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Who Is Fancy: Coming Out As Fancy Hagood

Written by: Dustin Clendenen

While reflecting on his career thus far in a June 2016 interview with The Canadian Press, Who Is Fancy said, “Everyone [was] wanting to see me win, [but] they were like, ‘Well, maybe you can’t win if you’re this [type of person].” He thought about that, and decided at the end of last year, “But maybe I could…”

An out-gay artist, Fancy’s premiere at the start of 2015 was unconventional, to say the least. Repped by Scooter Braun (of Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson fame), he became one of the world’s biggest-hyped artists of the year when the audio-only version of his debut break-up anthem, “Goodbye,” quickly racked up millions of views. That was then followed by three music videos each showing a different actor filling in for the mysteriously hidden pop star. His dedicated fanbase was obsessed with finding out who he was, and didn’t finally see him in person until a spring-time performance on Jimmy Fallon.

Fancy has said the reason for initially shrouding his identity in mystery was to keep people focused on his voice and lyrics, and not be distracted by his glamorous image. Still, many speculated the music industry was a little uncomfortable fully putting someone like him out there. After his second single, “Boys Like You,” which featured mega-stars Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande (and Fancy, as a cartoon), he parted ways with Braun and his record label. And the stage was set for a major rebirth of his career.

To this day, there still hasn’t been an official music video that actually features Fancy in the flesh. And, at the moment, his biggest song isn’t even being sung by him. Almost as if to prelude his return, Fancy’s single, “Battles,” written for La’Porsha Renae, is playing loud and proud right now at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Saturday, August 13, Fancy Hagood is headlining a show at Union Station in Los Angeles for the first time under his new moniker.

A combo of his pop-star calling card and his birth name (Jake Hagood), Fancy Hagood is setting the stage for a new level of authenticity, both with his music and as an artist. Since leaving his label, he’s connected to a whole new LGBT audience that’s more interested in music by members of their community than painstakingly crafted marketing campaigns. He has a whole new body of lyric-driven work to share with audiences, with no more need to be held back by overly complicated theatrics.

We hope he keeps the glitter, though.

Fancy Hagood is headlining at LA’s Union Station on August 13th in a showcase booked by Grant Owens (Founder/Host of We Found New Music) along with Live Nation and presented by Live Nation’s Ones To Watch and KROQ Locals Only. More info here

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Dustin Clendenen
Dustin Clendenen is an LA-based screenwriter, journalist, editor, and all-around storyteller. He spends most of his time thinking about the "Big Picture" and obsessing over its details.