“We naturally don’t fit in any one box, and the industry has defined categories that you must fall under in order to be accepted in the mainstream," notes Atlanta rapper Kodie Shane. "Just like with genres, it seems like it’s taboo to be considered undefined or queer. Support is always needed to change the status quo.”
The British R&B futurist Leo Kalyan adds that there’s an untapped potential to be explored in music made by LGBTQ people. “We’re as talented as our straight counterparts, and, in many cases, we’re creatively ahead of the game,” Kalyan says. “Our stories tend to be complex, and I think that makes our art more compelling.”
To celebrate our queer family going into autumn, here are 10 of our favorite emerging queer artists to spice up your playlist, plus the songs they have on rotation this autumn.
Bang Bang Romeo
The raconteurs behind the Sheffield-based Bang Bang Romeo make grand, scintillating bar-rock that could open up the heavens based off the magnitude of Anastasia “Stars” Walker’s powerful voice alone. Expect an sci-fi rock opus with their debut album, A Heartbreaker’s Guide to the Galaxy, due next year. It's distinctly grounded in the universal, though, like a song that they describe as a queer, “Romeo and Romeo” love story written following the devastating losses of the Pulse nightclub shootings.
Check out: "Chemical," "Shame On Me"
What they're listening to: Post Malone’s ‘Stay,” which, they add, is “helping to lay the festival blues to rest.”