As we approach this legendary Pride month, the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which cemented the kick off for the gay rights movement, I sat down with Jake Frost, a queer independent recording artist from Taiwan who has spent much of his life globe trotting. When he’s not in New York, he can be found either in London, Peru, the UAE or at home in Taiwan where they recently legalized marriage equality. Jake recently released his first music video “Undercover” which appears on his first EP “Loveless.”
Undercover, choreographed by Marquise Hitchcock (Pose on FX) tells the story of how certain members of the LGBTQ community, still today, must live double lives; despite their yearning to be free and open.
JG: Hey Jake, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule and chatting with me.
JF: Thank you for having me. I have been a fan of your podcast for a while. I’m so excited to be here.
JG: You released three songs for your EP: Backdoor, Undercover, and I Release You. How did you make the decision to produce Undercover first?
JF: In my mind it was always going to be “Undercover” because it is the most honest of the three, and I feel like it is a story that deserves to be heard.
JG: Given the recent events in Taiwan with the legalization of marriage equality, have you seen any measurable impact with your music on your international audience?
JF: Yes. Since I started releasing music, I have received feedback from across the globe. One particular message was from Taiwan, my home country, in which someone told me how my music helped and empowered them in terms of their queer identity. This person really connected, in particular, with “Undercover.”
JG: I know that you’re a recording artist, but I didn’t know that you were a dancer.
JF: *Laughs* Who said I was a dancer? I’m what they call a “mover” in Broadway terms.
JG: Well, speaking of Broadway and that part of the business, how tough was it to learn Marquis Hitchcock’s choreography?
JF: Everything came together really quickly. I believe a large part of getting the choreography is to Marquise’s credit and how professional he was. We also had a strong connection which only further strengthened the message in the video.
JG: What was the artistic direction/ decision behind you bursting into flames and Marquise falling victim to a Thanos snap?
JF: When I was growing up, I used to harbor such self hatred and shame in my own sexuality. I often wanted that part of me to die, so, symbolically in the video in order to keep the friendship alive in the real world, I had to kill both that queer part of myself and the desire for another man.
JG: Ok, but just for the record, you’re living your life like it’s golden now, right?
JF: Yes and no. I definitely am more in tune and proud of who I am. I am comfortable in my sexuality. I am not afraid to share that with the world. However, sadly I often find that the only audience that I can’t have an open conversation about it is with my own parents.
JG: Are you out to them?
JF: Sort of. I believe they know. It’s definitely the elephant in the room. Everyone is on their own journey. There is no right place or time and I am simply waiting for mine.
JG: Well Jake Frost, thank you very much!
JF: Thank you for your time.
You can find Jake Frost’s “Undercover” on all streaming services and the official MV on Youtube (above)