Seeing your identity reflected in the art you consume can be powerfully validating and if nothing else, listening to endless boy-meets-girl songs can get plain boring when you know that that’s never a story you’re going to relate to. Finding queer artists who deliver popping beats and beautiful lyrics that actually vaguely resemble your own experiences? That’s not something any queer should be missing out on.
King Princess is a gay genderqueer singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from New York. Plus, she’s dating the amazing Amandla Stenberg, a non-binary and pansexual actress known for playing Rue in the Hunger Games, who also wrote one of King Princess’ hit singles, Pussy is King. Check out Talia as well for a solid bop.
Courtney Act is a pansexual, polyamorous drag queen from Brisbane who you might have seen on Australian Idol if you were watching it back in 2003, or on RuPaul’s Drag Race more recently. She also happens to be a queen of electropop as both a solo artist and with the AAA girls.
Brendan Maclean, gay singer-songwriter, actor and self-described ‘blade of queer communist glory’ has been bringing the queerness to our radio waves since back in 2007, when he was a music presenter on Triple J. Nowadays he’s a bigger part of the action, releasing singles like the popular Stupid and House of Air, the latter being released with a very gay, very graphic and very controversial music video (it’s only available on Vimeo, but well worth checking out).
Cub Sport is a four-piece band from Brisbane who know how to deliver exactly the kind of songs about queer self-love that we all need more of – just have a listen to Party Pill to get your fill of good gay vibes for the day. Plus, as an added wholesome bonus, front man Tim Nelson and keyboardist/vocalist Sam Netterfield got married last year.
Kevin Abstract is a gay solo rapper but you might also know him as the front man from Brockhampton. Put on Empty to hear some of his queer beats.
Mykki Blanco is a transgender rapper, performance artist and poet from California. Wish You Would is the song we’d have to recommend
Mal Blum is a non- binary artist whose style incorporates rock, punk and folk. The lyrics for New Year’s Eve are bittersweet but disgustingly relatable.
Courtney Barnett is a homegrown lesbian from Melbourne who’s made a name for herself as a singer-songwriter with HER distinctive Aussie accent and smart, funny lyrics. Pedestrian at Best is the perfect introduction to her profound but easy-going style.
Alex Lahey is a multi-instrumentalist lesbian whose latest album, The Best of Luck Club has just come out this year. Check out Every Day’s the Weekend to get a taste of her catchy, addictive style.
Janelle Monáe releases wonderful pop bangers, with rhythm and hooks to keep you dancing for days. Make Me Feel and I like That are easy recommendations.
Even if you have no idea what style you’re into – or just want a variety of music to suit your partying/studying/chilling needs – the Transcend Playlist available on Spotify can help you discover new LGBT artists.