Five 2SLGBTQI+ artists that use their music to tell impactful stories
Exploring some new and up-in-coming creatives that are worth the listen.
Finding a reflection of yourself in the art you enjoy is a wonderful feeling. If you need some new music, here are a few 2SLGBTQI+ musical artists providing the perfect tunes for any ear.
Ross’s songs make me feel like my thoughts are being sung back to me, soothing the worries I never had a chance to name. Like many, after indulging in a late-night Instagram scroll, I came across a video of Ross singing one of their unreleased songs. Their soft guitar playing matched their careful lyricism about staying true to yourself, leading me to return to the same video for days. After exploring more of their music, I found that Ross’s musical catalogue is filled with songs that explore the intricacies of simply existing as a human being. One of their latest singles, “We’ll Never Have Sex,” confronts ideas of intimacy and manages to astound listeners in under two minutes.
During another late-night Instagram scroll (separate from the one above), I came across an advertisement for Sun’s “Dirty Dancer” music video. Through my phone’s speakers, I heard one of the most angelic voices paired with beautiful visuals over crisp drums—I became an instant fan. A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend one of her concerts. Sun serenaded the audience with her guitar before subsequently turning the show into a dance party. While her songs are considered alternative R&B, she also releases beat tapes called the “Test Series”—collections of sample heavy beats that flex her music producing talents.
Adria Kain’s music is perfect for all lovers of love. With soulful vocals over scenic production, Kain explores the feelings that come with being cozied up to someone you love and expressing your affections to a stranger. With songs like “Alone in Kenzo” on her album When Flowers Bloom, Kain sets the mood for any romantic scene. On the contrary, her song, “Lost One,” gets you missing a lover you never had.
Charlotte Day Wilson
Even if you haven’t heard of Charlotte Day Wilson, you’ve probably listened to her voice without even knowing it. Her song “Mountains” was sampled on Drake’s song “Fair Trade”—from his recent album Certified Lover Boy. She also collaborated with fellow queer artist KAYTRANADA on “What You Need”—an electronic song from his album BUBBA. Wilson’s deep, rich vocals often accompany minimal production. She tells stories about pain, love, and her journey as a musician. Her debut album Alpha garnered critical acclaim, earning her Juno nominations for both “Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year” and for “Songwriter and Producer of the Year”.
I first heard DijahSB’s song “Broke Boi Anthem” in a trailer for a CBC comedy series, Next Stop. The song perfectly captures the vibrant feel of Toronto that the show emulates. Both the show and the song include messages about chasing your dreams and rising above the challenges you may face. While many songs on DijahSB’s album Head Above the Waters delve deep into their struggles with depression, party anthems like “Throw That Back” show their ability to also create danceable jams. Through their music, DijahSB is forging a space for artists to be seen and heard—all while creating songs that flow effortlessly over groovy beats. Their latest single, “Living Simple,” covers the struggle of falling in and out of love.
No matter the reason for your search for new music—whether you are processing a recent break up or just looking for something to study to—one of these artists are sure to have the perfect song for you. In addition to making amazing music, these creatives are actively bringing queer stories to the forefront and openly expressing themselves through their art. I hope their music impacts you in a way that reaches beyond a singular experience. Be sure to check them out!