The whole world is watching Russia. As the Sochi Olympics approach the halfway mark, a new law from Moscow bans international adoptions by gay couples as well as single people from nations that allow same-sex marriage — just in case these singles are gay. Russia's so-called "gay propaganda law" also has stirred enormous controversy.
Against this contentious backdrop, Russian-born pop star Grace Valerie has released a brand-new video that she hopes will contribute a message of love and understanding to the raging debate on the role of LGBT people in her native country.
"Diversity is what makes us strong," Grace Valerie says. "That's what I've learned here in America."
The now Los Angeles-based dance music artist explains that, "It's sad that my LGBT friends and fans don't feel as free in Russia as they may elsewhere. However, Russia's LGBT grassroots movement is small but growing. Gay bars and clubs continue to open across the country, despite society's disapproval. Things now are much better than they were in the USSR or as they are in some African, Arab, or Latin countries. Clearly, they are much better in the EU and the USA. Love is not only the most universal language, but also the strongest driver throughout human history. I sincerely believe in its power."
"My new video is an expression of love," Grace Valerie added in a recent Huffington Post interview. "It crosses nations, shapes, colors, and forms. It's all about human relationships, about the complexity of love – something anyone can relate to."
Titled "Not For Love," Grace Valerie's new single features a sexy, power-packed vocal performance atop an hypnotic beat. The video's eye-opening ending speaks directly to the questions of love and sexuality now being discussed intensely, from Moscow to Malibu.
"As a Top 40 dance artist," Grace Valerie says, "I'm very excited and proud of the bold statements in my latest release — both my video's message to my fans and the bridge it provides between the two music cities of Los Angeles and Nashville. It's a very exciting time!"