Sam Kogon Looks To ‘Celebrate Our Differences’ With His Picks For ‘The Sound Of Pride’

For 'The Sound of Pride,' rising singer-songwriter Sam Kogon sheds some light on 'the first openly gay rock star' while sharing 'part of the reason why I celebrate Pride.'

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It’s Pride! Throughout June, HollywoodLife is running The Sound Of Pride, a month-long feature where members of the LGBTQ+ community pick songs that should be on your Pride 2022 playlist. Today, singer-songwriter Sam Kogon shares his picks. The New York native, who just dropped a self-titled EP, picked a trio of tracks to make this year’s Pride soundtrack celebrate the past, the present, and the future.

Sam’s four-song project arrived at the start of April 2022. “I am very happy to share my new EP with you all today,” Sam said in a press release when Sam Kogon arrived on all the streaming platforms. “These new songs represent my artistic vision, so I decided to go the self-titled route. I’m really proud of my band and the sound we achieved making the record with John Agnello at HoboSound. They’re a batch of four singles that I focused a lot of thought, intention, and positive energy into, and I hope that it translates in the listening experience.”

One of the EP tracks, “Barbed Wire,” earned the distinction of being one of “The Coolest Songs in the World” on Little Steven aka Steven Van Zandt’s legendary SiriusXM show, “Little Steven’s Underground Garage.” HL has included that in The Sound of Pride playlist as well.

Jobriath, “Space Clown”

Sam Kogon: Jobriath described himself as “rock’s truest fairy” and was, in fact, the first openly gay rock star, but sadly his music isn’t widely known, so I wanted to shed some light on his star.

The Velvet Underground, “Andy’s Chest”

“Andy’s Chest” is an upbeat number with a dark underlying theme inspired by the attempt made on Andy Warhol’s life. It’s Lou Reed’s way of celebrating Andy and thanking him for The Factory. Listen back to the lyrics, it’s essentially a pride parade in the form of a song.

Perfume Genius, “Jason”

“Jason” by Perfume Genius is about a straight and/or closeted guy who has a one-night stand with a gay guy. I picked this song to represent all the people still living in the closet. Part of the reason [why] I celebrate Pride proudly is for those who can’t celebrate openly or freely.

HollywoodLife: We’re asking everyone this: what do you think is the vibe for Pride 2022? 2020 was canceled or virtual. 2021 was the comeback. What about 2022?

Sam Kogon: I believe it will be a sequel to 2021 Pride, hopefully with less corporate sponsorship and more kissing.

How do you plan to celebrate this month? If you’re performing, where can fans find you? 

I am taking myself on a French holiday for my birthday (June 17th!) I’m trying to make it to the Paris pride. Just be on the lookout for the new yorker in a beret.

My next performance in the states will be in Woodstock on July 8th at the Maverick.

This month is about celebrating unsung heroes, so which LGBTQ+ hero would you like to get more mainstream recognition? 

Brian Epstein. He deserves the full Hollywood biopic treatment. Gay, Jewish, discovered The Beatles, died young…he was the walking definition of the saying “behind every great man is an even greater gay man.” His living disciple, Andrew Loog Oldham (former manager to The Rolling Stones and my pen pal), would certainly agree.

Finally, what is a Pride 2022 message you’d like to share with the world?  

Let’s celebrate our differences!

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