How Spencer Brown’s Coming Out Journey Elevated His Sound

Oct 20, 2022

Ulises Vargas

3 min read

Throughout his career, Spencer Brown has matured as an artist, sharpening his sound into a potent brew of progressive trance melodies and acid techno breaks. Having released multiple singles via Anjunabeats, the Bay Area native stepped up to the plate in 2020 with his sophomore album, Stream of Consciousness. Following the acclaimed record’s release, the artist shifted into the techno lane with his EP, I was Too Young For 90s Raves.

As his musical palette developed, so did Brown’s personal journey of self-love and acceptance. In a poignant essay published via Billboard, Brown publicly came out as gay, detailing the strenuous process.

In the essay, he touches on the arduous trek LGBTQ+ people endure, from self-hatred and anxiety to emotional suppression. Brown recalls crying in front of the mirror, asking himself, “…am I gay? It can’t be. No way. My family will be devastated. I’ll lose my friends. I won’t have a future. I can’t have kids. What is the point of living?”

The inner saboteur had a tight grip on Brown, whose only outlet was the dance floor. There he found his utopia, a diverse community of genders, races, and sexualities unified by music.

It didn’t matter who you were, and it still doesn’t,” he said. “As long as you bring good energy, you are welcome. It was where I belonged, and it’s still where I belong.”

Brown returned to Billboard a year later to express his gratitude for how well the community received his message. In the follow-up, he shared messages from fans that were touched by his story, proving the positive impact he was able to make in people’s lives.

This was in stark contrast to the warnings he was given prior to publishing the editorial. Brown mentioned the fear of losing fans over coming out, possibly revealing a change in public perception of him as a gay artist. He eventually overcame that, expressing a feeling of empowerment and internal strength.

Once Brown fully allowed himself to own his truth and embrace his sexuality, he found his sound shifting in parallel. His music diversified, he explained, adding, “… I’m no longer afraid of following up a chill-out deep progressive vocal release with heads-down, slamming techno; as long as the records both sound like me and I am proud of the releases.”

Brown also pointed out the absence of gay mentors he had growing up. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, Brown spoke on his lack of role models and his hope to be one for his fans.

“I never had an LGBTQ idol growing up,” he said. “If someone is struggling and they really like my music, I want to connect with them on that.”

To say that the Spencer Brown of 2022 is a more liberated man is an understatement. Not only has he freed himself from the shackles of the closet, he’s afforded himself unlimited creative freedom.

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