Matt Alber - singer, songwriter, preacher of love and soldier of equal rights. We spoke to him so you could sense ahead what you will be seeing in Tallinn.
Tallinn Bearty (TB): What is bear culture for you?
Matt Alber (MA): Well, the first thing that comes to mind is this night at Burning Man when I'd lost my friends. I was a little freaked out and wondering if I was going to ever find them again when I happened to stumble onto a giant outdoor Bear-Rave. One handsome friendly smiley ginger bear (my favorite kind) picked me right up off the ground, hugged me and passed me to another bear. Then to another, and another, until I'd made it to the opposite side of the crowd. The last bear asked me what was wrong and plopped me right onto the go-go box-- I started dancing to a Whitney Houston song and when I turned around, my friends had found me. In a nutshell, good bears always cheer you up and make some magic happen.
TB: You’ve released few albums by now, last one just less than year ago. Tell us more of your process, what inspires you, what makes final selection?
MA: I love my job. Singing to sweet fellas all over the globe is pretty fantastic. All my songs begin from someone or some important to me. Some of them are visions. Others are memories I've had with someone I love. I've been single for over a year and that's offering me some time to grow in ways I've really needed to. I'm about to start a new album to say the things I never got to say as a scared kid to the fundamentalist church & state who tried to scare me away from being gay. Watch out, Pastor Carnett...
TB: You are also in the forefront and stand strong for LGBTQ equal rights. In that regard, how do you see bears?
MA: Bears tend to stick together and have big hearts. I've been trying to challenge myself lately to find ways to make the world a safer place for our young and elder ones. I'm shooting a new television show about LGBTQ teenagers, their allies and their parents called right now. It's called Room To Grow. I'm hoping the bears worldwide will help us make the show when we launch our crowd-funding campaign next month so the rest of the world can meet these awesome kids and their parents.
TB: When you heard first of TB and got our invitation, your first thought was…?
MA: "Are you sure you have the right number?" I was so honored and suprised. And then I went to your Tallinn Bearty FB page and I was like, "Bears in Estonia are so handsome..." Thank you guys for inviting me!
TB: What can we expect from your unplugged gig in Tallinn?
MA: I have the great honor of being joined by the Ardor String Quartet for this concert, so folks can expect an incredibly elegant concert of lush string arrangements of my songs about having a crush on the boy next to you (and a few other topics.) This is my first time singing my own songs in Estonia, so I'm pretty excited.
Tallinn Bearty (TB) has set its course on bringing fresh breeze every time we organize or promote something. Every year sees us put focus on one top arts category: visual arts, music or cinematography. Our aim is to power bear brotherhood in a way that will advance equal rights for everyone, in or out of our own community.