Steve Grand's self-produced music video for his single "All-American Boy" has collected almost half a million views on YouTube, less than a week after it was released. While the viewing number is far from breaking any record or propelling him to international stardom, it's quite impressive for a new self-promoted artist who financed the video shoot with his own money.
The video tells the story of an unrequited love. He falls for a straight male friend and misreads the signals. After spending a fun day together with him that includes skinny-dipping and quick kissing in the lake, he thought he finally could find his happy ending. However, he is left with heartache in the end after finding out that the man he loves only sees him as a friend.
Due to the gay theme, he is hailed the first openly-gay male country music singer by the media. He is also flooded with supports including one from fellow openly-gay musician Lance Bass, whom he tweeted back, "I am speechless. Thank you for your kind words and posting my video. You don't know what this means for me. So moved."
The video is inspired by his own story, says the singer/songwriter who played music for church events. "I was a 13-year-old boy (at camp)," he told the Associated Press. "One of my counselors was warm and strong and he took an interest in me, not sexually, but as a friend, and it really moved me. I remember leaving with a horrible ache in my heart."
When releasing the video last week, he wrote on her Facebook, "Time to be brave. The world does not see change until it sees honesty. I am taking a risk here in many ways, but really there is no choice but to be brave. To not tell this story is to let my soul die. It is all I believe in. It is all I hold dear. We have all longed for someone we can never have... we all have felt that ache for our #allamericanboy."
He added, "I gave everything for this. If my story makes even a couple people feel less alone in their aching, all the blood, sweat, tears, and soul I put into this project makes it worth it."