gayz gone gaga
Make it Official
By Anastasia Wojda
Official Hank brings his Gaga groove to Pittsburgh’s Pride Look for the tall man with the deep bass working the room, the leading-man type with the Midwest charm and East coast savvy. His name is Hank, and he’s coming to Pittsburgh. This brat pack look-alike is bringing his feel-good dance groove to Sunday’s PrideFest, along with a sound that’s a cross between the deep guttural call of Prince and a George Michael hook that had us all dancing in the ‘80s. Some would even call him Gaga’esque. Born and raised in Massachusetts to a family that supported him, Hank never shied away from performing. Now he’s putting all of his efforts into the “Official Hank” tour on a national level. Paired with backup dancers and a rhythmic groove, he makes you want to sing along and move to a whole new beat as you watch his sexy and scintillating swagger across the stage. With the guidance of Heather Holley, a New York-based multiplatinum songwriter, arranger, and producer, who is well known for launching the career of Pittsburgh’s own Christina Aguilera, Hank was gifted with his Pittsburgh PrideMag | PittsburghPride.org
first song as a birthday surprise. Heather saw Hank’s potential and booked club gigs with his first single as a calling card. PrideMag got the skinny on what makes Hank so “official”: PM: What has you most excited about performing at PrideFest 2010 in Pittsburgh? OH: I think it’s fun because it’s such a large collection of people from all different walks of life with one thing in common — Pride! I am extremely excited to have my music reach a new audience. And, I must thank Richard Parsakian for the performance opportunity; I am so thankful. PM: How do you describe your music to people? OH: I am the bastard child of Prince and Gaga! I know I bring life to any party. All of my performances are highenergy and will make you want to dance. I want to bring joy. Music really changes moods; my music makes you build inner confidence, cheers you up, and makes you want to sing it out loud.
PM: From where do you draw your influences? OH: It’s all over the spectrum: I love music from the legendary Billie Holiday, but then I’ll jam to Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. My iPod is so random; it has musicals, ‘80s, top hits, ‘40s jazz, tons of club music… Judy Garland. I am influenced by good, solid music with a story and a hook. PM: What are your music career goals? OH: Live performances worldwide and more music! I’d love to be touring and visiting the best clubs and venues and audiences. I’d also really like to start a foundation to help kids who feel closeted and are afraid of being themselves. I want them to have someone tell them it’s okay and to allow them to see their inner beauty. Success, to me, is making a life being surrounded by the things you love. You have one shot at life; you need to live it at your fullest and enjoy every moment. See Official Hank perform at PrideFest on Sunday, June 13. For more information, visit pittsburghpride.org and officialhank.com. 68
The source for information about LGBT 2010 Pride in Pittsburgh, PA.