This article was originally published on Popjuice.
We may be nearing the end of Pride Month but it’s always a good time to dive into the discography of out and proud LGBTQ+ artists. Here’s a list of lesser-known musicians who deserve a spot on your queue.
Serving slick, funk-inspired jams, FHAT is a queer pop duo born in Berlin and based in America. Packin’ is all sorts of addictive with a bass line straight out of the 70s — a lovechild between heyday Timberlake and Make Me Feel Janelle Monae that will have you hooked. To make things even better, they’ve absolutely got it going with their visuals, too.
#2. Gia Woods
It sure takes nerve to come out to the world through a pop song, and that’s precisely what Gia Woods did back in 2015. Now, the Persian singer is gearing up to release her debut EP, CUT SEASON, and newly-dropped Naive is the latest teaser. “Sweet misery / loves company / I’m kinda / darling don’t be naive,” she coos, Gwen Stefani-style, over a gritty beat.
#3. Isaac Dunbar
At just 17 years of age, the Massachusetts native is without a doubt one of the youngest rising queer acts of today. And it’s easy to see why Dunbar, who also produces his own music, has been pegged as one to watch. makeup drawer is a powerful statement that sees him embrace his identity, no holds barred, with a style that sits somewhere between contemporaries like Conan Gray and Billie Eilish.
#4. Michael Medrano
On first listen, Michael Medrano’s Fluids sounds like a lost tape from The Fame era Lady Gaga. Fun, flirtatious and unabashedly queer, the song is begging to be blasted at Pride parties everywhere — not now, but soon enough. The American singer’s recent releases have really seen him coming into his own with his sound, strapped with tongue in cheek lyrics, always.
#5. Raveena Aurora
Pairing her delicate voice with ethereal soundscapes, R&B singer Raveena waxes lyrical about spirituality and femininity with such finesse, it’s unbelievable that she’s still an up-and-comer. Often incorporating references to her Indian heritage in her music, Stronger is a quiet declaration of her embracing feminine power. “I was so naive to think a man could be stronger than me,” she sings over a dreamy instrumental.
#6. Left At London
Confessional, gut-punching lyrics take centre stage in the works of Left at London, a non-binary trans artist who goes by she/her pronouns. Blacknwhite is a genre-bending patchwork that starts off as an emo/punk track, evolving into something more R&B at the halfway mark.
#7. Arlo Parks
Writing extensively both about her sexuality and mental health struggles, Arlo Parks is a 19-year-old singer hailing from South London. Black Dog is a poetic dive into a world seen through the lens of depression. “It’s so cruel / what your mind can do for no reason” is already one of the year’s best lyrics, from an artist more than ready to break out.
For a music companion to help you dance through this month and beyond, here’s a playlist of songs of all sorts, all by LGBTQ+ artists. Happy Pride! ❤️
Feature image by Sherryl Cheong