- Highlight photo by Miles Elliot
- Interview by Marcelo Gomes de Andrade
- november 10 - 2019
In the worldwide bear community we have always met a lot of bears personalities involved with the song, I happened to meet handsome Englishman Paul Middleton releasing a third year ago his third work “Paul Middleton - Covers 3” and I found it interesting how he sang the various versions that I posted on You Tube and decided to do an interview with him.
Paul Middleton is well known in London (UK) for the LGBTI + community at age 40, a handsome physicist (Played Rugby in Youth), English language teacher for teens, has blue-green eyes (which catches attention) and if interested in music by being invited to a choir 8 years ago.
In the interview he talks about the reasons he is inspired when singing the songs, about new relationship, his future plans of his musical career and of course, showing the beautiful sensual photos that always cause on the internet.
What made you sing a cover of the song “We found love”?
Lyrically, I connected to the song. I have struggled with mental health in the last 5 years. I always interpreted the lyrics ‘we found love in a hopeless place’ directed towards myself. I came out of a relationship that turned toxic and I sank and sank to a low place. I felt very much hopeless at times. The song is about promoting healthy self- love. Love yourself first and everything will follow. It’s hard but through my family and friends I felt so much better. Mental health, like physical health is constantly important- you just need to know what makes you feel good in a healthy way and try and get rid of what makes you feel rubbish. It sounds simple but it is hard to recognise what makes you feel bad or not good for you when what you do seems ok or normal.
Before releasing "We Found Love" made other covers, could say which one that caught the attention of his followers.
I think the song that made everyone go wow was my second cover ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. It’s a beautiful song and people all over the world showed an interest. ‘Careless Whisper’ from my album Covers 3 is very different from the George Michael original but when I sing it live people feel the story behind why I recorded it. My voice carries a lot of pain in that song.
When did you have to assume your homosexuality towards your family and your audience?
I came out at 20. I came out to all my family straight away to get a lot of support. It is very very hard but once I did it I just felt I could be myself. I have never hidden I am gay to my audience. My sexuality does not define me, it’s just a part of me. Music drives everything I do and I connect to everything in my life. Sure, my sexuality is there in some of my videos like ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ and ‘ We Found Love’ but it is also there in my voice singing about life, love and heartache.
In many countries, many people cannot express them selves, have their rights demanded and even less be respected, what do you think about this?
It makes me so mad that it goes on and that our LGBTQ community faces such inequality and hate. In South America it is terrible the lack of equality and that many people have to hide and also the attacks members of our community have had to face. If we keep pushing forward together, educate the haters and we remember to show everyone love and acceptance then we will make important steps.
Clip “We found love” was recorded in Sardinia - Italy, do you plan to travel more and make other video clips outside of the UK?
Of course. I love travelling. If the opportunity arose then getting the local community involved would be great. Let’s film in Brazil!
We know it is very beautiful, but the bear beauty pageants are little publicized around the world, the bear community in the UK generally is little shy, what do you think about this subject?
Firstly, I think it is important to acknowledge that everyone has different tastes. I feel we have been fed this look to conform to which has come from fashion and media. It’s horrible pressure. We all need to accept that beauty is subjective and that it comes in all wonderful shapes and sizes. Personally, I feel bears need more representation in places like Hollywood and in TV and we need to break the stereotype that looking a certain way is better than the other. Within the bear community there is a lot of Mr Bear competitions that do get a lot of attention but it needs to challenge areas like the mainstream media. If we keep everything within our own circle then we will never change perceptions. I don’t think the UK scene is shy at all. I have a lot of wonderful friends that celebrate their bodies and I support them.
You said you're married, could you tell how you met your mate?
I had a show in Berlin and a good friend said come to the best bear bar in Berlin called ‘Woof’. It was unexpected. I really didn’t think I would meet anyone in a bar because previously the people I met wanted a one night experience. In the past that was fine. But as I got older I know what I want and I found myself growing distant from these places. So I was wrong because I found a beautiful man in a bar who wanted what I wanted. You rarely have a habit of being photographed in swim trunks, never thought to do a sensual (not erotic) rehearsal
You rarely have a habit of being photographed in swim trunks, never thought to do a sensual (not erotic) rehearsal so that your audience could see your beautiful body?
There are a few photos on my Instagram and Facebook music page but my music drives everything. I try not to lead with sexual stuff. It’s not who I am. I accept looks play a part, I have an appeal to some people and I’m grateful but I also accept not everyone will like me. There is a myth on the scene that having muscles or being thin brings happiness. It may bring sex and lots of one night stands but I don’t think that is real, genuine happiness. I’m trying to send a message out that you can be happy if you work hard at what you are passionate about. Be successful at a friendship, your job, the gym, your hobby, relationship with your family. It will bring more happiness. If you work on the inside there is no need to use the outside to bring validation. I feel there is a lot of importance placed on looks and physical shape in the gay scene. And these social media influencers who look amazing and just use their bodies to promote themselves are creating a very shallow culture. It shouts out the wrong message of success. I am always open to ideas for photos.
About Brazil, never thought of doing any show in Brazilian lands?
I would love to come to Brazil and do a show here. The culture is so special. Sadly, I don’t get to choose where I sing. If an event needs a singer then they book me. If you want me to come and sing then find an event and recommend me to them.
What does it feel like when you finish a live show?
I love singing live in stage. It is the best buzz. I come off stage wanting to go back on again or m meet and chat with the audience after the show. Physically I work hard so I often need to cool down. Sweat pours off me. I don’t just stand there and sing. I like to dance and jump thinking I am 30 again. I love performing - it is the best part.
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