Willie Tay, a rising star in Singapore’s pop scene, got dropped by his label after he came out to them. So he did what a self-respecting artist would do: he went independent with a new stage name Wils, and released a music video that serves as his official coming out.
Wils’ co-star in the video is Rob Pexton. Wils notes, “it’s his first music video ever, such a natural!” We sense some chemistry.
Wrote Wils on YouTube: “This is my first music video since I came out as gay. Sadly.. I got dropped from my label in Asia after I came out of the closet.. But I’m okay! I’m really grateful for the support from my loved ones. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you guys. If this song meant something to you, I’ll be forever grateful if you could share it to your friends. I really hope this reaches the eyes of underrepresented LGBT kids in the world and I can only do that with your sharing. Life’s so much more fun when you’re being you. I promise!”
Wils added: “I’m really glad that I can finally share this new single ‘Open Up Babe’ with you.. This song got me so emotional. I remember being in this dark moment where I just couldn’t write anything because I felt like I was living a lie being in the closet. To those who ever held back because of who you are, this song is about letting that go and opening up to the beautiful things in life. Sometimes we have to face the things we’re afraid of (the deeper you dive, the freer you get) and really look at it with courage and love. This song represents the depth of your emotions where you allow yourself to let go. A space within yourself that you explore and allow yourself to express freely. A depth of self acceptance and love. … Sometimes when you free yourself of the fears you have within, you’re allowing space for others to get in. The things we go through in life creates layers of walls. We must learn to unlearn the things that keep us from being truthful to ourselves.”
Billboard spoke to Wils about coming out and the situation in his homeland of Singapore: ‘There’s a law in Singapore called Section 377a of the Penal Code, which says any consensual sexual acts between two men can be criminalized. There are a lot of gays in Singapore, and it’s OK to live as a gay man, but it’s just not really spoken about. That has led to a lot of bullying in the society. Like lesbians are being raped by men, and the men would say, “Oh, what can you do about it? Shame on you.” That led me to feel that … it’s upsetting to see that people have to live through being bullied just because they are themselves. I didn’t want that for anyone, and I didn’t want that for myself.’