Exclusive conversation with Perez Hilton

Originally posted August 29, 2012 – 9:42 AM for Examiner.com

Perez Hilton has been one of the most outspoken and opinionated voices on the leading edge of pop culture for at least a decade. The passion behind those opinions has lead to the discovery of some of today’s hottest Pop artists (i.e. Lady Gaga, Karmin and Greyson Chance) and, most recently, to the inspiration and release of a new original CD compilation. Hilton dubbed the collection of songs by new undiscovered talent, Pop Up #1 saying, “ I chose to call the collection ‘Pop Up’ because I love pop music, and it’s such a big umbrella term. Taylor Swift is pop to me, and so is Kanye West.”

We recently had a chance to chat with the always outspoken Perez and he excitedly and candidly revealed all his plans for the new Pop Up series, his bid to judge on X Factor and his debut on Broadway, in Newsical the Musical this September.

Marian: You’ve long been on the leading edge of discovering new music as well as offering your unabated opinion of it. You said that you wanted this song compilation to be a workout/party mix as well as a motivation to lose weight. Can you elaborate on that and the mission behind this collection of songs?

 Perez Hilton: I am constantly looking for new songs for my gym mix, and I wanted to put together a fun and fresh alternative to “Now That’s What I Call Music” that would get people moving and hopefully inspire them to be healthier. Music has played a large role in my road to being fit!

M: Tell me a little bit about your selection process/criteria for the tracks on Pop Up and what these songs mean to you.

 PH: I chose to call the collection “Pop Up” because I love pop music, and it’s such a big umbrella term. Taylor Swift is pop to me, and so is Kanye West. All of the songs on my compilation are pop and Uptempo and very eclectic. We have different sounds from all over the world! There are artists from New Zealand, Denmark, South Africa, Italy, Estonia, Canada and more on the album!

M: Are you only looking to use original creative content from new artists or will you consider covers in future editions? Will you consider featuring the same artists on future compilations?

 PH: I am open to covers and repeat artists. I’m just a sucker for a good song, and I want my compilations to be filled with them!

M: What can you tell us about the Opus Label and how you discovered each other and later decided to partner with them on this project?

 PH: I had actually worked with Opus before, on music tees for a tour I put together back in 2009. They approached me about a compilation album and I instantly said yes. They did all of the legal and paperwork, obtaining the licensing and dealing with the bureaucracy. I was fully in charge of the song selection and all the creative, including the artwork and sequencing and every little detail.

M: How often do you plan to release the Pop Up albums? Seasonally, annually, etc?

PH: As often as there is demand! I hope this turns into something regular!

M: Can we expect to see any of these featured artists performing at future Perez Hilton: One Night In… events?

 PH: Hopefully! I also hope a few – or more – of these artists go on to become incredibly successful! You heard them first on “Pop Up”!

M: What is your search process like for unearthing undiscovered artists? Do they solicit you or are you searching online, YouTube, attending shows or a combination of all?

 PH: I’m open to new music every which way I can get it, but usually the best way for me to discover new artists is through my readers! They email me songs they think I’d like – and they’re often right! Word of mouth goes a very long way!

M: Your cover song contest in and of itself has lead to some artists getting signed and finding success. What are you looking for in these artists?

 PH: I’m looking for someone that excites! That doesn’t always mean the best vocalist. Instantaneous excitement is the key!

M: How involved are you in fostering and developing the artists you discover, if at all?

 PH: I am always here for my friends who are musicians, to lend them an ear and give them my input. A bunch of them take me up on that regularly.

M: Any plans to eventually start your own label and sign the artists you discover? And or have you considered starting a talent scout/A&R company of your own?

 PH: My main goal right now is to turn my boyband, IM5, into a big success. You can check them out at http://YouTube.com/IM5band After that happens, then I can think about tackling other things like my own label.

M: Let’s talk about the transformation of your brand and what this all means to you and the inspiration and motivation behind it?

 PH: My brand and website has grown into something more positive and mature over the years, just as I have. It’s a reflection of me and my personal evolution.

M: What happened to your weekly charity mission statement posts and what campaigns and non- profits, (non-politically affiliated) are you focusing your support on currently?

 PH: I’m involved with many charities, from GLSEN to GLAAD to VH1’s Save The Music and Rock The Vote. I’m done numerous projects for each and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for them. I’m just doing my part, like we all should.

M: There were many rumors and press related articles stating you would have liked to be a judge for X Factor. Was their truth to this and in light of your success in fielding talent what qualities do you have that would have benefited the judging panel?

 PH: I shamelessly campaigned for that job, but they wanted huge superstars. And they got them! I’m excited to see how Britney and Demi do on X Factor.

M: You’ve been using your voice and platform to propel a lot of music into the spotlight like Lady Gaga, Karmin, Greyson Chance, etc. Do you also help network and connect the talent you believe in to the right people in the industry?

PH: I like to help my friends. I’m a giver! And I believe that sharing is caring!

M: Let’s wrap it up with your upcoming role in Newsical the Musical the off Broadway hit. Congratulations on fulfilling a lifelong dream! Will you be singing in the show and what if any formal training do you have going into this?

 PH: I will be singing and dancing my little heart away 8 times a week! This is a lifelong dream and I’m finally putting my acting degree from NYU to good use! My mom is very proud.

Purchase the album on iTunes today! Article Contributions By: Jason Witkes

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