Jam Rahouja Rostron’s stage name, Planningtorock, is a bit of a misnomer considering they’ve been rocking for over a decade.
An accomplished DJ, producer, composer, and singer-songwriter, Planningtorock has been a fixture of the international dance-pop scene for more than 15 years. The British-born, Estonia-based artist’s list of collaborators reads like a who’s-who of contemporary pop music: Christine and the Queens, Robyn, even Lady Gaga. They’ve released four full-length albums as Planningtorock, so at this point, they are loath to let go of the stage name. “I came up with it when I was 16,” they tell Logo, “and it just took on its own sort of identity.”
Still, it wasn’t until Planningtorock met their now-wife, Riinu, at music festival a few years ago that their gayest dreams were finally realized. “We were introduced backstage, and I had to go and do press,” they remember. “I had met her, and, I mean, it was just love at first sight.”
After that fateful meet-cute, the artist managed to get in touch with Riinu on Instagram. The rest “was history” — and the genesis for their unapologetically queer new EP, Gay Dreams Do Come True, out today (October 29).
The three-song EP was written and recorded in early 2020 during Europe’s first COVID-19-related lockdown. Its lyrical content was inspired by Planningtorock falling even more in love with Riinu, who appears in the music video and single art for “Her Heart Is My Home Now.” “It’s taken me a long time to find happiness in a relationship and find the person for me,” they explain, “so it’s just a true story, this EP.”
It makes sense, then, that Gay Dreams Do Come True sounds as euphoric as falling in love feels. On the title track, Planningtorock lusts after their dreamy lover over a soaring electronic beat. “Girl You Got My Heart,” a hypnotic, disco-infused house track, grounds that carnal desire in open-hearted love (“The way you make me feel / You feel all me / All I want and all I am / My heart is so alive”). “I hope [the EP] makes people feel fucking great,” Planningtorock says. Its “naughty” cover art — an illustration by visual artist Joyce Lee depicting a femme with pursed lips about to kiss a hairy, Pride ring-adorned nipple — completes the fantasy.
Gay Dreams Do Come True isn’t Planningtorock’s only release this year. A few months back, they had the honor of reimagining Mother Monster’s “1,000 Doves” for her star-studded Dawn of Chromatica remix album. “It was a dream come true, basically,” they gush. “I’m a massive fan. And what a record as well. It’s a non-stop queer cuties kind of thing.” To date, the remix is their most-streamed song on Spotify.
Planningtorock’s songwriting skews very personal, so remixing offers something different. “It’s really a chance for me to facilitate and make something for somebody else. I just love it so much.”
2020 was an eventful year in Planningtorock’s personal life too. Last September, the artist and their partner decided to get married. Planningtorock had already relocated from Berlin, their home of 20 years, to live with Riinu in Tallinn, Estonia, a small, coastal city with a “really cute queer scene.”
Marriage equality isn’t legal in Estonia, so the happy couple tied the knot in a small ceremony at the nation’s British embassy. Planningtorock remembers navigating the bureaucratic process of getting married as “a challenge” steeped in cis-heteronormativity. Their government still doesn’t recognize them as wives. But Planningtorock says it was “a wonderful day nonetheless,” and has only reinforced their commitment to being loudly, proudly queer. That includes their lyrics and visualizers. “I don’t want to mince my words. We just don’t have time.”
“I get a lot of amazing messages [from people in countries like Estonia] on Instagram especially, and I’ve also performed in places where it’s been really, really difficult to be queer,” they add. “A lot of fans will say that Planningtorock makes them feel seen. I tell them, ’You’re not alone.’ We’re all fighting, absolutely fighting, for equality, rights that we are entitled to, gay happiness.”
Gay Dreams Do Come True is out now.