Celebrate Pride Month with independent LGBTQ+ music artists

“Welcome to Pride Month! It’s a very special month, but it shouldn’t be. Brands shouldn’t simply splash rainbows all over their websites and products on June 1st and then take them down on July 1st. The flag of support should be more than just flying these 30 days, talking about how far we have come and how much our progress is in danger should be an important discussion every day.

“Pride month is more than just a month of beauty, color and party. It’s a chance to remember that many of us still struggle to live and be treated like everyone else. Just fly a flag and wish you well Friends ‘Happy Pride’ is not enough!’ For a month, speak out when you see discrimination, join those fighting to make things better, and be inspired by those of us at the heart of Pride.

“Pride is more than pretty. Pride is more than fun. Pride saves lives.”

Independent 102.3 Morning Host Dana Meyers

June is universally celebrated as Pride Month, where the LGBTQ+ community and its allies come together to recognize progress in the fight for equality and advocate for continued progress. At marches, rallies and educational events, music is a powerful medium of expression and solidarity. Independent LGBTQ+ musical artists, in particular, play a vital role in this cultural landscape, using their talents to reflect and shape the experience of their communities.

Pride month and the meaning of music

Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots of June 1969, a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. It is a time of celebration, remembrance and action that highlights the contributions and struggles of LGBTQ+ individuals. Music has been an integral part of this celebration, providing a soundtrack to the movement and giving a platform to voices that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Independent music artists operate outside the traditional music industry framework, often producing, distributing and promoting their own work. This independence brings greater artistic freedom, which is especially important for LGBTQ+ artists, who may face pressure to conform to mainstream expectations. Independent artists can explore themes of identity, love, and resistance in an authentic and unfiltered way.

few among many Notable independent LGBTQ+ artist

Keilani: Although Kehlani has achieved mainstream success, her journey began in the independent music world. Kehlani identifies as queer, and his music often delves into the complexities of sexuality and relationships. She is open about her identity and struggles with mental health issues, making her an inspiring figure in the LGBTQ+ community.

King and Princess: Mikaela Straus, who goes by the stage name King Princess, rose to prominence with her single “1950,” a song inspired by Patricia Highsmith’s novel “Salt.” An ode to queer love inspired by The Price of Salt. Her music combines elements of pop and rock with profound lyrics about gender and sexuality. As an openly genderqueer artist, King Princess has become a symbol of visibility in modern queer music.

Anoni: Anohni, born Antony Hegarty of the band Antony and the Johnsons, is a pioneer in the independent and experimental music scene. As a transgender artist, Arnooni’s haunting voice and poignant lyrics address issues of identity, environmentalism, and social justice. Her 2016 album HOPEESSNESS blended electronic music with powerful political commentary.

Ezra Furman: Known for her eclectic style and thought-provoking lyrics, Ezra Furman is openly genderqueer and uses her music to explore themes of gender, religion, and mental health. She has gained a loyal following both as a solo artist and with her band The Harpoons. Furman’s album Transangelic Exodus is a vivid narrative of escape and transformation.

Perfume Genius: Perfume Genius is the stage name of Mike Hadreas, who has been an influential figure in the independent music scene for over a decade. As an openly gay artist, Hadrias’ music often touches on themes of trauma, intimacy and resilience. His deep emotion and experimental sound have earned him critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.

ALOPAX: Rising British star Arlo Parks is soft-spoken and has the voice of an angel. She wins 2021 Mercury Prize for debut album collapsed in the sun. Watch her perform some stripped-down songs at a live show in our independent lounge in 2022.

Mia Flick: Singer-songwriter Miya Folick visited the Indie Lounge and performed a special minimalist performance. Watch the full session here.

Janelle Monáe: Janelle Monáe’s career spans mainstream and independent music. Monáe’s futuristic and genre-bending music identifies as pansexual and non-binary, with themes involving freedom, self-expression and social justice. Her 2018 album Dirty Computer is a powerful celebration of queer identity and critique of social norms.

Kali Uchis: You may already know R&B darling Kali Uchis since her hit song “telepatia” went viral with millions of streams, but she doesn’t stop there.

Black Belt Eagle Scout: Aboriginal musician Black Belt Eagle Scout celebrates her queer identity while grappling with the trauma experienced by Aboriginal communities. her album land, water, sky Pay homage to the land of your ancestors and tell the story of her and her people’s healing journey.

First: Dressed in “The Happiest Band on Earth” is the trio MUNA! The band signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ label, Saddest Factory Records, released a self-titled album and toured the world for the queer community, including a tour with Taylor Swift last year.

Romy: 1/3 of beloved indie band The xx have gone solo. Over the past few years, Romy has spread his wings as a DJ and vocalist on numerous singles. Last year, she performed her first major performance at the Coachella music festival. We hope to do a full tour soon.

Omar Apollo: Omar Apollo has been a mainstay in indie R&B since 2017. ivory Captivating listeners by telling the story of a queer relationship with honesty, passion and absolutely devastating heartbreak.

As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s vital to recognize and support independent music artists who represent the LGBTQ+ community. Their contributions enrich our culture and serve as powerful reminders of the importance of authenticity and resilience. Through their music, these artists not only entertain people, but also pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse world. In honor of their voices, we celebrate the spirit of Pride and the ongoing journey toward equality and love for all.

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