Saturday, July 13, 2024

Gaustad Drops ‘Boy Behind the Mask’: Watch

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The singer behind tracks such as “Gaga” and “Pillbx” recently came out as non-binary: “I want this song to set you free and give you the courage to be exactly who you are.”

Gaustad has been meaning to write a song like “Boy Behind the Mask,” one discussing coming to terms with their gender identity, for years. Now, the musician is ready to share the track — and also the emotional video, which premieres Thursday with Rolling Stone.

“It wasn’t until recently that I found all the words to explain what I have been feeling my entire life,” says Gaustad, who recently came out as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. “For a long time, I kept my masculine identity buried because I felt like there was something wrong with me. We live in a world of boxes and suffocating gender norms, and more often than not people in the LGBTQ+ community do not fit in these boxes that society desperately tries to place us in.”

“‘Boy Behind the Mask’ is a song that says to live your truth,” Gaustad adds. “It took me 22 years to find mine and I can only hope that this record gives other people the courage to live theirs.”

The video sees the singer singing the ballad while wearing a Phantom of the Opera-style mask and tuxedo as they sing about their complex feelings from a stage. They call “Boy Behind the Mask” a “triumphant return” to their authenticity and finding self-acceptance.

“There was never anything wrong with me but perhaps there is something wrong with society for the way it dehumanizes people who do not fit in the boxes we deem ‘normal.’ There is no such thing as normal and there never will be,” they say. “There is simply every one of our individual truths and expressions of ourselves. I want this song to set you free and give you the courage to be exactly who you are.”


Gaustad released EP Welcome to Jupiter 2.0 earlier this year after releasing the deluxe edition of Pillbx last year. That LP featured tracks such as “Gaga,” which referenced Lady Gaga’s greatest hits and was celebrated by the singer herself, along with standouts such as “Beauty & the Beast” and “Everybody’s Friend.”

They told Rolling Stone in 2022 that “Beauty” aimed at how “young people find themselves comparing their own identity and beauty to those disguised by smoke, mirrors, filters, and plastic surgery” online.

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