As part of our 30 Days of Pride initiative, we’ve asked LGBTQ stars to create playlists to show what “pride” means to them. Our second curator is model and activist Munroe Bergdorf.
“Everybody in this playlist represents an aspect of myself,” Bergdorf tells Billboard. “This is all music that I listen to when I’m happy and when I’m looking to elevate my mood a bit.”
Azealia Banks, “Anna Wintour”
Azealia is a genius. She’s very vocal and gets herself into trouble, but ultimately if you look at her as a musician and as an artist, she’s incredible. The first time I heard this song, it was like the first time you hear a classic — like the first time I heard Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” I think she’s treated quite unfairly by the media in general because if you look at the behavior of a male counterpart, like if you look at how people treat Kanye in comparison, it’s so disproportionate. So I’m an Azealia supporter.
Cakes da Killa, “Gon’ Blow” (feat. Rye Rye)
I fuck with Cakes da Killa so hard. The moment I heard “Gon Blow,” I literally put down my drink and tried to dance. I’m not very good at dancing, but I tried! And Rye Rye just comes really really hard. The lyrics at the end where it’s like “I can be what you want/ A classy lady or a ratchet cunt” — it’s just amazing! It’s definitely my song of the summer.
Troye Sivan, “My My My!”
The first time that I met Troye, I had no idea who he was. We were at a party for Gucci, and I was just talking to him was thinking, “This guy is so beautiful and so nice,” and then I got home and he tagged me in a picture on his Insta story, and I looked at his followers and it listed like 6 million, and I’m like, “Who is this?” And then the following month “My My My!” came out, and I’m like, “Was I living in a parallel universe where I just had no idea who this was?” He’s amazing though, and the video is so unashamedly queer. He is scorching hot in that video.
Kim Petras, “Heart to Break”
I love Kim so much! She’s a future superstar. Her music reminds me of that excited feeling you first got when you saw Britney Spears, when she released “…Baby One More Time” — that excited teen feeling. Just to think that there’s trans teens out there having that feeling about a trans pop star. The empowerment that must bring is phenomenal.
Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris, “One Kiss”
I have the biggest crush on Dua Lipa. It’s insane. “One Kiss” is an amazing pop song, and it’s so camp, it’s so sexy, it’s so sultry. I could just look at Dua Lipa speaking all day, she does that thing with her bottom lip and I’m just like, “ugh, my God. Yes.”
Quay Dash, “Bossed Up”
Quay Dash is my bitch! Her lyrics are so awesome and unashamed to be trans as well. It speaks to me when I wanna get nasty.
Christina Aguilera, “Accelerate”
You know what? I fell out of love with Christina around the Lotus and Bionic eras — she kinda lost me. But when she first came out, with “Genie in a Bottle,” I was a die-hard fan. I was consuming absolutely everything, even the Christmas and Spanish album! And with this song, now I’m 100 percent back in the room. I just think it’s genius. It’s really sexual and that’s why we love Christina — she’s so sexually empowered. She’s a gay icon. I love her.
It’s amazing how everybody knew who Sophie was before we really knew who she was. And for her to come out and just floor everybody by being unashamedly trans. The beat is like nothing I’ve ever heard.
Leikeli47, “Wash & Set”
I don’t know where I heard this song, I think it came on my Spotify randomly. It’s a genreless song about hair, and as someone who goes through an obscene amount of hair and loves to get glammed up, it’s definitely a song that I enjoy getting ready to.
Nicki Minaj, “Chun-Li”
Nicki is just an amazing lyricist. I don’t know how she comes up with her lyrics, like “give me the password to the fucking WiFi” just kills me every single time.
Years and Years, “If You’re Over Me”
I am absolutely in love with Ollie [Alexander]. He is such a lovely guy and Years and Years are just amazing. Ollie is challenging typical masculinity and making it his own. And I love how he is talking about mental health and what it’s like to grow up gay in the U.K. He’s doing an amazing job at being a role model for young gay men.
I love how he’s gone full-on pop star in the video — he’s got the dance routines. It feels like an old-school music video that you’d watch on MTV when you came home from school. I love that he’s bringing that back.
Hercules & Love Affair, “I Try to Talk to You” (feat. John Grant)
The song was played on a shoot I was on and I’ve been obsessed with it since. It’s kinda disco meets electroclash, but it just feels very new. I love John Grant’s voice on this and the album has been on repeat.
Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled and Cardi B, “Dinero”
I love J.Lo so much, she’s like fine wine. And DJ Khaled just makes me laugh, he’s so hilarious. He seems like a fun guy apart from all that stuff about him not going down on his wife. I don’t know what that was about, that wasn’t cool! And of course, Cardi B is amazing.
Tove Lo, “Disco Tits”
I love how a lot of lyrics are about taking drugs, making mistakes and blacking out after having sex with guys. I mean, that’s all things that we’ve done. It’s nice to have somebody singing about female experiences and female sexuality in a way we don’t necessarily hear in pop songs.
Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, “I Like It”
This song is so good. It took me a few listens to get into it, but I heard it on a hot day and asked the driver to turn it up. He had a really good sound system, and I was like, “This is genius.” It made me want to get up and merengue.
Kelela is a friend and I actually got to interview her when she was over in London. She’s got the most amazing energy. She just came into the room and she had these chandelier gems stitched into her dreads and you could hear her walking down the hallway before she actually entered into the room. “LMK” reminds me of an old R&B song and has that total girl group feel.
Ariana Grande, “No Tears Left to Cry”
It’s just so camp-tastic, isn’t it? I just wanna roll around in glitter — my inner queen comes out with that song.
London Jade, “Transcendent”
London Jade is a trans rapper that speaks about trans experiences. I think that is so important. I really love the video for it too. It’s so witchy and spooky. It’s great.
Alice, “Girls and Boys”
Alice is a new British pop singer. We met each other in a clothing campaign and I heard her sing an acoustic version of “Finally” by CeCe Peniston. She’s got the most amazing voice I’ve heard since Mariah Carey in her heyday, but she doesn’t use it on this song — it’s kinda like a Christina Aguilera “Genie In a Bottle” situation. But she’s got the most amazing set of pipes I’ve ever heard and this song is a bisexual anthem about getting along with boys and girls.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Run Away With Me”
I am so late to the table with Carly Rae Jepsen. I heard “Call Me Maybe,” and I’ve heard that song enough to last me a lifetime. But the rest of her songs are absolutely incredible! That album is phenomenal. It’s pop perfection.
Janelle Monae, “Make Me Feel”
I love what Janelle Monae is doing for queer blackness, and how kooky she is. I love the video with Tessa Thompson, she’s so hot, I’ve got a massive crush on her from Westworld and from Thor.