In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Music is an intimate experience. It’s how musicians bare their souls and how we connect to their experiences. That’s especially true for queer or LGBTQ+ music. Because even though it’s been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots and even though we have moved leaps and bounds forward when it comes to queer rights, there’s still plenty of work to do and fears to push past as we find ourselves. Music helps us do that and holds our hands, opens our eyes, and lets us know that we are real, valid, and worthwhile. So to celebrate you, the Stonewall Riots, and the queer or LGBTQ+ babes out there during Pride 2019, here are 12 musicians you should listen to ASAP!
1. Troye Sivan
Why You Should Be Listening: Troye Sivan is essential music you need in your life, on your Spotify playlist, or just in your general vicinity as it clears your acne, waters your fields, and saves the day. (Probably not the first two, but definitely the last one.) But seriously, it’s been an amazing journey for Troye Sivan these past couple years. He’s gone from Youtube cutie pie just figuring things out to world wide sensation that connects with so many fans living the queer life.
Listen to: Bloom, Youth, Blue Neighborhood
Follow Troye Sivan on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
2. Frankie Simone
Why You Should Be Listening: Frankie is Puerto Rican (like me) and queer (like me) and there’s just something so special about finding people that have similar upbringings as you AND STILL TURNED OUT HELLA QUEER! Insert heart eyes here because my girl is married and making videos with her wife while calling out the haters for the language they use to describe her beautiful, wonderful, and joyous lesbian life!
Listen to: War Paint, Love//Warrior, Blow My Mind
Follow Frankie Simone on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Why You Should Be Listening: If Troye Sivan had an Asian twin that knows how to deliver bops then it’d be Alextbh. Seriously, I need more and that’s the only bad thing about this artist, he doesn’t have enough music. Patiently waiting for all those hits!
Listen to: Still Mine, Like That
Follow Alextbh on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Why You Should Be Listening: Holland is making waves and change in South Korea. He’s an openly gay pop idol that is paving the way for the queer Korean singers out there that are afraid to step into the light and be who they are. Even better, his songs are about transformation and not being afraid anymore. That’s something worth celebrating and checking out, even if you don’t know Korean! Google Translate, people!
Listen to: I’m So Afraid, I’m Not Afraid
Follow Holland on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
5. Hayley Kiyoko
Why You Should Be Listening: Hayley is an iconic queer singer that has recording some of the hottest and most honest music videos geared towards other queer women. Seriously, the male gaze is a real thing and it doesn’t exist in Hayley’s videos. They are for us, the ones who don’t see themselves on screen as the love interest or main character of our own queer adventure.
Listen to: What I Need (feat. Kehlani), Feelings, Curious
Follow Hayley Kiyoko on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
6. Keiynan Lonsdale
Why You Should Be Listening: My favorite thing about Keiynan is how diverse he is. He can pop up on Legends of Tomorrow as Kid Flash and I love him. He can appear on Love, Simon as Blue and I love him. And he can appear in his own fierce, brave, and honest AF music and blow us all away with the wonderland that is his talent. Also, boy knows how to be weird and we could all use that honesty in our lives!
Listen to: Kiss the Boy, Preach
Follow Keiynan Lonsdale on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Why You Should Be Listening: First of all, it boggles my mind that more people don’t know about Jordy and the queer magic he makes. Each of his songs pull at your heart strings and leave you wanting more. Also, his video for “Just Friends” make me go all Rachel Chu from Crazy Rich Asians and going “hubba hubba!” No regrets. Jordy is worth it and someone you should listen to this Pride!
Listen to: Just Friends, Stay Together, Love Me Right
Follow Jordy on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
8. Gia Woods
Why You Should Be Listening: Gia Woods is throwing down and releasing the kind of music that leads to instant bop status. Also, like everyone on this list, she deserves so much more love for the pain, story, and experiences she is telling us all about in via her songs.
Listen to: One Big Party, Only a Girl, What I Like
Follow Gia Woods on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
9. Jaimie Wilson
Why You Should Be Listening: Jaimie is the epitome of a rare unicorn. Let me lay out why. He is a trans man who found a song that he recorded when he was still identifying as “she/her” and then did a duet with HIMSELF now that he’s transitioned. That is iconic and so damn symbolic of how much he has changed and how he’ll never forget what lead him down this path.
Listen to: Everything is New
Follow Jaimie Wilson on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
10. Brandon Stansell
Why You Should Be Listening: Brandon is also a rare unicorn because he’s living his truth while making music in country roots aka something you don’t see as often because the south of the United States is still living decades in the past. But Brandon, he pushes forward and made the video below about his journey in coming out. Bring tissues, people. It gets beautiful!
Listen to: Hometown, Slow Down
Follow Brandon Stansell on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
11. Siena Liggins
Why You Should Be Listening: Our boo Siena is unapologetically queer in everything that she makes and it’s hella liberating. It’s especially amazing because she is a woman of color proving the industry and haters wrong, left and right, about what content a queer and black creator can make. Trust me, the prejudice is real and people think that women of color can only do R&B or rap. No, haters. Queer women of color can make, play, sing whatever the hell they want and Siena is proof of that!
Listen to: Flowerbomb, Naked, Laws of Attraction
Follow Sienna Liggins on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
12. Carlos Vara
Why You Should Be Listening: Trippy, soulful, and just damn sexy. All of this describes Carlos Vara, his music, and the videos we’ve been gifted with. Cuz seriously, everything this man turns out is a blessing from the queer gods from above. We are not worthy! lol.
Listen to: Numb, Confident
Follow Carlos Vara on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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Lyra enjoys loud mouthed, damaged characters, with a penchant for rescuing people and drinking their sorrows away. When she isn’t splurging on Netflix shows she’s not so quietly ranting about Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, and Supernatural!