Seven songs by queer artistes to listen to this Pride Month
Pride Month, celebrated in the month of June, commemorates the Stonewall riots by the LGBTQ+ community. In June 1969, members of the queer community protested against the violent police raid on Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Pride Month is now a celebration of one’s identity, and is also a form of peaceful protest to bring awareness about issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community.
For Pride Month 2020, we have picked seven queer artistes that you can listen to. These are songs that were released this year and range from punk-pop to country, and are by members of the LGBTQ+ community.
1. Be Me (For “Queer Eye” Season 5) by VINCINT
VINCINT, a 29-year-old openly gay artiste, sang the song “Be Me” for Season 5 of the Netflix series “Queer Eye.” This American singer belts out several high notes, and the song is upbeat and catchy. The lyrics are self-affirming – VINCINT sings about finally being able to be free. Simply put, “Be Me” is a song that celebrates being yourself, and echoes the positive message of the show.
2. Stay All Night by ALMA
“Stay all Night” is a reassuring track that tells listeners that everything is going to be okay. The official music video is titled “Day 16: Quarantine Video,” and urges people to stay at home during this pandemic. The song is by ALMA, a 24-year-old Finnish punk-pop singer who identifies as a lesbian. “Stay All Night” is a song from her debut album “Have You Seen Her?” which was released on May 15.
3. Every Feeling by Ezra Furman
This is a slow, angsty number by 33-year-old Ezra Furman, a trans and bisexual artist from the United States. The song features in Season 2 of the Netflix series Sex Education. Furman’s voice has a heartbreaking overtone. She sings about “feeling every feeling in the book tonight,” and the background vocals add a haunting quality to the track.
4. She by Hayley Kiyoko
29-year-old American singer Hayley Kioko, sings, “She acts like she’s in seventh grade/But actually she’s 20-gay.” The song “She” is fraught with the conflicted emotions, confusion, and longing of youth. Yet, Kiyoko does not seem sad about it as she unapologetically sings about being “that girl you can’t forget.”
5. Queen of the Rodeo by Orville Peck
“Queen of the Rodeo” is by Orivlle Peck, who is best-known as an openly gay country singer who never shows his face, and always appears masked in public. The official video for the song is dedicated to “all the LGBTQ+ and two-spirit community members working and performing in rodeos, ranches, and roadhouses across North America,” and follows the story of a cattle ranch. The 31-year-old Canadian singer appears on a horse in his signature hat with long fringes. The track is a country number, with a hint of blues.
6. Green Eggs and Ham by Princess Nokia
This song by Princess Nokia, a 28-year-old American rapper who identifies as bisexual and gender nonconforming, has an easygoing, simple melody. Princess Nokia’s rap is almost conversational as she sings about her childhood, and losing her mother to AIDS. The official video is inspired by Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” as it depicts Princess Nokia moving inanimate objects with her mind.
7. I Am America by Shea Diamond
When Shea Diamond, a 42-year-old American black trans woman, asserts, “I am America,” it certainly is a powerful statement. It is an anthem for queer celebration, and is the theme song for the HBO series “We’re Here,” which features three drag queens, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela, who travel across the United States in search of performers for one-night-only drag shows. It is almost impossible to not want to get to your feet and dance along to this upbeat track.