Mary Lambert on Critics of Macklemore's "Same Love": "I'm Gay and Part of the Song, Too!"
Though Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" technically dropped in 2012, the song really hit its stride this year when it became an anthem for LGBTQ rights as well as a hot topic. Mary Lambert-- the singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, and heartwrenchingly silken vocals behind the song's beautiful chorus--has been along for the ride with her fellow Seattle artists and has even joined them on their successful fall tour to sing along to the song that's helped make her a rising artist outside of just her local scene.
Credit: Debora Spencer
Last month, we spoke with Lambert about "Same Love" and her solo art just before she kicked off the tour with Macklemore. Now, she and the boys are in New York City, and when she's not uptown with them, she'll be making an appearance downtown, stepping out on her own with messages worth listening to.
See also: Critics Need to Lay Off Macklemore
Are you excited to be joining Macklemore every night to sing "Same Love"?
I love it. I love it so much. It would be different if it were surrounded by ego, but everyone is confident and cares so much about what they do. It's so much about the craft and about family. It's the best environment to be in. They're my tour family.
How far back do you, Macklemore, and Ryan Lewis go? Did you meet just for the song?
Yeah! We met the day we recorded the song.
Oh, wow. How did they find you and how did you get into contact with them for this track?
We have a mutual friend named Hollis. She's the one who sings on "White Walls." She's a good friend of mine and had been such a supporter of my work early on in the poetry community. In the Seattle scene, everyone just wants to see each other succeed. Hollis had been working with Ben [Haggerty (Macklemore)] and Ryan and helping them write on some stuff and knew they were stuck on this song. Hollis suggested me. They ran out of options, so she played them my YouTube video and they were like "alright, what do we have to lose?" I had about two hours with the track and wrote four different choruses. I went in and sang it for them, and they cried. We tracked it that night. That was my first time meeting them.
Were you wary at first about agreeing to sing on such a political song that deals with LGBTQ rights?
I was nervous about my safety. I sort of accepted that when I came out that I was going to be fearless and that I was going to do whatever I needed to do as an artist. this song embodied all of that. And I've always wanted to write a social/political song, but each time I attempted, it felt really contrived. So when this presented itself, I was like this is my opportunity to express how I feel! And it's not just a song that's applicable to the gay community; it stands up for allies as well.
What kind of response did you most immediately receive in regards to "Same Love"?
It was all warm. Lots of hometown pride, too. People from Seattle were fighting, and we're from Seattle so our gay marriage bill was on the ballot. So we were like "OK, we gotta push this." Then it snowballed. I don't think anybody expected it to be [this big].
How do you feel about the critique from the LGBTQ community about Macklemore being the figure delivering this message?