Pride month is almost over, but there is never a bad time to start immersing yourself in the world of up-and-coming LGBT+ artists, especially those, who are making big waves in the industry right now.
Creatives like Troye Sivan, Janelle Monáe, and Lil Nas X have become household names over the last few years and there are many other young musicians who are well on their way.
Being out-and-proud members of the LGBT+ community and being well-loved by the music industry haven’t always gone in parallel to each other, but we live in times when queer voices are some of the most powerful ones. Thus, let’s check them out.
I discovered Carlie Hanson via an Instagram advert in April, fresh off of the release of her single ‘Daze Inn’. It is a catchy pop song with all of the makings of a hit. I remember watching the music video and thinking that this girl is definitely going to blow up.
Carlie Hanson is the epitome of the Gen Z American dream, rising to fame on YoutTube after being inspired by Justin Bieber’s path to stardom. While her discography is full of catchy pop tracks that are perfect for playing at parties, Hanson’s lyricism is reflective and introspective.
Her latest release, ‘Stealing All My Friends’ explores her relationship to growing up in a small town as well as the multiple ways in which drugs have permeated rural parts of the United States where there isn’t much else to do but get high. The Wisconsin-born singer doesn’t hide her struggles and celebrates her differences in this track.
Hanson is certainly an artist to watch. Keep an eye out for her on the pop charts and on tour with Troye Sivan post-COVID.
Girl in Red, also known as Marie Ulven, has become somewhat of an icon in the Gen Z lesbian community throughout the last year. The 21-year-old musician openly writes about her relationships with women and explores the complications of sex and love in her music.
Her song, ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ has recently become a TikTok anthem. If you haven’t already made it to the so-called lesbian TikTok, I suggest you do, even if it’s just to see all of the adorable videos made with different sections of this song.
Girl in Red has already blown up in the indie scene to an almost Clairo-comparative level, but I really believe she has got the potential to make a name for herself far beyond the world of angsty teens and into the world of people, who simply appreciate great songwriting and lo-fi sensibilities.
Kiddy Smile is a musician and DJ from Paris who has a sound that is completely unique. His music crosses genres in a way that is somewhat familiar yet, at the same time, nothing you have ever heard before.
Kiddy Smile’s song, ‘Be Honest’, already has over a million plays on Spotify and is only continuing to rise. The 2018 album, One Trick Pony, incorporates elements of old school House, 70’s style vocal melodies, and modern drum sounds all while exploring what it means to experience the world as a gay man of colour.
To be fair, Kiddy Smile isn’t new in the industry. He has been performing for a long time, but his debut album really felt like the first global presentation of his multifaceted and intersectional talent.
Until I heard Shea Diamond’s 2020 single, ‘I Am America’, I had never heard such a timely or powerful anthem of both defiance and joy. Shea Diamond is a Black trans woman, the epitome of a historically oppressed voice, and this track has become a staple of Pride this year, as well as the Black Lives Matter protests sparking up all over the United States.
Shea has been releasing music since 2016, but I think now is the time for her to rise to the top. She is exactly the kind of voice that both LGBT+ and Black community alike have needed for decades.
American singer-songwriter Shea Diamond’s voice is extremely deep and rich, and her instrumentals blend elements of soul, rock, and pop. Beyond that, her lyrics are beautifully-written and truly important.
Her voice is important.
Go check out Shea Diamond’s discography on Spotify. You will not be disappointed by any of it.
Again, all of these artists have the potential to become household names in the next year. They all have something important and valuable to say, but more than that, their music is exceptionally good.
From Carlie Hanson to Shea Diamond, these musicians are multi-talented creatives that cross genres and push the boundaries of what the path to success looks like. Go check them out and keep an eye on them as they rise to the top.