Actor, singer, expert selfie-taker, and The Queer Review contributor, Mateo Oxley has leant his dreamy, soothing vocals to four festive tracks for the Mistletoe EP, just in time to make our Yuletide a little more gay. Based in the UK, Mateo’s impressive stage credits include working with Punchdrunk and The National Theatre on their groundbreaking co-production of The Drowned Man : A Hollywood Fable, Patrick Marber’s Three Days In The Country, and Tony Kushner’s Angels In America as understudy to Andrew Garfield in the role of Prior Walter. On screen he starred in the independent World War II set drama Magpie as the Italian American romantic lead, Charlie, and earlier this year he joined the cast of Channel 4’s hit comedy The Windsor’s as Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, fiancé to Princess Beatrice.
With his Mistletoe EP now streaming, The Queer Review’s editor James Kleinmann and Mateo Oxley met masked under the mistletoe for a festive fireside chat (Okay, you’ve got us, it was on Zoom like everything else this year, but we’re dreaming of a Covid-free Christmas next year).
James Kleinmann, The Queer Review: We’ve all got different relationships with the festive season, tell us a little about what Christmas means to you?
Mateo Oxley: “Historically I’ve had a slightly complicated relationship with Christmas. I haven’t had a traditional family Christmas since I was about 15, I’d always either spend it alone or with the families of close friends who would invite me over. These days I spend it with my lovely boyfriend and enjoy creating my own traditions. I never take it for granted, though. It can be an incredibly lonely time of year for many.”
So tell us about the Mistletoe EP.
“Well for one thing I made a conscious decision to omit The Pogues slur in my cover of Fairytale of New York. In fact, I actually ended up taking that whole verse out as the slanging match just doesn’t work as a solo! It’s a little less raucous and more pensive this way. I know there are those who don’t find it problematic but it was a personal choice. I don’t want to put my name to anything that’s rooted in the abuse of LGBTQ+ people and could potentially upset anyone. On One More Sleep, I kept the lyrics ‘He said that he’ll be with me real soon’ to align the pronouns with my sexuality because, well, how often do we hear queer Christmas songs? Rarely, if ever! It may seem trivial but it felt like an important detail to me.”
Is there anything else that you think LGBTQ+ folks might enjoy about the EP?
“I hope that LGBTQ+ folks will enjoy a touch of festive sparkle after a gruelling year. It’s a stripped down little four track EP I managed to record in the studio just before London went into lockdown. Two classics and two moderns on both acoustic guitar and piano. It’s very soothing and warm. Like a glass of brandy by the fire!”