In October 2019, Brandon Stansell, the country singer of queer anthems “Slow Down” and “Never Know,” travelled back to his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to play his first show there since coming out. The homecoming concert is a pivotal moment in his new documentary, Three Chords and a Lie (available to Aeroplan members on Air Canada’s new streaming platform from June 24 to 28, courtesy of OUTtv), which follows Stansell as he faces his past and explores the hope he expresses through his music. We spoke with Stansell, who was in Palm Springs at the time, about the film, LGBTQIA+ storytelling and his favourite place in the world.
enRoute Three Chords and a Lie explores the healing power of music and how you express an openly queer perspective in your songs. What was the first song you wrote that spoke of being gay?
Brandon Stansell My first project was a concept record about my first breakup. I had this hang‑up about writing because I felt I didn’t have anything to write about. Then I got dumped and I had material! Music was this cathartic thing that got me through that time in my life. But it was also the moment I realized I could do the thing that I always wanted to do, which was write music.