Music for HIV awareness hits conservative South

With a graduating class of five people, Tony Award Winner and recording artist Levi Kreis hails from Oliver Springs, TN, (also home of Janell Arthur from last season’s American Idol.) Growing up gay in a conservative Baptist town, Kreis experienced deep religious persecution and when six years of ex-gay therapy nearly brought him to suicide, Kreis fled his conservative roots to find the meaning of self love.

Only this year did Kreis brave bringing his music back home to East Tennessee, now as an internationally recognized, openly gay success story. “First time back was scary. This past March, I made a tour stop in Knoxville - it was the first time I had played my music back home as an adult. I had no idea what to expect, but was so amazed at how embracing people were. I went back and headlined their Pride Festival in June. The more I come home, the more I find a real desire to do my part to support the few GLBT resources we have in Knoxville. It got me thinking.”

“Love Revolution" (feat. QBoy) is Levi’s second single from his summer release Imagine Paradise. As is every song on the album, Love Revolution is a personalized, custom-written theme song inspired by one of Levi’s fans. The song gives tribute to a young gay boy inspired by the Stonewall Riots. He later commits his life to serving the health and well-being of his community, mainly those suffering from HIV/AIDS. “In honor of his work, and in celebration of our GLBT history, I want my next single to raise support for those in my hometown who are caring for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters - specifically Positively Living.”

Positively Living in Knoxville, TN is a not-for-profit service agency that provides housing and care for persons that are homeless and suffering with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, addiction, or physical disability. 

Here are dates to remember:

August 6- Love Revolution Remix Competition launches. Remixes will be judged by Kreis, Top 5 Billboard Charting dance diva Debby Holiday, and remixer of all things gay, shiny and fabulous, Jared Jones. Deadline for submissions is September 3.

September 10- The winning remixes will be released on the Love Revolution Remix EP. From release date through November 4, 100% of the sales will be donated to Positively Living. Winning DJ’s will also be included in the music video and featured on a special commemorative poster given to Positively Living upon donation.


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