Interview with musician Howard Louis

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Have you heard of Howard Louis? I hadn’t either until I got paired with him for this article. I can honestly say I’m excited for his record to be released because I want to listen to this shit all the way to the beach. Howard Louis comes armed with powerful vocals and a piano. He fuses sounds of rock, alternative, pop, and even flavors of show tunes in his catalog of songs. His honest lyrics are perceptive, biting, self-deprecating, and naked. All of these qualities are crafted over melodic soundscapes that are sometimes dark, sometimes quirky, and sometimes raw and beautiful. I had a chance to ask him some quick questions about the album

Chris Balbi: I had the pleasure of listening to a few of the songs, but to those readers that haven't how would you describe your sound?
Howard Louis: I generally like to refer to it as “alternative fused with piano-based rock with a touch of Broadway.” I can’t help the Broadway thing because it’s just how my voice sounds. I was trained to sing theater and classical, and there’s no way around it even when I’m doing my own thing!

C: Great, now describe your sound with one word?
H: Exposed.

C. Nice! I read up and saw you spent a chunk of time in Denmark, did the landscape affect the soundscape of this album?
H: It’s pretty much the reason for this album. Living in Copenhagen for my partner’s job for a few years was a ball of emotions for me;  challenging, wonderful, educational, terrifying, and astonishing. I went through a really hard time being away from home, and for better or for worse, it threw me into a really dark place that I had to drag myself out of. I lost my identity and the ability to recognize what gave me peace inside. Every bit of that experience is chronicled in the songs on this album.

C: What song are you most excited for people to hear?
H: I’m excited for people to hear a song called “Voice” because it was the first song that really was about the experience of “finding my voice” again. It’s about the final showdown with the things that were blocking me from being happy and defeating them and my own silence. The icing on the cake was having my friend, Tracy Bonham [famous for her song “Mother Mother”], perform on the song. Before having the pleasure of calling her a dear friend, I was just a major fanboy of her music. Having her talent on my music is a bit unbelievable and I’m still wrapping my head around it. So, I really want people to listen to this song in particular. Also, the “bonus track” on the album is a remix of a song called “Record” that I commissioned DJ Carl Michaels to do. I’m excited for people to hear that because I have never been remixed before!


C: How has your partner influenced you as an artist as a whole?
H: He has influenced me as a person more so than as an artist. We are both wired completely differently, but it seems to work well and has done so for almost six years. He’s very supportive of what I do and it’s a shame that it took so long for me to finally be able to write a song about him. But, it finally happened and it’s the final track on this album. He is the most patient person I know and he was the backbone that I didn’t have when I was going through some really tough times.

C: How are you prepping for the release of the album?
H: I’m doing what I can to spread the word via social media. It’s hard to get people’s attention in the busy world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’m just trying to gear up for when it’s out and available to the world. I’m really proud of the songs on the album and I really just want people to hear it.

C: You mention social media, If you had to promote the album with just 1 tweet (140 characters or less) what would you say?
H: It is a response. An echo. A strong middle finger to the negative and an embrace to what gives me peace inside. It’s all me.

C: Last call, Tell me something you wish you could tell your homo-fans but haven't had an outlet to do so yet?
H: Do I have homo fans that aren’t just my friends?! Well, I’ll leave it as something I’d tell anyone: cherish the people in your life that love you. You’ll never know when you need them the most. They just may get you through some incredibly tough times! That lesson was really cemented into my entire being over the last few years.

You can preview some tracks here, and the album is available for pre order now, and drops 6/30!

Photoshoot with Alexander John Photography and DJ Carl Michaels for “record” remix, which you’ll be able to hear very soon! It will be the bonus track to the digital download of my album (

You can find it at the following stores:

Bandcamp: (digital or CD version*)

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