Paul Usher delves into ‘unashamed queer love’ in Paper Cups

“I couldn’t help but write this celebratory boy-meets-boy song.”

Following its first radio play on The Graham Norton Show on Radio 2 over the weekend, Mancunian pop star Paul Usher has unveiled the music video for latest track ‘Paper Cups’.

The track is a queer pop anthem about spontaneous love and drinking cheap wine from paper cups – something many of us can surely relate to.

With a sparse, contemporary R&B beat, ‘Paper Cups’ makes for a solid follow-up single to ‘Jesus Is A Preston Boy’. Delivered with a disarming charm, the song perfectly captures the rapture and youth and possibility of young love.

Speaking to QWEERIST, Paul said the track is based on a real-life date he went on.

“I remember sitting by the river in Camden; laughing, loving and learning all about this beautiful Portuguese boy I’d just met. The date was so simple but so natural. The evening unfolded effortlessly and I remember feeling so unashamed about simply holding his hand in public.

“I couldn’t help but write this celebratory boy-meets-boy song and capture the feeling of surrendering to a moment with a kindred spirit.”

The music video features Paul and his lover as he reenacts the track’s narrative of a young couple hanging out by the river playing cards, as he sings: “who needs money when you got cheap wine by the riverside in paper cups, like we give a fuck”.

Paul added that the music video for ‘Paper Cups’ is incredibly special to him, telling QWEERIST: “I’ve directed it myself and worked very hard on it.

“I wanted the music video to recreate that date and show all the little tender moments that mean so much to us; the glint in an eye, the first time you hold hands, the comfort found in a hug, the tenderness of simply caring for someone. I wanted it to be romantic rather than sexual.

“I long for there to be a movie, a big budget rom-com, a Notting Hill-style love story made with LGBT characters. Therefore, I tried to make the Paper Cups video as much like a mini-movie as possible. I hope I’ve achieved that.”

The fact that, as an independent artist, the track was chosen to premiere exclusively on Graham Norton’s radio show is not lost on Paul, either. The singer said to hear his track on the airwaves was “simply incredible”.

“For any artist of any calibre, it would be a big deal; Radio 2 is the UK’s biggest radio station and Graham Norton is the UK’s most beloved broadcaster, the fact he is an LGBT icon was the icing on the cake.

“However, to be an independent artist and to be given that platform was an amazing opportunity for which I am extremely grateful.

“I think it just goes to show that if you work tirelessly on both your craft and on your promotional efforts you will be given breaks, the key is to never give up.”

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Written by QWEERIST editor

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