that I had to make an album that made me feel like me again. And so I think for any listener who turns on this album and listens all the way through it at the end of it is trying to figure out what that feeling of like. God, I want to break down into hers, but also I want to run the streets and make it and feel so alive. That's that's the feeling. It's short said. Sure, your heart got broken, sure you fell in love, sure you were angry, sure you lost someone. You'll cry about it, but it's just a moment. The moment's passed. So what's next for Vincent? I can't specifically talk about it, but I will say that their remix is coming for some of the some of your favorite songs on the album, and there are a lot of surprise guests. To stay connected with Vincent and followers upcoming projects, you can find him on any social media platform, any music platform, and B and C I and t I'm the only one that has your music. I'm assuming is on... music my music on apple music, it's on spotify, it's on Soundcloud, it's on groove shark, it's on Amazon, it's on all the things that you can listen to. It's in your grandmother's house auto record player downstairs behind an old gard couch that she has. I'm everywhere. You can find me and you can listen, you can stream it, you can dance to it, just don't, don't call. This episode was presented by atnt. Thanks for listening and helping US turn up the love. Pride is a production of Strawha media. If you like the show, follow us on Instagram, twitter and facebook at pride and tune in weekly for new episodes. Be Sure to share this episode with your friends and subscribe to our podcast for more stories from Amazing Queer people. If you'd like to connect with me, you can follow me everywhere. At Lea by chambers. Pride is produced by me LEA by chambers, maaggie bowls, Bryan Tillotson and Catlyn mcdaniel, edited by Sebastian Alcala and Daniel Ferreira. Sound mixing by Sebastian Alcola. I mean, now I'm picturing like Sister Act nuns fully, those nuns. I'm not joking. It's it's kind of great. Sister Mary, Sister Margaret, Mary, sister May at the and sister Donna, like truly I remember that, will remember them forever.

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