Rex Rebel was just starting to hit their stride when the COVID-19 pandemic came to a head — just two days before worldwide lockdowns began taking place, the band made their live debut in Europe.
“To say this put a damper on our momentum is a huge understatement,” the band’s frontman Sam Bettens says. “But this is not a temporary side project, and we will continue to push until we claim our spot on the world stage.”
That was how Bettens introduced Rex Rebel during Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit on Saturday (June 13). Taking to the virtual stage, the trio offered up a brand new performance of their latest single “Big Boy,” this time performed in their respective homes during self-isolation.
With Bettens on bass and vocals, Wilm Van der Westen on drums and Reinout Swinnen on keys, the band grooved through their swaggering track, as Bettens smoothly crooned about confidence.
“Make a little room take a look at who just walked in/ Someone coming through with a pocket full of Benjamins/
You got a big boy coming,” he sang.
Just before the band took to the stage, Bettens also spoke briefly about his coming out as transgender, saying that he wasn’t interested in being quiet through it all.
“I want to stand with the LGBTQ+ community and be part of the effort of putting us in leadership positions in the hopes of moving toward real change and true representation,” he said. “Where we’re not just part of the conversation — we start the conversation.”