Pumping fans up in the trailer for the new season of “Queer Eye,” premiering Friday on Netflix, has been “Be Me,” a song performed by LGBTQ artist Vincint. Fittingly, the 29-year-old singer, whose real name is Vincent Cannady, is from Philadelphia, where this season takes place.
Now based in Los Angeles, Vincint — who released his debut EP, “The Feeling,” earlier this year — dishes on how he came out, making over his straight guy friends and how he’ll still celebrate Pride this year.
Who were your musical influences coming up in Philadelphia?
My biggest musical influence was my dad, Robert Cannady. He was in a gospel group called the Christ United Gospel Singers. He was the first singer that I ever heard, so it kind of influenced all my sound [even though] I wasn’t ever really a gospel singer.
Was the Philadelphia music tradition an influence on you as well?
I’m obsessed with Patti LaBelle — one of the best singers in history. Miss Jill Scott was everything. My house was up the street from the park where they shot her “A Long Walk” video.
When did you come out?
I came out in high school — I think I was 16. My family ushered me into the knowledge of “You are who you are.” I told my mom and dad, and they were just like, “We love you. That will never change.” But my mom and dad knew when I was much younger, when I invited a boy over. I was like, “I think he’s cute!”
Have you ever helped make over your straight guy friends?
All the time — it’s exhausting. Fashion, grooming, you name it. It’s nice to have straight men in my life who genuinely want to better themselves. They want to look and feel better. So I’m happy to help and be a part of that.
What was the inspiration behind “Be Me”?
I had just played my EP release show on the 17th of February, and the next day we got a call from the producers of “Queer Eye.” I said, “If you give me a day, I can write this song.” I watched this season, and the biggest message I got was, “I was so afraid to just be myself.” I wanted to put that feeling in a song where you can be whoever you wanna be.
On your song “Simple,” you name-check Whitney Houston, Britney Spears and Beyoncé. If you could only play one of those divas for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
How dare you with this question? [Laughs.] It would have to be Beyoncé. I’ve looked up to Beyoncé ever since I saw the “Bills, Bills, Bills” video [by Destiny’s Child] sitting in my aunt’s house when I was, like, 10 or 11. And I was like, “Oh my God — this person is what I aspire to be like.”
It’s Pride Month. What the hell is Pride gonna look and feel like this year?
It’s obviously gonna be a little different this year, but I’m still gonna do a bunch of performances. Pride is still happening. A misconception most people have is that Pride needs to be a bunch of LGBTQI people in one space to celebrate themselves. Pride is having pride in yourself. You can do it from anywhere.