With every year that passes, more and more LGBTQ+ artists emerge, creating content that makes people feel seen, heard, and loved. 2021 was no different. To help spread some love and catch you up on any artists you might’ve missed, here are our favorite LGBTQ+ musicians of the year, with some you might’ve heard before and some you might’ve not. Enjoy!
Why we love them: Ashnikko is one of the most talented artists out there because of the feminist, fun, and honest notes that they bring to their music. They are transformative, creative, and big-time advocates of self-care, self-love, and making yourself a priority.
Songs you should check out: Deal With It, STUPID, Daisy
2. Joy Oladokun
Why we love them: Every song that Oladokun transports you to an intimate place where their voice evokes warmth, happiness, sadness, love, and a whole slew of other emotions. It makes them a creator that makes you reflect and then latch onto their songs in return.
Songs you should check out: taking the heat, Sunday, breathe again
3. Red Moon
Why we love them: Red Moon feels like if London Grammar and Florence + The Machine had a baby. If that isn’t enough to get you to listen then stay for the singers playful exploration of queer expression grounded with ethereal vocals that leave you floating.
Songs you should check out: Thirsty, Dreamer, Emotional
Why we love them: It’s the growth for us when it comes to Dodie. We’ve been following them for years and watching them find themselves has been an absolute pleasure. We’re grateful to explore parts of ourselves through their searing lyrics and works of art that are their songs.
Songs you should check out: In the Middle, Human, Boys Like You
Why we love them: We love that Esteman proudly shows their love for other men in a time where queerness isn’t really explored in Latinx music. This allows others in our communities to see that their lives are more than normal. They’re beautiful and deserving of all the good of love.
Songs you should check out: Fuimos Amor, Te Alejas Más De Mí, Hasta Que Tú Me Quieras
Why we love them: Can we talk about the visuals in their videos? They are tender and explore the spectrum of gender identity while welcoming. They are an exploration of what it means to be human in this world and the parts of ourselves that we must face to keep a hold of that.
Songs you should check out: Fellowship, four ethers, bless ur heart
7. Gina Chavez
Why we love them: Like Esteman, Chavez is opening doorways and representing parts of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx community we seldom see. Her deeply personal songs come from a place of courage and love while sounding unique in their sound and composition.
Songs you should check out: Juntos Together, Pitaya Roja, La Que Manda
8. Rina Sawayama
Why we love them: No list is complete without Sawayama. This talented musician is a breakthrough artist who uses her work to explore love, friendships, and their own queer self. In their work, you will find strength and a unique resilience worth knowing and loving.
Songs you should check out: Bad Friend, XS, LUCID
Why we love them: Every time we listen to this artist we’re left with this fuzzy feeling inside that is infused with love. And it’s due to this artist’s relatable nature. Be it young love, emotions that leave us shaken, or just something that gets you moving, this artist has it.
Songs you should check out: Soft Spot, Wish You Were Gay, If I Were You
What were your favorite LGBTQ+ artists from 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!
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