Wils is singing a different tune these days: The Singaporean pop star, born Willie Tay and previously known as Willtay, publicly came out as gay with his new single, “Open Up Babe.” According to The Rainbow Times, Wils is the first openly gay Chinese singer.
“About two years ago, I was trying to write a couple of songs, and I just felt like I couldn’t be myself, being in the closet,” Wils explains in a new Billboard interview. “I felt like it just affected a large part of my life, like hanging out with friends and family, I was just constantly living in a lie. I decided that I was going to take a two-year break, and I’ll find myself and who I am and unlearn the fears I had since I was a kid. So ultimately, when all was said and done, I came to that point, and I decided that this was the best way to let my fans know.”
Wils’ music label in Asia dropped him as an artist after he came out of the closet, as he said on YouTube, so he released “Open Up Babe” and its music video — which stars his boyfriend, according to Gay Times — independently.
“It’s about being truthful to yourself, and that sometimes, when we live in fear, we’re not able to enjoy the truth and the beautiful things in life,” he tells Billboard of the song. “So it’s about finding that truth and accepting yourself. From there on, you just have to focus on living in the moment and enjoying life.”