Presents Her Anthemic New Song “Big Big Love” To The LGBTQ Community As A Celebration Of Pride
“Love has no gender- Compassion has no religion- Character has no race”…Abhijit Naskar
Songwriting sovereign Diane Warren celebrates love in a big, big way with her LGBTQ anthem “Big Big Love” recorded by superstar Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of the iconic girl group the Go-Gos. It’s the first single from their EP collaboration, “Kismet.”
Love is in our blood and in our bones. The question is not always who we love, but why we love….not where we go, but when and how we stay tethered when our roots are scattered on the breeze. Without love, what would be our purpose? Only the heart knows the answers….Diane is offering an avalanche of love because love grows when nothing else is certain, changing its shape to fit the space required….
“Kismet” was born by chance. The five-track record served to reunite Diane and Belinda, who had joined forces back in 1978. The two Holy Grail’s of music collided in a coffee shop through fate and Belinda’s son, and out of that destiny, both wild hearts created liquid mathematics and perfumed smoke…and a gay anthem besides.
“Love takes off the masks we fear …we cannot live without and know we cannot live within”….James Baldwin
For years, Diane Warren has dazzled the planet like a seductive alchemist transforming private anguish into a narrative of truth within a kaleidoscope of songs for legends including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, Céline Dion, Elton John, Toni Braxton, Brandy, and a marathon of others. Her songs have been used in over 150 motion pictures, including “Gonna Be You”, which was performed by Dolly Parton, Belinda Carlisle, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan, and Deborah Harry for the feature film “80 For Brady”, and most recently, “The Fire Inside” for the new film “Flamin’ Hot”, which was released June 9.
The multi award winning Diane has penned nine #1 hits and 32 top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 and she is tied for having written the most #1 songs as a sole writer in Billboard history. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, is a Grammy winner with 15 nominations, an Emmy winner, and a two time Golden Globe award winner. She also received an honorary Oscar and is a recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
I was fortunate to be able to have a vibrant conversation with Diane regarding “Kismet” and “Big, Big Love” and whatever else just happened to come up.
You already know I’ve interviewed Belinda. According to her, she had no intention of even doing another album until she heard your songs. Did you write them for her? Did you have her in mind?
It is weird how things work. I had just written “Big Big Love” two weeks before I ran into her son. First of all, I didn’t even know she had a son. As soon as he said that, I said “OK, get your mom on the phone.” And I said, “Belinda, bitch, you’re coming in the studio.” She came in and I think she was thinking, “I hope this doesn’t suck”. I don’t necessarily write with someone in mind, I just try to write a great song. But there was nobody that was better for that song than Belinda. It’s the best of girl pop and Belinda is the voice of that. And by the way, the song “Big Big Love”, I want that to be a gay anthem. Get the word out. I am giving that to Pride for LGBTQ+ communities. It’s big big love–it’s all encompassing love. It’s loving who you want to love and loving who you are.
When you wrote that song, what came first–the music or the words?
I was playing. I programmed in a drum and I just started singing “Looking for a big big love that takes up all the space in my heart.” And I thought, “That is really cool.” It just sounded like a hit to me and I just kept working on it. The album is all killer, no filler. Nothing is weak and to me she sounds better than she did 30 years ago. She has so much energy in her voice. She is still a star. She is a great performer, and if you see her live, she is still kicking ass.
Are you ever sorry that you gave an artist one of your songs and wish you recorded it instead?
I have never felt that way in my life. I am not a performer. I would rather give them to other people. I’d rather give them to someone better than me and I like my job. I like to write songs.
The EP Kismet, I know the story and I know why it’s named Kismet, but who thought of the name?
Oh, that was Belinda. It was perfect because this whole thing was kismet. Because her son never goes to that coffee shop. And it was the one day he went there. What if he went there an hour later or I went there an hour earlier? It was kismet. It was meant to be.
The song “Sanity”, there has to be a story behind it.
It was just a fun song. It has a ‘60s thing to me. Like it could have been a Petula Clark song or something. But yet, it’s modern. It has that ‘60s thing that I’ve always loved.
Speaking of movies, I want to talk about “The Fire Inside”.
That’s from the movie Flamin’ Hot. It is a fun song. I love the song. Working on that was awesome. And different too, you know.
When you do a song for a movie, does somebody say “I have this movie. Can you write a song for it?” or do you say “I have a song for your movie”?
Both. I get called to do songs for movies, but if it’s something I read about that becomes something I chase. If it is something I feel like I can do something for, you know, it goes both ways. People call me and I call them. I am not above calling and saying “Hey, I’d love to see that script.”
How did you feel getting an honorary Oscar? They don’t even give them to songwriters, do they?
They’ve never given it to a songwriter before. And it probably will be a very long time before they do that again. It was great. I have been nominated 14 times. I have lost 14 times, but I really won 14 times. I’ve done a lot of movie stuff. One I can’t really talk about yet, but I’m really excited. I did “Fire Inside” and I did “80 For Brady”for the movie, the song “Gonna Be You” with Belinda Carlisle, Dolly Parton, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan, & Debbie Harry, how is that for divas, it’s streaming now.
Is there a time that you can recall that changed the whole trajectory of your life?
Yeah. I guess getting signed to my first publishing deal. Even though it was a shitty deal, but it led to “Rhythm of the Night”, which was my first big hit. That changed my life. And the honorary Oscar was pretty cool. Cher gave it to me.