Anthony Bowens had a dilemma — what to get his boyfriend Michael Pavano for his 24th birthday on Monday.
A card, flowers and dinner seemed too pedestrian, so the pro wrestler hit upon an idea to write, compose and record a song he uploaded to YouTube called “How We Met.”
“I’m really bad at gift giving and I wanted to make sure that I did something special for him,’ Bowens, who is bisexual, told Outsports. “I was wracking my brain as to what it could be and I decided to go the creative route instead something material.
“That’s when I realized Michael has an app where you can sing over popular songs and has always tried to get me to sing one for him, which I always refused. I don’t think I’m much of a singer and I’m always embarrassed to do so in front of people, so I figured maybe I could surprise him with one of my own written for him.
“I called my one of my best friends Nicco DiRenzi, who is an artist and music producer, and asked if we could make something like this happen. I ended up heading to his house to discuss the vision I had for the song and like the pro he is, after a few hours he had created a killer beat.
“After we had a foundation laid, I listened to the music over and over by myself to try and see what I heard my head and that’s when I wrote the lyrics and melody for the chorus. I then wrote the lyrics for the rest, but since I’m not familiar with writing for music, Nicco helped take what I wrote and shorten it to fit the confines of the music. Nicco was very instrumental to this project and I couldn't have done it without him.
“Through the lyrics I tried to convey how much Michael has impacted my life and how he helped heal any pain and dismiss any fears I had prior to coming out and living my life freely.
“I combined it with the way I felt after the first night we two years ago at a bar called Blackthorn in New Jersey and I how feel now in general. I don’t always express how I feel as much as I should, so I did my best to show him how much I love and appreciate him. Based upon his reaction (which I wish I recorded), I think I accomplished just that.”
“It was the most beautiful thing,” Pavano said. “He literally wrote and sang me a song for my birthday. I mean, who does that? ... It’s the best gift and most thoughtful gift anyone has gotten me.”
Bowens and DiRenzi did a bang-up job on the song. Bowens can really sing and it is an amazing gift. Bowens and Pavano each came out publicly last year and have used social media to connect with people inspired by their stories and relationship. Based on the YouTube reactions, the song — and the thought behind it — is a big hit.
Anthony Bowens can be reached via Twitter and Instagram at @Bowens_Official or by e-mail: AnthonyMBowens@gmail.com.
Michael Pavano can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @michaelpavano or by email firstname.lastname@example.org