Singer-songwriter and ally BJ Kocen has no hesitations about standing up for the gay community.
Kocen, along with R&B artist T.Soul, will be performing at the Camel as part of the GayRVA Live concert series on Monday, April 4.
“An ally such as myself participating in this speaks to acceptance without being up on a soapbox,” Kocen said. “It shouldn’t be a big deal that a straight guy is performing in a gay promoted concert series. Music is the one thing we can all enjoy.”
Kocen’s music is rooted in folk but he’s been known to play other genres including country and bluegrass, and a little bit of everything else thrown in.
“I guess the simplest description of it would be Americana,” he said. “I don’t know what the hell my type of music is so I’m just going to call it Americana because that incorporates everything that I do.”
Kocen has been playing music for the past 15 years and last year, released his debut solo album, “The Breaks.” He normally headlines solo shows or with his band The Gobstoppers at Ashland Coffee & Tea, which he admits was the venue that helped him grow.
“I got my chops playing there,” he said. “But I’m excited to fly the coop, so to speak and play some other venues in Richmond. The show at the Camel will be very exciting.”
This isn’t the first time Kocen has shown his support to the LGBT community. His art space, Glave Kocen Gallery was the home for last week’s Fashion For A Cause, an LGBT-themed fashion show raising money for the Fan Free Clinic.
“I had a blast working on that event and made some great friends who just happen to be gay,” he said. “It really shouldn’t matter about what someone’s sexual orientation is.”
“People are afraid of what they don’t know. I’m not afraid.”
Check out more of BJ Kocen on his Facebook page and T.Soul at tsoulmusic.com. The GayRVA Live show starts at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. DJ Amy Alderman will be spinning tracks before and after the show. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Get tickets at gayrva.com/live.
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