by Selena Haynes | photos courtesy Mark Mendoza
Brian Justin Crum, who was a contestant on America’s Got Talent (AGT) Season 11 and on AGT: The Champions, released his single “I & U” during Pride month. “It’s that fun summer anthem that we all need to help us get over our ex’s,” said Crum.
And he’s not wrong. The video and song, which you can watch here, have a pop feel and sound that you definitely would expect to hear being blasted from someone’s speakers as they’re cruising with the top down during the summer. It takes you to that feel-good place that many know and cherish as the pick-me-up that we need.
Two of Crum’s inspirations are Sia and Lady Gaga. “I’m so inspired by both of them not only musically but as humans. They both have experienced so much trauma and struggle and you can feel it in everything they create.”
Crum, a San Diego native, attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and at the age of 17, he made his way into the cast of WICKED. From there he was in several Broadway musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, We Will Rock You, and Grease. He’s also had a role on Law & Order SVU.
While a talented actor who has received numerous accolades, Crum is now pursuing his music career. He says, “I’m so grateful and lucky to be surrounded by so many people who believe in me and my vision.”
His vision includes making more music and being more involved in activism. “I really want to be a voice for my community and a huge part of that is asking questions and just listening. I want to learn more about how I can better serve my community.”
As one in the limelight, Crum is definitely in a position to be an influencer and he knows first-hand what it’s like to be bullied as he discussed on AGT about the struggles he faced as a child for being gay and overweight. Crum also said during that appearance that he wanted “to be a positive light and show all kids that no matter how hard it is, life can be amazing if you work hard. You just need to find your passion and throw yourself into it!”
Crum told Focus that the advice he would offer someone being bullied is “Safety first, always. We as queer people and especially Queer people of color can be targets for violence. So always make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to stay safe.”
He goes on to say “Utilize online platforms and social media FOR GOOD! There is so much negativity online but it’s also an excellent source to talk with people who are going through something similar to you. Reach out and connect with those who are like minded to people you want to be like! Find your tribe and support system. They are out there for you!”