Look through my Spotify playlists and you’ll find songs by every popular LGBT singer out there. I was so excited when Hayley Kiyoko released “Girls Like Girls” in 2015, and I can guarantee I have downloaded all of Girl in Red’s discography. Mainstream artists, however, cannot always capture my own experiences, nor do they begin to represent many intersectional communities under the LGBT umbrella. Below, I’ve gathered some of my other favorite LGBT musicians who are just as deserving of shower concerts and playlists for your crush.
An Afro-European, queer, trans person whose work is infused with R&B, pop and electronic genres, CJ Run’s music is a proud blend of identities and sounds. They aim to make art that represents themself and their communities in positive, confident ways.
CHECK OUT: “Tangerine” and “Spaghetti”
Bandmates Tim Nelson and Sam Netterfield weren’t out when they first started Cub Sport. Now, they’re married. Their last two indie-pop albums have been about the process of coming out, the questions and eventually blooming into an assured sense of self.
CHECK OUT: “I Don’t Love My Baby” and “Come on Mess Me Up”
Ezra Furman is a powerful player in the contemporary punk music scene. His retro-sounding lyrics tell vulnerable stories about pushing against oppressive societal structures. For Furman, music is the medium for exploring these subjects that are ordinarily hard to speak about.
CHECK OUT: “Love You So Bad” and “Can I Sleep in Your Brain”
An equal balance of soul, hip-hop and poetry, Ivy Sole paints vivid pictures with her songs. Although these pictures and stories relate to her own journey through life as she grows into herself, she hopes they inspire positivity and self-forgiveness in her listeners as well.
CHECK OUT: “Dream Girl” and “Bones”
Jasmine Kennedy’s acoustic tunes are gentle and startlingly genuine, elegant observances of life and all that it entails, including loss, possibility, loneliness and love.
CHECK OUT: “Cardigan Sweater” and “Laura”
Jay Som’s singing is best experienced through headphones so she can softly croon right into the deepest parts of you. Her low, whispy voice captures the glittering moments of reality so perfectly that she whisks you away on nostalgia-fueled daydreams.
CHECK OUT: “I Think You’re Alright” and “O.K., Meet Me Underwater”
You might recognize Lonsdale as Bram from “Love, Simon,” but did you know that he also makes music? His upbeat pop ballads are all about fierce self-love and the magic of gay love.
CHECK OUT: “Kiss The Boy” and “Higher”
Ms. White’s jazzy pop songs focus on reclamation, whether she’s singing about her identity as a trans woman, love or heartbreak. They are confident, unflinching and everything she wishes she could have grown up listening to herself.
CHECK OUT: “Arizona” and “Jaded”
Consisting of three tightly-knit friends who passionately believe in the power of intimate connections, MUNA’s music is deeply confessional. Their songs speak to addiction, mental health, heartbreak and queer love with lyrics that are emotional and intensely relatable.
CHECK OUT: “Winterbreak” and “It’s Gonna Be Okay, Baby”
Zolita’s music is a mix of pop and R&B, but it is thoroughly dark through and through. Her songs are rife with lesbianism, women empowerment, witchcraft and desire so desperate that it nearly destroys you.
CHECK OUT: “Holy” and “Explosion”
King Princess, Girl in Red, Troye Sivan and Hayley Kiyoko have had an undeniably huge impact on the music industry, particularly in regards to LGBT representation, and their fame is well-deserved. If you find yourself craving something outside of the mainstream, you’re in luck, for there are so many under-recognized yet so worthy LGBT musicians to be discovered.