From newer acts to certified legends, let’s take a look at some Black queer musicians that you need in your playlist. Below are just five of the countless artists that you should be celebrating, supporting, and grooving out to as we speak!
Louis Kevin Celestin, more famously known as KAYTRANADA, is a Haitian-Canadian record producer and DJ. His critically acclaimed album 99.9% debuted in 2016, winning two awards at the Juno and Canadian Independent Music Awards.
In an interview with Fader, KAYTRANADA spoke candidly about his queer identity, saying: “Something inside me was like, ‘Wake the f*ck up.’ I felt like there were two people inside me. I was trying to be somebody I was not, and I was frustrated that people didn’t know who I was.”
In 2017, Honey Dijon burst onto the scene with her debut album entitled The Best of Both Worlds. She is a Chicago-born house DJ who frequents queer clubs, art galleries and fashion events around the world, even curating soundtracks for runway shows like the Louis Vuitton menswear show in 2018.
Dijon is a proud Black Trans woman and vocal advocate for Trans and rights and awareness, leading roundtable discussions at activist events.
Next on our list of Black queer musicians is Kevin Abstract, a founder member of the band BROCKHAMPTON. He has been a part of BROCKHAMPTON since 2014 when the members of the band met on a Kanye West fan forum, but outside of the band, Kevin has also released three highly successful solo studio albums, and was a creative consultant for the second season of HBO’s Euphoria.
Abstract came out as gay in 2016 and often mentions his sexuality in his music, lending a voice to those who don’t have one. He has maintained that he will rap about being gay as long as people still need this voice.
Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho, or Arlo Parks, is a London-born indie pop genius, who has been releasing hits like ‘Softly’ and ‘Too Good’ since she was a teenager. Collapsed in Sunbeams, Park’s debut studio album released in 2021, peaking at number three on the UK Albums Chart. She is openly bisexual and wants to encourage people to embrace their identity through her music.
Talking about her sexuality in an interview from 2019, she said that she “wanted to put [my sexuality] as a facet of myself because it’s not talked about as much for queer people of colour. It’s an important thing for me to show people that it’s okay. Some people are terrified of it, and I understand that.”
Tyler the Creator
Tyler the Creator is a rapper and producer from California. After self-releasing a mixtape in 2009, Tyler the Creator broke into the mainstream in 2011 with his first studio album Goblin. He can’t be tied to any one genre; he has mastered all that he has tried. Probably the most prominent genre is horrorcore, followed by R&B, alt hip hop and jazz rap.
Tyler is an extremely vivacious character, as he’s not afraid to engage in feuds with big names like Eminem and DJ Khaled. Tyler’s sexuality has been mentioned in his own music and also described as gay in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone.
If you liked this list of Black LGBTQ+ musicians, and are on the lookout for more queer artists of colour, check out other GCN recommendations here.
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