Ben Platt is no stranger when it comes to sharing emotions.
From his beloved portrayal of a misfit magician in the Pitch Perfect movies to an anxiety-ridden teen in Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen musical, Platt, 25, routinely pulls out all the stops to connect with his audience.
Now as he’s set to release his first solo album, Sing to Me Instead, the Tony-winner admits “it’s scary,” he tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “It’s completely me. I’m getting to share without any filter of character or writing. But I really am loving that feeling.”
Out March 29, the album explores Platt’s romantic life over 12 songs he co-wrote that depict “a roller coaster of a relationship that is an amalgam of the ones I’ve had,” he says. The videos for the first two tracks, “Bad Habit” and “Ease My Mind,” were directed by Platt’s close friend Nick Lieberman and costar actor Charlie Carver as Platt’s love interest.
From the start, the actor was resolved to be candid. “If I was going to write about people I loved, I wasn’t going to pretend they weren’t men just because I hadn’t talked about that before.”
The album gave Platt, who came out as gay when he was 12 years old, his “first opportunity to represent my relationships and the men that I’ve loved,” he says. “I only wanted to take this leap if I was going to present every part of myself.”
For more of Platt’s exclusive interview, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday
The actor spent the last year since leaving Dear Evan Hansen writing songs and worked with a team of songwriters to whittle it down to the perfect arc for the album: From his experiences with relationships to “a grander perspective about bigger questions about family and mortality and things like that,” he adds.
As he prepares for his album tour — which kicks off May 3 in Chicago with dates to follow in 11 more cities around the country and Canada — Platt will next be seen in the upcoming Netflix series The Politician, which he also co-exec produces.
For now, he’s focused on the future. “As a kid, I wanted to do an original musical and get a Tony, and so the fact that that happened is such a freeing thing,” he says. “Now I can sort of go down another path and see where that leads.”
Sing to Me Instead is available now for pre-order. Fans will receive exclusive access to tour tickets beginning Feb. 15.
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