US singer Lil Nas X said he has learned from criticism over his latest controversial music release, but stresses he is “proud of it”.
The two-time Grammy winner, 24, appeared at a special screening of his upcoming HBO documentary titled Long Live Montero at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, appearing onstage with the film’s directors Carlos Lopez Estrada and Zac Manuel.
The film, which follows him across his US tour and explores themes of self-discovery, includes the singer’s newly released song J Christ – which faced a backlash over its music video featuring controversial religious imagery.
Addressing the “elephant in the room”, Lil Nas X said: “I released one thing so far and there’s been a lot of ‘things’ with it.
“I’m happy for it. I’m proud of it. I’m very excited for a lot of the things I have coming up and I’m very excited to share with the world.
“I’m always standing 10 toes behind my art so whatever anybody feels about it, that’s up to them.”
He later said: “It took a lot out of me to do such a thing (the documentary) and I am aware of who I am and what I have to do while I’m here on this Earth.
“So I take everything as it is, even any criticism, even the stuff you know what’s happening right now, the elephant in the room or what not.
“But I take it and I learned from it, I live for it. This is what I’m made for.”
It was revealed during the interview panel that the film’s inspiration was drawn from the 1991 Truth Or Dare documentary from US pop star Madonna – who features in the Lil Nas X film during a backstage tour visit.
“If you see a poster for the movie you may find a couple of parallels with her poster,” Lopez Estrada said.
Meanwhile Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Hill, was asked about his family’s reaction to the film – which touches on their traditional and conservative views on homosexuality when he came out as gay.
“I haven’t showed them this yet,” he said.
“I’m going to show it to them one day before it comes out, so it’s too late for them to want me to change anything. But I feel like they’re going to really love it.”
“I’m getting a (movie) theatre out in Atlanta, I’m going to watch it with them, but I’m going to sit all the way in the back and they can watch it up front,” he joked.
The film, which premieres on streaming service Max on January 27 but will be released internationally later this year, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September.
Filmmaker Lopez Estrada said: “We have this like beautiful premiere, huge theatre, packed, I think we all had a really good experience and then we have this little after party and it took me a second to get there because I was with some friends.
“And just as I was going in, I noticed that Lil Nas X was on his way out and he gives me a really warm hug and then just leaves.
“I said to Zac ‘what’s going on’ and he said ‘he was really inspired and just booked some studio and went to record’.”
Lil Nas X also confirmed he had new music on the way: “It’s coming, it’s happening.”