Bear World Playlist Featured Artist: Travie Austin

Travie Austin’s Song on Playlist: “Sweeter Than Chocolate”

Current City: Chicago, IL

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Photo by Freddie Collier

Bear World Magazine: What can you tell us about the song?

Travie Austin: This song is actually a remake of a song I wrote in 2017. I’m extremely horrible at flirting and even worse at “sexy talk,” so when I write music, I try to write with other people in mind. 

“Sweeter Than Chocolate” is from the POV of someone with far more swag than me. Someone really confident who has no issue walking up to someone in a bar and just shooting their shot. In the queer scene I’ve been fetishized a bit and have had my skin compared to “chocolate” and stuff before, so I wanted to kind of reclaim that and turn it into something self-empowering for myself. 

BWM: When people listen to your music, what are you hoping they feel?

TA: I’m a fun guy and I like music that makes me forget about the crappy times, so when I write I tend to write with that in mind. I’m hoping people really feel self-empowered by my tunes. Even if they’ve had, like, the worst day imaginable, I want them to be able to shake their butt a bit when they hear my music. You can just have a little sad day twerk.

Lyrically, my music comes from a place of honesty. But honestly, I don’t spend a lot of time being sad. That’s way too energy-consuming, so even if I’m sad while I’m writing, I’m writing about how happy I’m going to be when this all passes over.

BWM: You seem like a very high-energy guy. Where does all that energy come from?

TA: I’m a weirdo. I do so many things that require me to be “on” all the time, that even when I’m off, it seems like I’m still on. I was a theatre kid in high school, which I’ve turned into a career as a theatre adult. I’ve been lucky enough to establish myself in Chicago as a full-time stage/film actor. 

I study/write and sometimes perform stand-up comedy. I’m a licensed group fitness instructor. And for the past three years I’ve been producing and writing music professionally. To other people it seems like a lot, but to me, I’m always looking for something new to dive into.

Photo by Brandon Dahlquist
BWM: What is your favorite kind of show or venue to play?

TA: I’m spoiled because I’ve had the privilege of doing plays and musicals in front of giant 2000+ seat audiences, and there is nothing that can beat the rush of that to me. However, small intimate venues where I get to look people in the eyes and banter with them is so, so very special to me. Those are the performances when I think I truly make the closest connections with music lovers.

BWM: Are you single, dating or partnered? What do you look for when it comes to that?

TA: I have a boyfriend of three years and we’re doing amazingly! He’s a non-performer which works out so perfectly because I get to be the narcissist in the relationship. 

He’s an educator and is very passionate about the nurturing and growth of young minds so when we are sharing the woes and the yays of our careers, it’s actually a very interesting experience because we are genuinely learning about something new without our own jaded perspectives of it. He’s a tall 6′ 2” redhead with glasses that really loves comedy and making out. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better match!

BWM: Growing up, who were your musical influences? 

TA: Growing up I was such a scene kid that was trapped in the hood, so my influences were so diverse that my friends and family couldn’t even comprehend. I was a huge Fallout Boy and Panic! At the Disco fanboy. The pop-punk bands of the early 2000s kept me fed. Meanwhile, the girl groups kept me gay as hell. From Destiny’s Child and Blaque, to Danity Kane and The Pussycat Dolls – I loved me some girl groups!

I was obsessed with J-Pop and K-Pop groups in the early 2000s and I was bullied so much for it. Of course the kings and queens of hip-hop were already there because of my hood-ass cousins. I was blasting Biggie and Lil’ Kim in between my listening sessions of Backstreet Boys and All Time Low. 

Photo by Brandon Dahlquist
BWM: What other artists on the Bear World Playlist do you dig? 

TA: I think I @ him this every week, but Zee Machine was my favorite gay discovery from the past two years. The way Zee writes is just god damn transcendent and I don’t know how, but I am GOING to collaborate on a song with him someday.

BWM: Any upcoming shows, tracks or videos you can tease?

TA: I’m deep diving back into live theatre in the next few weeks so while that’s happening I won’t be doing too many indie gigs, HOWEVER, I have music releases scheduled to come out every 4–5 weeks between now and November so I will make sure that the people stay very well fed!

Photo by Freddie Collier

Stream Travie Austin’s music on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms!
Visit travieaustinmusic.com and follow Travie Austin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

BWM Staff

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