Expressing Pride through music
June is a Pride month — a month to recognise and celebrate representatives of the LGBTQ+ community all over the globe.
Music is a great medium for self-expression and bold messages for LGBTQ+ community to share messages. Music helps to sensitize the society to the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community and to spread awareness.
Queer artists in the music industry
Artists like Frank Ocean, Lil Nas X or Troye Sivan have shared their stories through music, opening the way to thousands of other artists from the community. Nowadays, artists can show the music industry queer artists deserve to be seen and heard. gigmit believes that in 2022 there shouldn’t be any excuses for a lack of diversity in the music industry.
A safe space for artists and music lovers
Music is about storytelling, and one of the the best ways for people to understand Queerness, is by hearing their stories, and connecting to them through music
— Toby Corton, gigmit act & co-founder of Sounds Queer
gigmit talked about the importance of investing in inclusivity and diversity with Toby Corton, a British queer artist and co-founder of the music platform “Sounds Queer”. The idea of creating a queer platform came to life to combat the lack of opportunities for queer emerging live artists to perform in safe spaces for both them and their audiences.
The platform was born out of a conversation between the queer artis, DYVR, and Toby Corton. The two artists were introduced by Toby’s manager as they wanted to find out about the queer live music scene in London, having come back to London from Belfast. Over the course of their call, they quickly realised that there was a lack of promoters and events whose sole purpose it is to champion queer music.
From Toby’s perspective, emerging music is a largely heteronormative landscape, so if queer artists have no space to grow as performers, because most grassroots spaces may not be hospitable, then there is a barrier to access. In fact, investing in diversity and inclusivity is essential: “Because music is about storytelling, and one of the best ways for people to understand Queerness, is by hearing their stories, and connecting to them through music.”
Get tickets to attend the next Sounds Queer event at RichMix in Shoreditch, London (UK) on September 17th, 2022.
Just be yourself
We talked about this topic with Al Hakeem Muhammada, member of Haiqeem band (US). Al Hakeem said that pride means inclusivity of all hues of the spectrum. Being proudly and visibly out inspires other artists who have a similar gender identity to just be themselves.
That being said, just like love is love, music is music. Al Hakeem says, “Sometimes, I can see how some of my songs can be labelled queer music, or gay music. However, I view it as music for everyone, not exclusively LGBTQ+”.
Pride Month is another step to get closer to normalisation and inclusion of LGBTQ+ artists.
Music has no labels
The rock band Multivision (GR) emphasizes that we all need to express ourselves in order to reach the next steps and discover something new. Music, live venues, theatre plays, paintings, exhibitions and art in general help communities to strengthen their bonds. Multivision’s inspiration comes from the past and the present. As they like to say, their music doesn’t need labels.
My music is for everyone who wants to escape from everyday life and party
— Thomas Hewitt, gigmit act
Thomas Hewitt (AT) told gigmit about the importance of celebrating Pride Month, as “no human should not be ashamed of a sexual orientation”. Music has no boundaries and can be a conductor for everyone to say out loud who they love and who they are.
Amaru (NT) thinks the LGBTQIA+ community has to fight and is still fighting hard to be recognized. Amaru told gigmit that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community has had an impact on his music career. He finds it hard to book gigs as an independent bi-sexual artist, a lot of booking agents are not progressive enough and they try to be politically correct, but in their pursuit of the latter, they completely miss the mark and miss the opportunity to book an artist that is different, in their opinion, but who has the pull, the drive, the motivation and the desire to WORK and to put together a great show.
On the occasion of Pride Month, we offer gigmit acts that are also members of the LGBTQ+ community a platform to let us know about their experience in the industry. gigmit wants to highlight artists from the LGBTQ+ community and give them a platform to speak about important issues in the music business. We’re looking for artists who want to share their experience in the industry in a form of a short video, which we’d share during June as a Instagram Reels with our followers. Let’s celebrate love today and every day!