I've written about the enigmatic Stephen Wrabel before, and in much detail, to check that out head here:
However, for the Cliff's Notes version, here goes. He's got the kind of songwriting prowess that has been likened to Sia or Sam Smith, and the kind of upbeat urban pop sound that calls back to the classic pop singers like Paul Simon & Elton John. He's charming, and funny, and a fairly silly on stage, but that all simply serves to help him create an atmosphere of honesty about his music.
He has written songs for Ellie Goulding, Will Young, Prince Royce, Phillip Phillips, Adam Lambert, Pentatonix, Katharine McPhee, Lea Michele, Léon, and many more, and that same honesty rings through his music, no matter whose voice is leading it.
This week my boyfriend took me to see Léon & Wrabel perform at the El Rey theatre here in Los Angeles, and I can tell you the show was great. He did a short set of mostly piano tracks, but his vocal intensity and honest performance make you smile and shake your head in agreement with every word. Sidebar: Léon KILLED it afterwards with a really fun and upbeat performance, but that's for another post.
So as today is National Coming Out Day, this song has been resonating with me through the week. Wrabel told us the story of how he met a couple of trans kids after a show, and ended up befriending them, and as they stayed in touch he reached out to them on the day that trans protections were taken away from schools, and he wanted to see how they were, and what they were going through. The song itself rings so clearly true; there is NOTHING wrong with you ... it's true. Whether you're gay, straight, trans, of color, different in any other way, or simply shy, there is nothing wrong with you.
So today with strength and courage to stare the whole village in eye, I choose Wrabel's "The Village" as my, I won't back down, united we stand, stronger together, song for a, break down the walls if the doors are all closed, stand proud, we're here with you, Wednesday.