Robert Jenkins – Guest Contributor
May 11 2021
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American Idol’s David Hernandez will premiere “ILY.”, his new inclusive love song and video, with two live performances at Montrose West Hollywood on Wednesday, May 19th (6:30pm and 8:30pm).

"ILY. was inspired by the past fifteen months of the pandemic and all of the loss that everyone has endured," the artist explains.   "I feel like it made us recognize how much we take for granted and how it’s important to tell your loved ones just how much you love them. We aren’t promised tomorrow. No matter how tough times get or how may arguments you have, you have to remember the love you have for each other and that love is love no matter the race, gender, or sexual orientation."

Co-written with Stewart Taylor and produced by Alex Teamer and Push Kahlon, “ILY. is not pronoun specific and, says Hernandez, "that was intentional." The initial pre-chorus was written as I wouldn’t be the man I am if it weren’t for you. Hernandez changed the line to I wouldn’t be who I am, if it weren’t for you. “I want everyone to be able to identify with the song’s message. We are lacking inclusion in music and it needs to be recognized because inclusion inspires understanding and humanizes our experiences.”

“Growing up, I was only taught the dynamic and gender roles between a man and a woman,” Hernandez, who is openly gay, continues. “There was never any rule or guide book on how two men can coexist in a romantic relationship. Navigating it on my own has been challenging, especially when many people in the world still continue to view same sex relationships as not normal.”

At his first live performance since the pandemic, David Hernandez will reveal the music video for “ILY.” Shot by Arno Diem, it depicts two men in a relationship that are struggling with each other’s shortcomings and insecurities. They visit a therapist, played by trans actress, Alexa Abraxas, and discover that through the heartache, they share a common thread of love for one another and that for many, it’s the obstacles we overcome that make a relationship stronger.

Benji Schwimmer from So You Think You Can Dance plays David Hernandez’s love interest in the video. He also choreographed the dance sequence that he taught to David in two days. “I had never danced so much in my career!” David laughs. “Benji is an incredible and patient teacher. He made the experience much less stressful and really helped me to connect the movement to the music. “

In addition to Idol, Hernandez has showcased his talents on The Ellen Show, The Today Show, and more. He was named among TV Guides’ Sexiest Stars.

He has released two full-length albums, 2011’s I Am Who I Am and Kingdom: The Mixtape, an album that included tracks which reflected on the love and loss he experienced since rising to fame on American Idol.

He hopes “ILY.” inspires acceptance and understanding as grace and love are essential. “We are all beautiful and intricate beings that just want to love and be loved,” he says. 

David Hernandez and his band perform Montrose West Hollywood, Wednesday, May 19th (6:30pm and 8:30pm). Due to capacity restrictions,  limited seats are available.  Tickets are here.