Lucas Silveira

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Lucas Silveira
Lucas Silveira 2017.jpg
Background information
BornToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresRock, folk
Occupation(s)Singer-Songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Acoustic guitar
Years active2007–present
LabelsWarner Music Canada[1][2]
Silver Label[2]
Tommy Boy Entertainment
Websitethecliks.com

Lucas Silveira is a Canadian vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.[3][4] He has composed and performed folk music and rock music, and formed and played in the band The Cliks. Silveira is credited as the first openly transgender man to have signed with a major record label.[5] He also writes about LGBTQ issues.

Biography[edit]

Silveira was born in Canada to Portuguese parents and lived in Mississauga and attended local Catholic schools.[6] He considers himself Portuguese-Canadian and he lived in Portugal for 6 years in his youth and he speaks fluent Portuguese.[3]

When he was a child, he knew he was a boy and asked his mother to buy him a penis like his brothers. Growing up, he identified as a lesbian. In 2004, he came out to himself, family, and friends as a transgender man.[6] In an interview published in The Advocate, Silveira states that he feels "transgender by definition, but not by identity", because being transgender has become a political identity rather than a personal one.[7]

In 2010 he began hormone replacement therapy.[8][9]

Career[edit]

Silveira founded The Cliks in 2004[6] alongside Ezri Kaysen and Heidi Chan. While the lineup changed over the years, The Cliks have released four albums and with one of their songs appearing on the The L Word Soundtrack and toured with Cyndi Lauper on the True Colours Tour.[6] On their fourth album, Black Tie Elevator (2013) Silveira worked producer The Weeknd and collaborator Hill Kourkoutis.[10] On TV Silveira appeared on MTV's Logo TV,[2] The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and in the documentrary film Riot Acts.[6]

Silveira was the first openly transgender man signed to a major label in 2006, at the age of 33.[7][5] Before coming out as transgender, Silveira composed and performed folk music.[6] After coming out, however, he shifted his focus to rock music.[6] Describing his shift from folk to rock music, Silveira says, "When I finally came out as being trans, I found myself freer to explore that darker, more hard-core side, and my songwriting started getting heavier and heavier."[6]

In 2007, The Toronto Star suggested that Silveira was about to become "the first transgendered pop heartthrob ever to register on mainstream radar”.[2] He was also voted as the "sexiest Canadian man" in Chart Attack's 15th Annual Readers' Poll making him the "first transman to win the award".[11]

Starting in September 2009 and ending in April 2016, Silveira began releasing popular cover songs on Youtube. Starting with Wham!'s song "Freedom"[12] and also covered artists like Robyn, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake[9]. When asked why he started this project, he explained that he did it for the sake of "doing a cover every like couple of weeks”.[6] When his hormone replacement therapy began in 2010, viewers both began asking for recordings of the covers as well as asking questions about his changing voice. Silveira has not only been described as a role model for other transgender singers,[13] but his covers on Youtube “enabled listening practices that reimagine engagement with contemporary musical archives and the temporality of trans experience.”[12] However, upon reflecting on this early success with a major label, he was shocked that "the band quickly hit a glass ceiling" where the "main focus wasn’t on my music. It was very much on my gender identity."[5]

Activism[edit]

Silveira has written and published articles around LGBT identity, specifically transgender identity. In May 2013, Silveira published an article with HuffPost Music Canada titled "I'm Trans, I Get Bullied, and I'm Fighting Back", where he wrote about the bullying that he endures as a transgender man and how he has fought back.[14] In July 2015, Silveira published another article in HuffPost Living Canada titled "Why We Need to Talk About Caitlyn Jenner." He expresses support for Jenner and transgender individuals around the world, while arguing that Jenner's story is one of privilege that many don't have. He ends the article by congratulating Jenner as well as transgender man Aydian Dowling, but emphasizes trying "not to fall into the same pattern that others have before us and be mindful that there are so many amazing diverse people in our community who all need a voice to tell their stories."[15]

In 2016, Silveira wrote two pieces for SamaritanMag. His October 2016 article titled "Filmmaker Captures Reactions of His Family and Friends in Coming Out Doc", Silveira interviews Alden Peter on his documentary Coming Out. In the article, Silveria asks Peter about his desire to come out, vulnerability, and hopes for future projects.[16] In November 2016, Silveira published another article titled "Q&A: Film Director Adam Garnet Jones Explores Unique First Nations Theme." He interviews Adam Garnet Jones on his LGBT drama Fire Song, two-spirit identity, and homophobia within First Nations communities.[17] Additionally, he has been interviewed by the CBC on Bill C-16 which introduced a Canadian law that addde gender expression and gender identity as protected grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Act.[18]

In April 2017, Silveira published a piece on SamaritanMag titled "Q&A: the Cliks’ Lucas Silveira interviews Fellow Transgender Rock Singer Laura Jane Grace". In the article, he interviews Grace on her experience publicly coming out, transitioning, and Grace's book, Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sell Out, and band, Against Me!.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warner Music Canada LTD". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Canada: Historica Canada. September 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Rayner, Ben (May 24, 2007). "A band that Cliks". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Nunn, Jerry (March 27, 2013). "Lucas Silveira Sticks with The Cliks". Windy City Times.
  4. ^ "The Cliks". The Cliks. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  5. ^ a b c 0’Kane, Josh (June 5, 2015). "How T. Thomason is claiming a stake in the music world – and helping other transgender artists do the same". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Krell, Elias (2013). "Contours through Covers: Voice and Affect in the Music of Lucas Silveira". Journal of Popular Music Studies. 25 (4): 476–503.
  7. ^ a b "Finding His Voice". 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  8. ^ TAP Exclusive Interview: The Cliks’s Lucas Silveira. The Audio Perv (2010-09-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-19.
  9. ^ a b Stylianou, Savoula (2013-09-17). "A voice for diversity". The Queen's University Journal. Kingston, ON. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Krewen, Nick (April 23, 2013). "Cliks lead singer Lucas Silveira changes tune on Black Tie Elevator". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Harper, Kate (2010-01-13). "Avril Lavigne, LIGHTS, Tegan And Sara, Cliks, Franz Ferdinand, Sloan Winners In 15th Annual Year End Readers' Poll". Chart Attack. Canada. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  12. ^ a b Jennex, Craig; Murphy, Maria (2017). "Covering Trans Media: Temporal and narrative potential in messy musical archives". In Hawkins, Stan. The Routledge research companion to popular music and gender. Abingdon, Oxon: New York, NY Routledge. pp. 313–324. ISBN 9781317042044. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  13. ^ Bos, Nancy (2017). "Forging a new path: Transgender singers in popular music". Journal of Singing. 73 (4): 421–424. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  14. ^ "I'm Trans, I Get Bullied, I'm Fighting Back". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  15. ^ "Why We Need to Talk About Caitlyn Jenner". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  16. ^ "Q&A: Filmmaker Captures Reactions of His Family and Friends in Coming Out Doc". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  17. ^ "Q&A: Film Director Adam Garnet Jones Explores Unique First Nations Theme". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  18. ^ "Transgender voices on Bill C-16 and the struggles that led to it". CBC News. Canada. May 18, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Q&A: the Cliks' Lucas Silveira interviews Fellow Transgender Rock Singer Laura Jane Grace". Retrieved 2017-04-18.