17 British LGBTQIA+ Artists That'll Have You Bopping Your Way Through Pride Month
The UK music scene has long since proven that there is no need to look across the pond. The best is right here in Britain. I mean come on, if it's good enough for Drake, it's good enough for you. Another thing the UK is good at is making progress in LGBTQIA+ representation. Whether that is hiring queer actors for queer roles, having high powered public figures who are openly gay, or of course in our music — we're here, we're queer, get used to it. So needless to say there are amazing British LGBTQIA+ artists for you to listen to as you get ready for Pride.
Thing is though, there have been many queer artists on the UK music scene for a long time. I guess being open regarding your sexuality is historically less common. And today's crop of artists aren't just open — they actively celebrating their identity.
Long gone are the days where fear of being open about your sexuality and gender would damage your career. Days of yore like when George Michael faced scandal and potential career devastation for a sex act. One which he then parodied in one of his music videos because the man is a legend. One that low key heralded a new day in which it became 100% clear that being queer shouldn't and doesn't mean you don't get the same go at it as your heterosexual counterparts. Here's who else should be on your playlist in 2019.
Jadeya is an incredible London based rapper, who has been on the rise in the last few years. Move over Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj, the UK is sending Jadeya to take your crowns
If you love her music you should also check out her hilarious YouTube videos and make up tutorials. Honestly, she taught me how to contour via those videos. Although it took a few tries because I needed to keep stopping during laughing fits.
2. Sam Smith
One of the biggest UK exports since Marmite, Smith has been churning out bangers a mile a minute since the beginning of his career. Smith recently opened up about being non binary and has been openly queer since the beginning of his career.
3. Black Gold Buffalo
Black Gold Buffalo are the combination of international DJ superstar Hannah Holland, Keziah Sitwell, Joy Joseph, and Marc Hayward. Clash magazine described the quartet's sound as being "dangerous, deviant rock 'n' roll with a brooding edge."
4. Aaron Porter
Porter, a Brit School alum, kills it with his vocals. This paired with future pop and R&B beats means his music just gets right into your bones. His video for Boy is the remedy for toxic masculinity that the world needs. Beautiful emotive choreography that matches the emotive lyrics? Yes please.
5. George Michael
The man who truly needs no introduction. Who took lemons and made lemonade. One of the UK's finest ever musicians. I dare you to chuck on his tunes and not want to dance.
MNEK's music is impossibly catchy and fun to dance to. Not only does he have a killer voice and beats to match, but his lyrics actually hit the nail on the head. Like his song Tongue which is like any of us when falling in love.
7. Emily Burns
Rugby born Burns knows not only how to make music but how to drag you in with a song title. I mean, calling a song Bitch is a win win really isn't it? You won't be in like with her. You will be full in love.
8. Boy George
Yet another icon in need of no introduction, George changed the face of music, queer visibility, and TBH pop music. One of the catchiest tunes in history, and one I am sure he still makes a lot of money off, Karma Chameleon remains an utter tune.
Girli's song Up & Down about the basic human condition is the remedy to either feeling up or down and every bit the catchy British pop hit you need. Stick on repeat pre, post, and during the party.
10. Marika Hackman
Hackman's rise has been meteoric. Although a lot of her songs are a bit more on the maudlin side, she can still get you on the dance floor. Feels for make ups, break ups, and shake ups.
11. Artschool Girlfriend
Artschool Girlfriend is the brainchild of musician and producer Polly Mackey who you might recognise from Welsh shoegaze band Deaf Club.
Her music is haunting, with her smooth AF voice and even smoother production skills.
12. The Japanese House
The Japanese House or as true fans know her, Amber Bain, recently released her second album to huge critical acclaim.
The Guardian described it as "candid break up pop", and they aren't wrong there.
13. Rina Sawayama
Japanese born and London raised Sawayama is the futuristic R&B pop artist to look out for and her tune Cherry will have you dancing in the actual aisles.
Drag queen band. OK now I have your attention, let me add that they are the BEST drag queen band in the world.
Definitely worth following and if you get the chance to see them live? Take it. This is talent and entertainment at its finest.
15. Karnage Kills
Who said queers couldn't make grime? Not Karnage Kills anyway. His music fights the homophobia and toxic masculinity in the music genre he is conquering. As well as being lit AF and really fun to dance to.
16. Lady Leshurr
The lady who needs no introduction, Brummy Lady Leshurr is one of the best female rappers in the UK. Not only that but she delivered the best dis perhaps ever, relating to brushing teeth. If you know then you know.
17. Billy Blond
Billy Blond totally kills the whole "are we, aren't we" with his song The Feels. One to watch as the best is definitely yet to come.
Whichever of these acts takes your fancy, make sure you sing it loud, sing it proud, because real Pride is 365 days a year.