Tom Goss strives to “show the world a different kind of beauty” with his latest tune, “Round In All The Right Places.”
Sonically, the song is a throwback ― a wink to doo-wop ballads of the 1950s and ’60s. Goss, however, appears only intermittently amid a colorful cast of plus-size queer men in varying stages of undress throughout the accompanying music video, viewed above. With that in mind, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter wants his audience to interpret the clip as both forward-thinking and pleasantly nostalgic.
“I want to change lives for the better,” Goss, 37, told HuffPost of the video, which hit YouTube on Friday. “I want [viewers] to see beauty in a different way. I want them to consider beauty outside of the societal norms.”
He continued: “If the person watching the video is round, I want them to see themselves as beautiful. I want them to see what I see in them … how intoxicating their curves are to me. I want them to believe in themselves, and let their beauty shine out into the world more completely.”
“Round In All The Right Places” is the first single from Goss’ forthcoming album, “Territories.” He said his new record ― the followup to 2016’s “What Doesn’t Break” and slated for an early 2019 release ― is his best work to date.
Until now, his biggest musical splash was his 2016 cover of Dusty Springfield’s classic, “Son of a Preacher Man.” That video reimagined the 1968 hit as a poignant ballad about two gay teens (one of whom happens to be the son of an anti-LGBTQ evangelical preacher) and, as of Friday morning, has received more than 3 million views.
By the time “Son of a Preacher Man” was released, however, Goss had established a reputation for pushing the boundaries of queer representation through his music. His 2013 single, “Bears,” found him stripping to a pair of tiny briefs on a dance floor filled with hirsute men, including his husband, Mike Briggs. More recent singles and videos ― including “Click” and “Gay Christmas,” both released last year ― also spotlighted diverse queer people.
But in retrospect, Goss believes “Bears,” which has been viewed more than 1.2 million times, was a bit of a disservice to the community it aimed to embrace.
“Although I’m singing about how beautiful bears are, the main sex symbol in the video is myself,” he said, adding that he “spent months dieting and training” before shooting began.
“Round In All The Right Places,” he said, aims to rectify what he sees as his earlier oversight.
“I wanted to glamorize the round men, objectify them, really highlight their beauty and magnetism, while sticking to my role as a storyteller,” he said. “I can think of plus-size comedians, villains, sidekicks and foils, but not romantic leads. This needs to change. I’d like to do my part to change it.”