8 Black LGBTQ Artists You Should be Listening To
It's June and we all know what that means. It's Pride Month! The LGBTQ community is a resilient one, especially those of color. It is important that we celebrate and embrace the talents within this community, not just this month but all year long. They have stories to tell and our ears must be open. We have come a long way toward fully embracing the LGBTQ community but we still have a long way to go.
People of color who are a part of the LGBTQ community struggle even more because, not only do they have to deal with homophobia and transphobia, they also have to deal with racism. And that is the hard truth. The LGBTQ community has historically excluded people of color which makes it even more difficult for everyone to progress.
"Its hard to look 'Beyond Pride' when LGBTQ celebrations still exclude people of color" - Michael Arceneaux
For this reason, we want to celebrate up-and-coming LGBTQ artists of color who have been sharing their talents with the world and living unapologetically. It is important for us to give voice to those who are underrepresented in society. These artists all share the message of living IN color, with joy, passion and authenticity. With the celebration of Juneteenth, we could not think of a better time than now.
Check out our list below
"Queer black women are like miners canaries. Ask one of us if shit’s fucked up and we'll tell you." Kelela is an alternative R&B singer who explores different styles and sounds to emphasize how diverse R&B music can be. "Electronic music and R&B music have intersected in a particular way. It’s always been intersecting, but I think something is happening now," she says. Her latest album, "Take Me Apart" is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
2. Dizzy Fae
The Johnny Bravo singer mixes R&B and Blues into her latest album, "Free Form Mixtape". Her sound is unlike anything you have ever heard. Her flows and harmonies will send you off into dreamland. By the way, she also raps! Her mixtape can be found on Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud.
3. Shea Diamond
Shea Diamond is a transgender singer and songwriter from NYC. When she realized she was a woman trapped in a man's body, she performed an armed robbery which led to her being incarcerated for 10 years. The "I Am Her" singer bares her soul through her music. Her fearlessness can be felt through the screen. Her latest single, "Keisha Complexion" is out now on Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.
4. Bronze Avery
Who remembers the iconic Rick Astley song, "Never Gonna Give You Up?" This up-and-coming pop singer has made a debut by completely re-mixing the song and giving it a more sultry and slower sound. Bronze made a cover of the now popular meme because he wanted to remind people about the orginial intent of the song. In an interview with Billboard he says, "I'm usually not a huge fan of covers, but this one stuck out to me as something I could easily add my stylistic flair and sound to while avoiding the stereotypes of covers that just make a song sound a little sadder and add an acoustic guitar.” The visuals to the cover are just as amazing as his voice. You can find the video on Youtube.
5. Angel Haze/Roes
Roes, formerly known as Angel Haze, is a pansexual and a-sexual rapper but she doesn't care too much about which pronouns you call her. In a 2015 interview with Evening Standard, she said, "I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they’. It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience." You may know her from her song with Sia, "Battle Cry".
6. Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blanco is an American singer, rapper, poet and storyteller. His visuals remind us of Bjork - compelling, innovative and brilliant. In an interview with The Guardian, Blanco said, “I didn’t want to be a rapper. I wanted to be Yoko Ono. I wanted to be an installation artist.” His debut solo album, titled "Mykki" is now out everywhere.
7. Taylor Bennett
If you're thinking that he looks familar, that's because he is Chance The Rapper's younger brother. The younger Bennett brother came out as bi-sexual last year on Twitter! He tweeted, "Growing up I've always felt indifferent about my sexuality & being attracted 2 one sex & today I would like to openly come out to my fans. I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017. #ThankYou". Taylor's fun and enthusiastic spirit definitely reminds us of Chance but he is his own person with his own style. His single, "Be Yourself" is out now.
8. Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall is a singer, actor, choreographer, Broadway star and drag queen. You may recognize him from season nine of American Idol. With 3,000,000 subscribers on Youtube, Todrick has captured the eyes and ears of millions. He has choreographed for artists like Ariana Grande and Beyoncé. He's even appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race. He is literally a one-stop shop. He does it ALL and does it remarkably. There's even a documentary about him. His fourth album, "Forbidden" is out now!
These artists are here to remind us that there is no room for hate, only love.