23 Queer BIPOC Musicians you need to be listening to right now….
At times when our community’s most cherished spaces are either closed or under threat of permanent closure...
Posted on Sat 27 Mar 2021 · by Paal Sidhu
23 Queer BIPOC Musicians you need to be listening to right now….
We are on a mission to build an LGBTQ+ global community that unites and empowers each other whilst uplifting marginalised voices. Support us and pay what you can to create jobs, amplify BIPOC folx and provide solutions to sustain LGBTQ+ venues in the UK and abroad.
At times when our community’s most cherished spaces are either closed or under threat of permanent closure, it is more important than ever to celebrate, uplift and show love to the amazing talent often slept on in our community. Seeing countless mainstream artists embrace queer talent and narratives has been a breath of fresh air - however, we must not forget the artistry from our queer BIPOC family. Historically, this is where the latest trends in music, fashion and art are birthed, to then be appropriated and sold. We are here to embrace our community’s most raw and overlooked talent.
Let’s talk about discography! L.A based musician Kari Faux has 2 albums and 2 magical E.Ps under her belt. Fusing rap, R&B and hip hop, Kari Faux’s music speaks to the queer soul. Her 2019 E.P ‘CRY 4 HELP’ is an amazing tale of trauma, healing, love and sexuality. In an interview with writer Tara Mahadevan, Faux discusses vulnerability, not only in her music but in everyday life - ‘Being vulnerable has freed me’ - Kari Faux. You can listen to Kari Faux’s music here: Spotify
‘Im just on my regular gay shit’ - Dua Saleh (i.D, 2020)
Non-binary icon Dua Saleh is changing the way we view and experience music. Starting at their high school’s open mic night, Dua has quickly become one of contemporary music’s most dynamic artists. While their music has been labelled rap, R&B and even pop, Saleh’s music transcends the boundary of genres. 2020 saw multiple releases of HEAT by Dua Saleh, with all proceeds from her single ‘body cast’ being donated to the Black Visions Collective. Oh, and did I mention, they can sing in Arabic! Listen to Dua Saleh’s music here: Spotify
New Zealand-born Noah Slee is bringing soul, RnB and indie-electronica together - creating something that is best described as musical MAGIC. Releasing his first EP in 2016 - ‘To Your Inner Hippie & Cos You Fly as F*ck’, Slee’s 2017 debut album ‘Otherland’ drew in millions of listeners from around the world. As well the beautiful sound, Noah Slee’s music navigates queerness and identity being from a traditional Christian, Tongan family. In an interview with RNZ music, Slee discussed his battle of identity, talking about the rather challenging times and his journey of acceptance. Listen and be moved by the wonderful talents of Noah Slee here: Spotify
Are you a sucker for love and a good bassline? South Florida-based musician Symon Plante blends pop and soul to create vibes and tell stories. His latest single ‘Too Much’ helped heal parts of himself he thought was healed, and let it be known that this is merely the BEGINNING for Symon Plante - Remember his name! Listen to ‘Too Much’ and other songs by Symon Plante here: Spotify
In their own perfect words, Quentin Arispe is ‘musical, anxious, genderless queen with a phat ass’ and you better believe it! Based in Texas, Arispe’s music is pushing the boundaries of binary genre, encompassing folk, RnB and elements of pop. Without question, Quentin Arispe makes music for all - ‘Of all colours and shapes. I make music for humanity’ - Arispe. With amazing projects ‘June’ in 2018 and ‘Afterhtought’ in 2019, Arispe’s 2019 collection ‘FRUIT’ raked in over 50,000 listeners. If you appreciate music that transcends genre completely, I would highly recommend - and you can listen to Quentin Arispe’s music here: Spotify
New York/Berlin-based musician Duendita speaks to the soul about oppression, colonisation, love and identity. Prepare to be shaken and fundamentally moved by her music. Duendita’s EP ‘direct line to My Creator’ was released in 2018, which was also her college senior thesis project! Raking in hundreds of thousands of listeners from across the globe. The EP’s second song ‘Blue Hands’ discussed the all-too-familiar situation of racialised police brutality - accompanied by a striking video featuring her friends and younger sister! Allow yourself to become lost in the magic, the flow and the experience of Duendita - Spotify
London based musician Ms Mohammed is a boundary pusher whose music can only be described as a fusion of Punk Blues and Alternative Indie. Initially releasing music under the name ‘Dana Jade’, she changed her name to ‘Ms Mohammed’ (her last name) to own, cherish and celebrate her ‘otherness’. Her music is not only an artistic creation, but a political statement - especially in contemporary society with racial issues such as the Muslim Ban being highly debated and contested globally. In an interview with Susannah Baker, Mohammed states ‘No more apologising for being so many different kinds of different’ - which is definitely something we should all aim to embody. Check out Ms Mohammed’s amazing discography here: Spotify
Singer, producer, composer, guitarist and most importantly a performer BISHI’s music speaks to a unique fusion of South-Asian and Western classical tones. Her 2007 debut album ‘Nights At The Circus’ (inspired by the Angela Carter novel with the same title), became a journey through music. Described by critic Matthew Willson as a breakthrough from regular electro music, creating a more ‘worldly’ sound and experience. This being said, BISHI is far more than just music. Her well-received 2012 album ‘Albion Voice’ was accompanied by cross-media performances including light shows, images and effects, creating the musical drama that is - BISHI. Listen to BISHI here: Spotify
Up-and-coming pop, theatre and jazz sensation Jason Kwan is serving us glam pop with a killer look. Inspired by the icons Lady Gaga, Queen, ABBA and countless jazz pioneers, Kwan creates music which celebrates and platforms queer-Asian narratives (which are heavily underrepresented in contemporary music). In an interview with Bricks Magazine, Kwan described his writing process as a way of navigating through his darker experiences and manifesting strength in them. Escaping the homophobic environment in Hong Kong, Jason moved to the UK by himself at the age of just 14 - where music became a form of self expression and love. His 2020 single ‘Seduction’ is an anthem for self-love, reclaiming the talent and beauty in queer-Asian culture. Jason dares us to proudly exist as queer individuals, fighting back against stigma, racism and queer-phobia. Listen to the irresistible Jason Kwan here: Spotify
Born and raised in East London, NYJA is the Afrobeats queen. Starting her solo career in 2016 with the single ‘No One’, starting the musical buzz and legacy of the East London musician. 2018 was a successful year - releasing the standout Afrobeat anthem ‘BAMIJO’ putting NYJA on the map and even earning her a performance set at Nigerian Independence 2018! In an interview with Snatch Radio, NYJA stated ‘The journey ain’t even started yet, this is just a warm-up - so stay tuned! Listen to the power and magic of NYJA here: Spotify
Rising star Arlo Parks creates a unique form of musical poetry tied up in the celebration of indie-pop. Inspired by a wide-scale plethora of artists, from Radiohead to Solange - Parks’ 2019 E.P gave us just a flavour of what lies ahead for the artist. Her 2021 debut album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ is a time capsule of all the experiences that created the Arlo Parks we love today. Running up to the album release, Parks was named Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ Artist for January 2021 - only increasing the anticipation for the album. Today, with over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, it is safe to say that the world is falling in love with Arlo’s sound, and remember this is just the first! Listen to the new album and all of her work here: Spotify
Singer, producer, pianist, dancer and performer - Toya Delazy owns the ‘AfroRave’ genre. Blending drum and bass with South African rhythm, the London-based musician has been producing heat since 2011! While her 2013 debut album ‘Due Drop’ and her 2014 album ‘Ascension’ were outstanding projects, her 2017 single ‘London Town’ put her on the global map! Receiving wide-scale airplay from BBC Introducing, Rinse and Reprezent. London Town was part of Delazy’s 2017 album ‘Uncommodified’ - a 16 track journey of R&B, rap and just pure vibes! In her Spotify biography, Delazy is described as ‘an outspoken artist…an icon for the oppressed and repressed’. Toya Delazy’s music is a symbol of power, and something we should all try to embody. Listen to their amazing discography here: Spotify
Self-proclaimed ‘queer unbinary aliens’, Wastewomxn is a non-binary, diasporic collective whose talents lie far beyond just music - beautifully navigating the mediums of dance, performance art, theatre and drag! Their artworks to reach listeners/viewers transcending a colonial lens - often integrating their native languages - Japanese and Yoruba. WasteWomxn is a loving punk-fusion collective celebrated creative freedom, energetic connection, and joy. Listen to their 2020 debut album - self-titled ‘WasteWomxn’ here: Spotify
British singer, songwriter and style icon Aaron Porter is forging his own lane of queer pop. Releasing his debut single ‘BOY’ in 2018, Aaron catapulted from a local club dancer to a published artist, with the song now hitting over 370,000 streams! ‘BOY’ became a symbol of self-love, acceptance and resistance against social stereotypes. In an interview with YassMagazine, Porter described himself as ‘a passionate, music-making, gay male, amongst other things’ while describing his music as ‘sexy, true, dirty, pop with emotional themes’. Being an unapologetic queer black male, Aaron Porter is manifesting the queer role models he wished he would’ve had growing up - and this can be an inspiration to us all. Listen to the melodies of Aaron Porter here: Spotify
Recording for the first time at the age of 13, musician Roxxxvn owns a very unique, raw and bar-filled sound. Inspired by the greats - Ms Dynamite, 2Pac, Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill, Roxxxvn is not just a musician but an amazing performer as well. Describing herself as an open book, her music is highly inspired by the trials, tribulations and emotions of life. In 2015, Roxxxvn’s collaboration with ‘Black Arkitec’ in the album ‘Queenz Uv da Undaground’ - her single ‘Too Fucking Facety’ became a stand out hit with over 100,000 streams on Spotify! Listen to Roxxxvn’s 2017 single ‘Crud’ and 2018 hit ‘Gimme Dat’, along with others, here: Spotify
Seann Miley Moore
Stealing the nation’s heart on Season 12 of The X Factor, Seann Miley Moore is a singer and performer now based in London. After placing in the top 10 in X Factor 2015, Seann has gone on to release 2 EPs, create magical visuals for his music, and even perform at London’s 2019 Pride! His single ‘BURN BOY’, part of his 2018 project ‘4 Track B*tch’ became a stand out single, with the video celebrating East London’s queer scene - featuring icons such as Bimini Bon Boulash! In an article for Gay Times, Moore was quoted saying “It is important to be visible and proud to be who you are. - a mantra that should be chanted by all of our community and allies. Listen to the amazing talent of Seann Miley Moore here: Spotify
Rather charming English singer and songwriter - Nate James landed in the UK music scene with his 2005 album ‘Set the Tone’. The soul-filled project drew hundreds of thousands of listeners, even receiving extensive airplay in Europe and Japan! Followed by numerous sold out shows at the Jazz Café in London, this was just the beginning for James - releasing 3 more masterpiece albums in 2007, 2009 and 2013! Inspired by the classical soul greats - Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, James’ music has earned him multiple accolades. Named the best Neo-Soul artist at the 2007 Urban Music Awards, and FestivalBar’s best international artist in 2006! Get lost in the soul of Nate James here: Spotify
Nailah the Song-Writer has won BBC awards for her songwriting skills - with her work being featured in a handful of successful T.V shows like the Netflix series Cable Girls. Born and raised in London, Nailah’s career wholesomely began in underground open mic nights, and from this formed an iconic duo named ‘Indigo Brown’. Writing songs for popular UK boy band ‘Frixion’, Nailah’s lyrical talents helped boost the band into promising overseas success. While also releasing a plethora of her own music, Nailah has made a name for herself not only as a songwriter but as a musician.
Listen to Nailah here: Spotify
Black, feminist and punk icons Big Joanie are a band created by the amazing talents of Stephanie Phillips, Estella Adeyeri, and Chardine Taylor-Stone. Established in 2013, Big Joanie was formed as a response to the utter lack of diversity, inclusion and intersectionality in the punk scene. Their debut album ‘Sistahs’ was released in 2018, raking in hundreds of thousands of streams and becoming critically acclaimed for its unique sound and energy. In an interview with gal-dem, Big Joanie described the creation of their band as being a space where they could exist unapologetically and powerfully as black women. Experience the musical artistry that is - Big Joanie
Listen here: Spotify
London-based recording artist NEO 10Y is a genre-bending, trend-setting and post-pop lyricist. Self-described as a fusion of cinematic grunge and industrial RnB, NEO’s sound has been credited and acknowledged by the likes of DAZED, Billboard, Gal-Dem, GQ and the BBC! The unique sound of NEO is accredited to their wide array of inspirations, including Britney Spears, Aaliyah, 2Pac and Kurt Kobain. Their 2016 visual and musical project ‘The Kid That Killed Trump’ became a heavily controversial art piece, drawing in a multitude of support and nationalist hate from those in support of Trump. Neo’s music is just not cinematic rhythmic sound, but a political statement.
Listen to NEO 10Y here: Spotify
Skin has been in the industry for over 30 years, making music with her band Skunk Anansie as a singer, songwriter and DJ. Formed in 1994, Skunk Anansie raked in over 4 million music sales, disbanding in 2001 only to re-form in 2009, selling out 2 London shows 20 minutes after their announcement. Skin’s solo career gifted the world 2 legendary albums - ‘Fleshwounds' in 2003 and ‘Fake Chemical State’ in 2006, going on to travel and perform around Europe with British legend Robbie Williams! Skin also has a popular podcast with Apple called ‘Skin Tings’, where she interviews new talent, old friends and musical icons. The latest episode includes a discussion with Arlo Parks! Listen here: Podcast
And listen to her amazing discography here: Spotify
Estevan the God
Texas-based singer, rapper, producer and songwriter Estavan the God is a ‘gay rap superstar’ - period. Inspired by the greats - Lil Kim, Trina, Andre 3000 and Missy Elliot just to name a few - it was his rapper aunt ‘Million Dollar Girl’ which pushed him to become a rapper. His career began with his 2013 EP release ‘GUAPO’, which features Megan Thee Stallion! Since then, Guapo has released 3 more albums - Flames and Rose Gold in 2018, Aquaman in 2019 and the iconic Texas Ranger in 2020. Estevan has been producing heat since 2013, and you can listen here: Spotify
London based singer and songwriter Atlantis Gandhi artistically blurs the lines between alternative RnB, soul and trap. In an interview with AZ Mag, Atlantis described coming out in 2016, the struggles of outness and the pride in being your authentic self - especially for those who have had to hide or conceal their identity in the past. Releasing her first song on Soundcloud in 2016, Atlantis has never looked back. Her 2018 release ‘Blurred Clouds’ was an ethereal masterpiece - leading up to her 2019 project ‘Offender’’. Listen to the amazing talents of Atlantis Gandhi here, but be prepared for vibes and flawless high notes!
Listen here: Spotify
Listen, share and love.
Moonlight Experiences is led by a dedicated queer collective of diverse voices who are changing the perception of queer culture through curated activities and stories from the community. We are using the economic power of LGBTQ+ tourism to tackle the lack of black/POC representation in travel, and help amplify marginalised artists and sustain queer venues.
Find out more www.moonlightexperiences.com
Instagram / Facebook @moonlightexperiences
Contact Person: Aisha Shaibu