A Chat With Lovari

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Lovari_pic_1Lovari, born and raised in New York, reached #1 on both the iTunes and Amazon R&B New Releases Chart in December 2012 with the single “Still In Love”, from his album “No Holding Back”, featuring production from J. Staffz (Wiz Khalifa, G Unit), Infinite, and Grammy Award nominee Kaydean Phillips. “No Holding Back” has been certified a Silver Award on DatPiff.Com for over 25,000 downloads. It is the followup to his award winning album “The Statement”. Lovari was featured on the front cover of Get Out Magazine in 2012 and preceded his album release with performances at Jacob Javits Center in NYC and Bronx’s Crotona Park Stage.

The “No Holding Back” album was released in the summer of 2012. The preview single and music video “Foolish Beat” was featured on PerezHilton.Com and the lead single “Keep It Movin’” (feat. Loco Ninja) reached Amazon.Com’s Top 40 R&B Singles Chart and Top 30 Digital DJ U.S. R&B Chart. The most recent single “Still In Love (Duet w/ Anny Jules) reached #1 on iTunes and Amazon R&B New Releases Chart and is currently climbing various U.S. charts.

Lovari is also a SAG-AFTRA actor, appearing in the films “Salt” (w/ Angelina Jolie) and the NYIIFVF Award Winning short film “Shore Thing”, which he also co-directed. For three consecutive seasons, Lovari has appeared sporadically on the television series “Law & Order: SVU” as one of the precinct detectives. Production will begin on the film “The Agent” in the summer of 2013, in which he will co-star.

JRK:  Can you give Diversity Rules an idea of who Lovari is, a bit about your background and how it impacted the person you are today?

L:  I was born and raised in Queens, NY.  As a child, I was heavily into books. My parents paid attention to me and took my little brother and I to various places, but for some reason, I always had this mentality of wanting to have time for myself independently, so that I can explore and learn things on my own. As far as favorite entertainment characters, I loved Pinocchio, Wonder Woman, sharks, and monster movies. Nice combo, eh? I suppose I took elements of those things and they shaped my personality.

JRK:  During your time at Queensborough College you started venturing into the club circuit and you met some folks that led you to the person you’d do your first demo with.  Can you tell us a bit about that experience?

L:  I consider my college years and the two years after that as the most important in shaping my attitude toward things and preparing me for the obstacles that I would face in my personal life and forthcoming career. Although I was always a person of good sense and fairly high intellect, I barely went to high school in my junior and senior years. I was cutting school and going to the Village and trying to soak in the artistic and verbal aspect of myself, which I wasn’t satisfied doing in my own hood. However, once I began college, I was responsible for some of my tuition, and therefore, I had an epiphany, so to speak, about wanting to learn, and to actually enjoy it in the process. My professors inspired me to want to learn even more so on my own. That was the fun part. The extremely difficult part was that the love of my life at the time, abruptly broke up with me a day before we were supposed to move into an apartment together in the Lower East Side. So, on top of being devastated and in  an extremely heartbroken hell of pain, I had to take on another job to keep the apartment, which equaled 12 plus working days, and then trying to get my demo around at night. One morning, I almost collapsed on the floor of one of my jobs. That is where the lyrics for my song “Turn Around” came from.

JRK:  Your single “Still in Love” from your album “No Holding Back” hit #1 on the I-tunes and Amazon R&B New Releases Chart in 2012.  That must have been very exciting!?

L:  To me, it was a shared excitement with other fellow independent artists. I am on a small label that is not backed by a major subsidiary, yet I managed to reach #1 on the R&B New Releases Chart of iTunes. It also gave me vindication because at that point there were some racist people who were using my skin color and ethnicity by saying that I would never succeed in the R&B genre. Unfortunately, the matter was made worse because that small group of naysayers was also gay. They were quick to praise a straight artist like Beyonce (who is amazing), but the daggers came out for their fellow gay brother. We are our own worst enemy.

JRK:  Another song “Foolish Beat” was featured on PerezHilton.com.  How did that come about?

L:  That’s another example of gay on gay hate, and how we set ourselves up for failure. Perez was already familiar with me. There were even personal tweets of support for my other songs, but never an public acknowledgement. However, the one song that he doesn’t like from me – the “Foolish Beat” remake, is the one that he decides to publically write about on his website. I was thrilled though, because – let’s be real – I am nowhere near the opularity level of all of the artists he blogs about (i.e. Madonna, Rihanna, One Direction). So for an independent artist like myself to even be on his radar was an indication that my fan base was growing. I’m very thankful to him!

JRK:  You have a new album being released this month that is a collection of remixes.  Can you tell us about that?

L:  I just launched a record label with my producer Infinite, called Pathway Records/34 Whale Entertainment, which is a combination of both of our music companies. We have signed a few artists, and will be releasing singles and EP’s from them throughout the year. To introduce the label, we are releasing “I Wanna Be Loved – The Remix Album” in April. It is a compilation of various mixes of my dance songs in different phases of my career. I have the freestyle throwback of “These Tears”, including a mix that was never available for download before. I also have a revised version of “Turn Around”, with three remixes that were never available for sale before, but which charted here in the U.S. and in Germany as well. There is the old school 90s house vibe of “Right Here” (which is my favorite song that I have ever written), a radio mix of “Take It To The Top” – my collaboration with Robey (TV’s “Friday The 13th”),, and about a dozen mixes of my current single “I Wanna Be Loved.”

JRK:  You recently collaborated with the legendary Robin Byrd on your newest single.  You also had a world premier of the track with a performance at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center NYC on March 23rd.  Can you tell us about that collaboration and the premiere?

L:  Robin Byrd, like Madonna, was one of the pioneers to gay men in the 80s/90s, because she treated male on male sexuality and relationships as no big deal and as sensual. While so many others at the time were beating around the bush or hinting at it, or using it as a ploy to “shock” people, Robin simply had gay men right alongside straight couples on her shows and basically was like “So what?” Needless to say, that made a huge impression on me as a teenager. We know each other from the NYC nightlife entertainment circle and to record a song with somebody that you admire greatly is a dream come true. I have to shoutout my godmother, my aunt Michelle Beanbuster, who is the person that showed me Robin Byrd’s show on TV when I was a teen. As far as recording “Touch Me” together, she has a very ethereal voice.  If you loved her song “Bang Your Box,” then I’m confident that you will enjoy her vocals on this track as well. We will officially release it in the late spring/ early summer, along with a music video.

JRK:  How can folks order your newest album as well as your past recordings?

L:  My new remix album “I Wanna Be Loved” is available for pre-order on both iTunes and Amazon. Since it is on my new record label, I am humbly asking everybody reading this to please show your support and download it, so that these bigger record companies  will see that we can sell product just as much as they can!

JRK:  You also have had a successful acting career.  Can you tell us about some of your acting gigs?  Which have you enjoyed the most doing?

L:  Thank you. I appreciate that. However, I haven’t accomplished as much in the acting field as in music, and still feel green.  The pinnacle so far has been directing and writing a short film “Shore Thing”, and then winning a NY International Film Festival Award for it in the Suspense category. However, the role that comes to mind for most people when you mention me is one of Angelina Jolie’s brothers in the film “Salt”. It was very long shoot days, averaging 14 hours daily for 8 days, but Angie is a very pleasant actor to work with and she has a very giving heart.

JRK:  What can we expect to see from you in the future?

There is a sign at Atlas Church in NYC in Harlem that says “Jesus would stone homos.” among other lovely things. I am planning a protest, along with Brooke Cerda Guzman, the NY LGBT Center, and other organizations to the site of this sign. Truth be told, I tried to knock it down by hurling a glass bottle and a rock at it, but the sign is sturdy and protected with a covering, so it didn’t affect it, but if I find out the means to demolish it without physically injuring anybody in the process, I will. Obviously, I will get arrested for it, but I’d rather get arrested for destroying a sign of hate, then to have an impressionable young child or questioning gay youth see it and become scared or discouraged.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  Lovari will be the guest on “Diversity Rules Magazine on the Air” LIVE on Wednesday, April 16th at 7:00 PM.  For more information go to:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/diversityrulesmagazine/2014/04/16/april-16-lovari-visits-diversity-rules-magazine-on-the-air

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