Live music may have been a big no-no for the past year, but the good news is there’s still plenty to get musically excited about. LGBTQ+ artists are more visible, diverse, and unapologetic than ever. From grunge to pop to indie rock, there’s plenty to get you dancing (or head-banging). Here’s our round-up of fresh and exciting LGBTQ+ musicians to watch in 2021.
girl in red
Since Marie Ulven (AKA girl in red) caught the internet’s attention with her self-produced single ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ in 2016, her fans have been eagerly anticipating a full-length album. At long last, her debut album World in Red is anticipated in 2021. Yet Ulven has certainly been busy in the intervening years. On top of releasing a smattering of delectably angsty, undeniably queer singles — see ‘we fell in love in october‘ and ‘girls‘ —, thanks to TikTok the phrase “do you listen to girl in red?” has become synonymous with asking a girl if she’s queer. With her LGBTQ+ icon status already solidified, expect big things from girl in red this year.
Start by listening to: ‘two queens in a king size bed‘
Dublin-based indie band Pillow Queens are making their own way in the world. This all-queer, all-woman four-piece has a distinctive sound. Marrying grunge influences with spacious harmonies and poetic lyricism, their music is like the optimistic sister of Wolf Alice and First Aid Kit. Since independently producing their debut album, In Waiting, last September, the band signed with Sub Pop Records (of Nirvana fame) this February. All signs point to more great music from Pillow Queens, and soon.
Start by listening to: ‘Gay Girls‘
Combining mellow R&B beats, ear-wormy pop melodies, and 1.4 million TikTok followers, Emily Vu is one to watch. Vu’s music and visuals show a creative maturity not often seen in someone so young (at 19, she’s firmly a Gen-Z artist). The pastel palette and sapphic imagery in the music video for her debut single ‘Just Wait‘ create a hazy summer mood that many of us are craving right now. With a new single promised for 12th March, Emily Vu will be supplying us with some much-needed good vibes in 2021.
Start by listening to: ‘Weekend‘
Soul singer Shea Diamond has a powerful voice — in her activism as much as her music. Diamond is open and honest about the difficulties she experienced growing up trans and Black in America, so it’s unsurprising that her songs carry a strong political message. ‘Don’t Shoot‘, for instance, is a moving tribute to victims of gun violence and racism, whilst the video for ‘I Am America‘ — the title track for HBO’s We’re Here — is a defiant celebration of America’s LGBTQ+ community. The future looks bright for this multi-talented artist and she’s certainly one of the musicians to watch out for.
Start by listening to: ‘I Am Her‘
Seeva’s soothing vocals are the perfect match for his laidback brand of electro-pop. After shifting away from working behind the scenes in production to making his own music last year, Seeva’s first solo album, We Need to Talk, is a promising debut. The melancholy honesty of such tracks as ‘Princess‘ and ‘Hopscotch‘ reveals an artist with a gentle, soul-searching brand of creativity. Having already been featured on BBC Introducing and Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday UK’ playlist, it’s clear Seeva has a bright future ahead of him.
Start by listening to: ‘Clouds‘
There are plenty more LGBTQ+ musicians to watch out for this year, so feel free to get in touch and let us know who’s really caught your eye! Visit our contact page to get in touch!