The They/Them Write the Songs panel at Thursday’s (Aug. 8) inaugural Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit gave an audience an inside look into LGBTQ songwriters’ experience in the music industry and the hurdles they’ve faced.
When asked about how their identity in the LGBTQ community has impacted their songwriting, Justin Tranter was among the panelists and is best known for writing smash hits with some of the biggest pop artists today including Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Halsey, the Jonas Brothers and many more. With multiple Hot 100 chart toppers under their belt, they said that their songwriting process feel more relatable.
“We all want to relate to the underdog story, and that’s Freddie Mercury has written some of the greatest sports songs of all time.”
“The queer superpower is understanding the underdog story more than anyone,” they proclaimed, to which fellow panelist Shane McAnally agreed.
“It’s about the underdog, the person who’s hurt, the person who’s lost —we’ve all done that,” the country songwriter mirrored.
Tranter continued: “My queer experience informs everything that I do. As queer musicians, you want your music to lead first but for me it’s all one thing. Every single lyric I suggest comes from my queer experience because that’s exactly who I am.”