Although we’re inching towards the end of Pride month—with Pink Dot capping off just last weekend—that doesn’t mean we’re ceasing the celebrations. From movies and books that celebrate Pride, down to accentuating your entire fit with creative talons and stylish ensembles, we’re certainly pulling all the stops. What’s missing right now? Pulsating, heart-thumping anthems to groove and belt out to.
The universal language of love and music transcends all, regardless of what you identify with. Especially since the power of music has also played a pivotal role in the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights, breaking barriers to enter the mainstream. From the legendary David Bowie breaking the rigid standards of masculinity, to the queen of pop Lady Gaga spearheading the LGBTQ+ movement with her hit ‘Born This Way’, music has undeniably changed the landscape for people to love beyond the confines of heteronormativity.
But beyond the classics we all know and love, there’s more to Pride music than just the usual roster of musicians. Outside of Gaga and musical legends like Elton John , there’s a world of musicians paving the way for queerness in music in today’s modern age.
Below, find Vogue‘s picks for Pride month anthems to have on your radar.
Rina Sawayama, ‘This Hell’
What would one do in the face of conservative damnation? ‘This Hell’ celebrates the community even in the face of hardship and exclusion, affirming the rest of us to radically accept ourselves for who we are regardless of what the world thinks. Country rock meets glam pop as this track is stacked with cheeky lyrics and iconic pop culture references. Our favourite one liner from the song? ‘Turns out, I’m going to hell if I keep on being myself.’ Sawayama’s playful attitude in addressing homophobia and self-acceptance is further demonstrated in her music video, filled with swoon-worthy makeup looks and outfits.
Kim Petras, ‘Future Starts Now’
A metaphor for the unknown future, Kim Petras’s first single, inspired by the anime Japan Sinks is all about overcoming the changes that life throws at us. An icon in the queer community, Petras never fails to deliver with her strong vocals and genius songwriting. The infectious melody of the song and pulsating dance beats work towards an encouraging message that uplifts the community for a better future tomorrow beyond Pride month. Petras’s existence in the music scene overturns the cis patriarchy in the music industry and this song is proof that she’s only making her way up in becoming one of the top trans pop artists.
Dorian Electra, ‘Man To Man’
Dorian Electra (they/them) has never been one to shy away from subverting typical gender expectations. The gender fluid Texan pop star leads the way in taking down and battling the prevalent issue of toxic masculinity. In an interview, they explained “it’s about redefining the values that masculinity traditionally holds into a new and healthier context.” Apart from the impeccable vocals and symbolic music video for ‘Man To Man’, its irresistibly catchy hook draws you with layers of synths. The music video itself can be considered a labour of love, co-produced, co-directed and styled by Electra, a rare level of dedication seen in artists nowadays.
Mad Tsai, ‘Boy Bi’
A sweet and simple tune to have on repeat, Mad Tsai’s clean vocals demonstrates his personal struggles in discovering his sexuality. The Asian American artist’s song is a bittersweet journey fit for a coming-age movie, as it takes you on a path of self-discovery. The lyrics nail the journey of understanding oneself’s sexuality down to a T, so it’s no wonder why “Boy Bi” is lauded as a bisexual anthem. The cinematic music video tugs at your heartstrings, as it follows the journey of a teen in school realising his attraction to both genders, reminiscent of classic high school rom-coms.
Girli, ‘More Than A Friend’
The autobiographical single by Girli depicts the pain of yearning for someone you know will never love you back. The song is reminiscent of early 2000s’ pop punk, as she belts out an inexplicable desire to be with her crush. The heart-wrenching track filled with grungy choruses and hypnotic beats can be said to be the darker sister song to Katy Perry’s iconic single, ‘I Kissed A Girl’. The painfully honest lyrics is sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt the pain of loving a friend.
King Princess, ‘Pussy Is God’
As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. The same can be said about ‘Pussy Is God’; though the brazen title may lead you to think otherwise, the song itself is smooth and romantic. Unsurprisingly so, as the singer did dedicate the words of praise to her then-girlfriend. Pared against soft piano tunes, King Princess’s addictive melody makes this one an unconventional serenade to your S/O.
Sam Vance-Law, ‘Prettyboy’
The debut song of Sam Vance-Law as part of his album, ‘Homotopia’, starts off in an upbeat, guitar-heavy sound, setting up the perfect accompaniment to introduce the artist’s deep, rich voice. The result? A feel-good summer track that can be likened to a breath of fresh air. The angelic orchestral quality through classical instrumentals highlights the contrasting pop sound, which works wonders together in the song.
Ryan Cassata, ‘Daughter’
Ever since his public coming out in his early teens, Ryan Cassata has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of trans youth all over America. Having had his start on Youtube, Ryan’s journey as a trans man has not been an easy journey especially when it comes to his relationship with his family. Dedicated to his father, the song ‘Daughter’ has touched the hearts of trans people all over the world. His powerful lyrics shine through in a background of minimal impactful beats and simple strumming, and the courageous depiction of the trans experience has undeniably made a forceful impact in the LGBTQ+ community.