From DNA #198
DNA: Before X Factor fame you were a lifeguard – many a gay man’s fantasy! How’s your speedo collection?
Jake Quickenden: Ha! My speedos are in hibernation at the minute. But if you’ve got the body and package, why not?
Most straight men are afraid of speedos. Discuss. I don’t think they are anymore. I think straight men are learning from gay men and there’s a lot more emphasis on looking good and maintaining a great body nowadays.
Indeed! And how’s life for you at the moment? Life is good. I released my second EP, New Chapter, in April and announced a new UK tour, and the reaction has been unbelievable. I’ve had to add more dates.
Model, singer, TV host – what do you prefer and is there anything you can’t do? I can’t sit still [laughs]! I’ve done so many random jobs up to this point. I’ve worked at McDonald’s, I’ve been a lifeguard, and even traveled out to Australia to play semi-pro football. I’m used to doing a bit of everything, but if I have to pick one, it’d be music. Songwriting has been a bit like therapy for me. Music has the power to connect people who you might never get to meet but are going through the same things.
Do you stay in touch with Mel B, your X Factor mentor? Mel has always been really supportive. She actually messaged me when my EP came out a few months ago saying, “Hope you’re good, looks like you’re doing well!” I admire her work ethic. She’s unstoppable!
When are you going to release some new music for us to swoon over? I’m currently in and out of the studio working on a couple of really cool tracks that’ll be perfect for the summer, or the Australian winter. I’d like to put out more music in the lead up to my UK tour in September, so watch this space.
What style are you leaning towards? My last EP was more acoustic pop, a lot of it was just me with my guitar. I’d love to do a couple of bangers now, nothing too Housey but just really catchy pop you can bop along to.
Who was your musical idol growing up? Damien Rice, but my mum and dad were fans of Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson so I like everything.
You also used to play professional football. What happened to that? I got injured and had to quit, which was a shame because I was loving it out in Australia. It’s just nice and laid back and the weather isn’t exactly bad, is it?
Gay men are fascinated by what goes on in the locker room. Spill the beans, please. Ha! You don’t wanna know what happens in the changing room! It isn’t glamorous, it stinks of sweat, but you have to get in the shower so you can’t be afraid to get your kit off.
Sounds like heaven. Any plans to sing at gay events coming up? I always love doing Pride events. I’m doing Newcastle Pride in July and I’ve been out to perform at Gran Canaria for Pride as well. I would love to do more. Maybe Sydney Mardi Gras next if you’d have me?!
Do you have many gay buddies in your circle? Yes, I’ve grown up with gay people in my life. To me, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is as long as you’re a decent person we’ll get on. Love is love. I think if two people want to get married and celebrate their relationship in this way, they should be able to.
What message would you like to tell the gay boys of the world? Be yourself and be proud of who you are.
Where can we find more about you or hear your music online? You can check out my website for links, or follow me on Twitter. I’m pretty active on there.
Finally, what’s one thing about you that might surprise us? I do cage fighting as well and wanted to be a boxer but didn’t like getting hit in the face.
MORE: Jake Quickenden’s New Chapter EP is out now on iTunes. Find more about him on his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.