Call Me by Your Name author ‘humbled’ by Lil Nas X’s unapologetically gay tribute

André Aciman Lil Nas X

Call Me By Your Name author André Aciman says it is “gratifying” and “humbling” that his gay novel could have the “slightest influence” on how Lil Nas X decided to name his hit song.

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” has taken the world by storm, inspiring countless memes and classic TikTok videos. The unapologetically gay song drew 46.9 million US streams and sold 21,000 downloads in its first week, according to MRC Data, and attracted 1.1 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending 4 April.

Lil Nas X’s hit has also reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts on Monday (5 April), less than two weeks after its debut.

The hit song shared the title of the 2007 gay romance novel by Aciman, which led to the subsequent 2017 film starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. The song doesn’t take its direct inspiration from the Call Me By Your Name novel or the film, but Aciman said it was “humbling” that Lil Nas X used the phrase.

Them contacted André Aciman last year when Lil Nas X first teased about “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” in July. Aciman sent Them an emailed statement heaping praise on the Grammy-winning rapper.

“If Call Me by Your Name had even the slightest influence on Lil Nas X’s music, then that’s beyond anything I could have ever imagined or hoped for,” Aciman said. “It’s gratifying, it’s humbling and it reminds me that how others relate to and interpret this novel is often more meaningful than the actual words on the page.”

Aciman told Them that his son had introduced him to Lil Nas X after he “kept hearing” about this song – “Old Town Road” – “at the gym”. He said: “I wanted to download it on Spotify.

“After a series of bad imitations and descriptions, he was finally able to figure out what I was talking about: ‘Old Town Road’.”