Pop duo Jason and deMarco bring new energy to the dance floor
In the music world, spirituality and queer sexuality are no longer mutually exclusive. Through a successful collaboration, partners Jason Warner and deMarco DeCiccio, better known as Jason and DeMarco, are uniting two seemingly divergent groups faith-based and gay-flavored pop.
Since the duo first began performing in 2002, the self-referred “Double Trouble” team has broken down barriers booking an act that’s billed in both churches and gay clubs.
“The gay community doesn’t know what to do with us because we’re spiritual,” deMarco says. “And the spiritual community doesn’t know what to do with us because we’re gay.”
Jason adds: “We never intended to become the poster boys for the gay community of faith. But I think we represent hope that what so many long for, does in fact exist a healthy, young, gay, committed, spiritual, successful couple doing good work and reaching out to others.”
That’s a lot of adjectives. But, they believe each description is vital. Their career and their music aren’t easily segmented, and that’s exactly how they want it.
“We just want to “‘be’ and quit all the labels,” deMarco says.
“We’ve had record industry people say, “‘If you guys weren’t gay, you’d be signed.’” Jason says. “Obviously, the music industry still is unwilling to take a chance on gay artists. It’s sad that this is still an issue.”
Although they are Christian, they do not consider themselves “Christian” artists.
“We laugh because sometimes people are afraid to curse or drink or smoke in front of us. We’re not these holy self-righteous guys,” Jason explains. “We’re just two guys trying to do the best we can do in a world that tells us that our love is sinful and immoral.”
“We’re not interested in compromising who we are to have mainstream success,” he adds.
Mainstream success could be close at hand. Their new album, “Till the End of Time,” features music that they describe as “romantic rock pop.” Seven of the 12 tracks were written by Jason and deMarco, with additional writing credits attributed to two-time Academy Award, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter Allan Rich, who has penned hits for Whitney Houston, The Backstreet Boys and Patti LaBelle.
The new album is also important to Jason and deMarco because of its accessibility.
“There have been so many people who have said they’ve heard of us and like our music, but they either didn’t want to go to a church to see us, or they couldn’t afford an expensive ticket for charity events such as the HRC galas and Matthew Shepard benefits that we perform at,” Jason says. “I am excited that these people now have the option to see us at a club or at a mainstream event that works for them.”
Their newest single of dance remixes of “Trying to Get to You” by Tracy Young “became the number-one seller at PerfectBeat.com, the country’s largest on-line dance retailer, the first week of its release,” deMarco says.
Of the new album, each singer has his own personal favorite. For Jason, it’s “Falling.”
“It was a last-minute addition to the album that I wrote on the fly and ended up being one of the album’s best songs. I love when things like that happen,” Jason says.
DeMarco’s choice, on the other hand, is “This is Love,” written by the album’s executive producer, Alan Lett.
“It’s just so cute,” deMarco explains. “Very acoustic and very California.”
As if their blossoming career wasn’t enough to keep them busy, they’re also involved in several other ventures. Their new album was recorded in Houston, at RJN Music, a digital recording studio that Jason and deMarco recently opened.
“One of the reasons we opened this studio together was so that we could offer quality recording in an open and welcoming environment to local Texan GLBT musicians and singers at reasonable rates,” deMarco says.
They’re also premiering a new “Inspirational” album aboard a Carnival Cruise that sails from Galveston on Oct. 15. Through the end of June, friends and fans can register for the cruise at jasonanddemarco.com.
As for the future, Jason and deMarco also hope to develop a center for youth who have been rejected because of their sexuality.
“As we travel, we are finding many who want to be a part of this dream, and it becomes more obvious with every city that we visit that something like this is necessary. So many of our youth have nowhere to turn,” Jason says. “We want to use our music as a tool to raise awareness of many of these issues, and create solutions. The music is great, but there’s a much bigger purpose to everything we are doing.”
Jason and deMarco perform at Promise Metropolitan Community Church, 2527 West Colorado Blvd. June 16 at 7 p.m. Visit jasonanddemarco.com or spiritpop.com for more information.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 16, 2006.