By Christopher Treacy
For those that never thought they’d see the day when an openly gay dude would be hosting a corporate-sponsored country radio program…your time has come!
Actually, our time has come, and so has the time for Fancy Hagood, (a.k.a. Who is Fancy?). Having arrived on the scene in 2015 with brain-branding singles like “Goodbye” and “Boys Like You,” the Arkansas-born, Nashville-based Hagood is just the man for the job with his no-holds-barred attitude and penchant for breaking the rules.
Premiering this week, Apple Music Country is launching Trailblazers Radio, a biweekly show on Wednesday afternoons that aims to celebrate country’s disruptors, old and new, known and unknown. The show promises to celebrate sonic diversity, highlighting genre-bending artists that refuse to let vintage country templates set the parameters on what their music can and cannot be.
Expect the unexpected.
“I have felt very limited in my career about what I can say, what I can reveal about myself, what I can talk about, and I am loving this moment in music where so many artists are coming forward and being themselves unapologetically,” Hagood said in a press release announcing the exciting new program.
In the first episode, which has just gone live, Hagood features Kacey Musgraves, The War and Treaty, and Lil Nas X, to name a few. Each edition of Trailblazers Radio will have a companion Apple Music playlist, so you won’t have to go digging to find the music he chooses to highlight.
“Wikipedia says a trailblazer is one that blazes a trail to guide others,” Hagood continued. “And I like that definition because I like that it’s about guiding other people. A lot of these trailblazers aren’t just doing this for themselves, they’re doing it to make room for people that haven’t had a seat at the table. And I’m just very inspired by that.”
Fifteen years ago, country music was still clinging to old ideas. Departure was visible, but only on the outer fringes. You really had to squint. Fast forward to now and it hardly resembles its former self. It’s never been truer: country is a hotbed of innovation. It only seems right that a gay man straddling the intersection of country and pop should help announce the new brigade.
“I don’t know whose idea it was to give me my own show,” Hagood joked. “Thank God they did. This is fun. I can say whatever I want, which is not always ‘a thing’ when you’re a musician. That’s what ‘Trailblazers Radio’ is all about—people just being themselves.”
Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let us down.
Beginning January 19, Trailblazers Radio will air every other Wednesday at 2pm PST, 4pm CST, and 5pm EST. Listen live for free or anytime on-demand with an Apple Music subscription at apple.co/_TrailblazersRadio.
Christopher Treacy has been writing about music and the music industry for 20 years. He’s written for The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, and Berklee College of Music’s quarterly journal, as well as myriad LGBT outlets including the Edge Media Network, Between the Lines/Pride Source, Bay Windows and In Newsweekly. He lives in Buffalo, NY.