Musician Steve Grand is not Justin Beiber or Carly Rae Jepsen…yet, but the singer is making a splash on YouTube with his first music video for his country rock song titled “All-American Boy.” According to Startrubune.com on July 8, the video, about a young gay man who misinterprets feelings from a straight male friend, has exploded on YouTube with over 400,000 total views.
Grand doesn’t have a record label and the video cost $7,000 of his own budget, but the reaction that the video and song has received on the social outlet is worth it for the 23-year-old singer. The video tells a story that many can relate to, gay or straight, and the message is something everyone can relate to. Unrequited love can leave the heart empty and have a lasting effect on future emotional connections.
“All-American Boy” is a song that tells a story from the perspective of a gay man who bonds with a straight male friend. The two are left in the woods and share fun and a bonding experience that leaves the gay man confused. During their time in the woods, they skinny-dip together and even share quick kiss, but for the straight guy it was all in just good fun. The emotional let down experienced by the gay man is felt throughout the song.
Grand said the song is actually inspired by his own experience as a young teen.
“I was a 13-year-old boy (at camp). One of my counselors was warm and strong and he took an interesting me, not sexually, but as a friend, and it really moved me. I remember leaving with a horrible ache in my heart.”
The feeling explored in the song has resonated with many as Grand expected. He has received hundreds of responses on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook from viewers who can understand the emptiness felt by rejection. Grand says the outreach has been more than emotionally flattering.
“I’m not a crier. But since this all began, since people have been reaching out, I’ve been beyond moved, because so many people have felt what I felt, been through what I’ve been through.”
The success of the song may land Grand more recognition than he imagined but it is the message of the video that has found appeal within the heart of those 400,000 views and serves as a reminder that love is love no matter a person’s sexuality. The heart aches no matter who you are and who you love.