It is only too funny that not long ago, I posted about Boyzone and their video Better, with out member Stephen Gately videoed in a romantic situation with another man. Needless to say, a bit late to the party and with a bit less grace, an American boyband have stepped up to the plate with a gay of their own. The band is V Factory, and the gay is Nathaniel Flatt. The band has released their first song, a hip-hop/pop song with a bit more teeth than either N SYNC or Backstreet Boys could muster, but not that much more.
It is really just a pop tune worthy of a club diva, with a thin veneer of hoodies and Beat It dance moves to add more of a street feel. However, like much boyband material, it is a great dance tune, and should do well in the clubs.
Speaking of thin covers, unlike the Brit boybands, the video shows Nathaniel dancing with chicks, not so much other guys. But unlike previous American incarnations, they are giving this gay boy the ability to be out and talk to plenty of outlets about his sexuality and not wait until after the band has broken up.
Mark Feehily and boyfriend Kevin McDaid
Don't get me wrong, boybands are a guilty pleasure for me. I love Backstreet Boys - Squeee! A new CD is coming in the fall - and Westlife - who had me seriously considering flying to Ireland to see them in concert last year, and I have CDs and DVDs of the Irish lads performing. To the best of my knowledge, Backstreet doesn't have the prerequisite gay on payroll, but Westlife has Mark Feehily, an out gay man who doesn't mind chatting about his boyfriend while on stage.
Hey, any step forward is good, and Nathaniel says his bandmates have no problem with his sexuality, and neither do the executives handling the band. It is a non-issue, at least at this point. I haven't heard any of their music other than this video, so time will tell if V Factory has the talent and charisma to make a go of it. You can check them out at their website.
Nathaniel Flatt of V Factory