It’s the last week of pride month! This means that we’re close to all the corporations changing their rainbow logos back to normal indicating that the party is over. At least, from a business perspective it is. The fun part of being in the LGBTQ+ community is that we live with pride all year long!
Having strong and proper representation outside pride month is a step in the right direction. One way queer voices have been able to be heard is through the sound of their music. Sharing stories of love and finding one’s true self is something everyone can relate to. I love exploring different genres of queer musicians and hearing the way that they share their story. Here are a few artists that hold a special place in my heart!
You might recognize this gay icon from the Disney Channel original movie Lemonade Mouth! Aside from acting, Hayley Kiyoko has worked on several different music projects including her band The Stunners. She has toured and debuted her music with artists such as Justin Bieber and Panic! At the Disco. She has earned herself the creative nickname “Lesbian Jesus” from her fans. This is because Kiyoko is credited as one of the front runners for resurrecting queer music for feminine audiences. Currently, Haley Kiyoko is growing her career as a solo artist through her sapphic pop music. Her recent single “For The Girls” is an up-beat track that explores the excitement in lesbian dating. I was a huge fan of her back in 2011, and over a decade later I still can’t get enough!
This new artist hits close to home for me, literally! Landi released his debut EP LANDI just last month. It features eight tracks that explore the highs and lows of his journey in finding love from others and, most importantly, from himself. The wide range of genres the EP covers, alongside the serene story telling, creates a shared experience between the artist and listener. I was lucky enough to see Landi and his producer, Chris Stucker, create this collection from scratch. Witnessing the events that inspired the EP, I was able to gain a whole new layer of appreciation, and I could not be more proud of them for the art that they made. Everyone should definitely give Landi the same love and admiration for his music as I do. It’s an impressive first release, and I’m not just saying that because I live with them!
Stepping away from the pop scene, Orville Peck is redefining country music in the best way possible! This gay artist sings about his love and tribulations throughout his relationships in a classic mid-western aesthetic. He is most recognizable through his iconic mask that covers the top half of his face. Paired with his impeccable style, he is the leading (masked) face of the modern cowboy! Recently, he released his sophomore album Bronco. Released in three separate parts, Orville Peck’s fifteen track album showcases his vocal range and talents. Currently, he completed his tour for the album’s release and is making appearances across the country for pride and Father’s Day! I don’t consider myself a big fan of country music, but for Orville Peck I can make an exception!
Another icon from our childhood, Rebecca Black, has continued to make music ever since her stardom days on YouTube. Aside from her hit “Friday” back in 2011, Rebecca Black continued to push her music career in her own direction. Making an appearance on the popular singing competition The Four, Rebecca Black made it known that she never let the bullying get to her. She even reclaimed her popularity by creating a remix for her hit “Friday” that led her to new stardom in recent years. With her growing following on TikTok, she has released dozens of singles this past year. Thankfully, there is no plan for her to slow down either! My personal favorite track is “Worth It For The Feeling” because of its dreamy atmosphere.
They’re flamboyant, they go all the way! Dorian Electra is an up-and-coming experimental pop artist that I am, personally, obsessed with. They challenge the oppressive and conservative constructs constantly. Their look is unlike anything the music industry has seen before, breaking barriers of gender and sexuality. Dorian Electra’s look matches their music perfectly as well. Their freshman album Flamboyant from 2019 brought quick attention to the genderfluid musician. With their rising popularity, they released their second album My Agenda in 2020. They have collaborated with other icons in queer music such as Lady Gaga and Charli XCX. Fans, myself included, are eager to hear what they will release next!
There’s nothing I love more than seeing queer artists grow and gain a following for being unapologetically themselves. The best feeling is when I hear their music being played in public spaces! No shade to the older crowd, but I think it’s time to update everyone’s pride parade playlists with some new artists. A new wave of queer art has emerged in music, and it needs to be embraced to the fullest!