In a galaxy of podcasts, Corey Cruppi’s Louder Queerer stands out by having intriguing and introspective conversations with creative voices that never cease to amaze.
Cruppi’s own voice is now becoming one that you may become familiar with, as he releases his own single “Hold On”. I sat down to chat with Corey about his venture into music, why elevating queer voices remains a crucial mission, and we manifested a couple of spectacular dream guests for his Louder Queerer podcast.
Michael Cook: Corey, tell me from the beginning, when did you know that entertainment would be the passion that you would want to follow in your life?
Corey Cruppi: Throughout my life, I have always had a passion for singing, and writing music. As a kid, when I would go with my grandma to the hair salon, I would put on a full concert for everyone in the salon. Before my mother passed away when I was 10, she told me “someday you’re going to be a star” and even though she’s gone, I continued to sing as if she were listening. I kept writing music as an outlet to cope with my own experiences as a queer, person of color, growing up poor, and homeless at one point. Besides music, and art I had a passion for giving back, and helping our community and have always been part of many different LGBTQ+ organizations. More recently, I found myself wanting to expand that passion to help people in our community, and so I paired those two passions together. I wanted to provide a way to make an impact on others through my music.
MC: You’re also a singer/songwriter; what kind of artists do you find yourself drawn to the most? Any dream collaborations?
CC: I am a huge Mariah Carey fan. Her music felt like it was the soundtrack to making it through some of the darkest times of my life. It really helped me through so many tragic times, and inspired me. I also love Queer artists. One in particular, Starley, I found to be inspiring and so incredible, her song “Call On Me’ was a joyful message of hope for those going through a tough time, and I’d love to work with her someday.
MC: Tell me about your own new single "Hold On." You released it for National Coming Out Day in the month of October, right?
CC: Yes, I wrote “Hold On” when I was very alone, in the heart of the pandemic and like so many others, felt lost. I originally wrote this song as a reminder to myself to quite literally hold on. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I’ve always written my feelings, but I began thinking about others who were also in solitude, specifically queer people. So many of them lost the outlets they had to be themselves, whether school, activities they could take part in, or ways to see the people who helped them feel like they were not alone. So, I decided to re-write this song as a way for others to send a message of hope to people who truly need it in their lives, and to acknowledge that times get tough, and you’re not alone. I decided to release “Hold On” on National Coming Out Day because it seemed fitting with the pandemic easing up, but the effects on people's mental health still being present in the LGBTQ community especially.
MC: You have a podcast titled "Louder, Queerer” and you have showcased artists like Nikki Exotica and Mrs. Kasha Davis. Tell me how the podcast started and what it has been like for you to have these conversations.
CC: Similar to my efforts in writing songs to help people know they’re not alone, I wanted to provide a platform to do the same. I wanted to give LGBTQ+ people the opportunity to share their story, and at the same time, inspire others. Lots of times we get in our heads, and it feels like we’re the only ones going through what is unique to our struggles. While that is true, each journey is unique to the person, my hope was that people would hear these stories, and find even minor similarities and messages of perseverance. It's been so inspiring to hear from so many incredible people who have struggled; some who continue to, but also continue to push forward to make their dreams a reality.
MC: Do you have any dream guests for the podcasts?
CC: I have so many. I would love to have Michael R Jackson, writer of A Strange Loop. He worked closely with my good friend Shakina when he wrote it, and would love to hear about the experience of being a black, gay man and writing such a successful musical. Angelica Ross is another, I would love to have on my podcast. Truly a star, and an incredible actress. It would be incredible to discuss her journey as a Black, trans, woman who is taking TV by storm!
MC: When you’re not podcasting/singing what kind of art are you consuming? Do you find yourself diving into the Real Housewives of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
CC: I love supporting Queer artists, whether singers, dancers, or producers for both music, and film. So really I try to enjoy their art, whether it’s promoting their music, checking out film festivals, etc. Of course, I love a good Drag Race moment as well, they are all so talented.
MC: Five years from now, where do you want your career to have grown to? Do you have any short-term career goals you are tackling currently?
CC: I plan to put out my first EP by next year and more music after that. I am writing some new songs now so I hope to continue to release music. A goal would be to get to perform at an LGTBQ award ceremony, like GLAAD, or Out100. I would also love to expand my podcast Louder Queerer, to visual representation. Perhaps, a talk-show type of format. I really enjoy giving people the space to tell their stories and would love to do it on camera.
MC: What brings you the most inspiration in your life?
CC: Truly, knowing that I am making an impact on someone, somewhere. Whether it’s one person or thousands, I know this is my purpose. If my music, or podcast, has provided joy, relief or hope for anyone who ever felt like giving up, I know I’m fulfilling that purpose.
Follow Corey Cruppi on Instagram @coreycruppi.