5 emerging LGBTQ+ R&B stars you need on your radar
11 June 2021, 10:00
Trailblazers. Trend-setters. Innovators. This is the new generation of LGBTQ+ musicians leading the way.
Inclusion and representation within music is really important, so it's incredible to see so many talented and emerging LGBTQ+ artists truly putting their stamp on the industry.
June is Pride Month, so we're celebrating the new generation of smooth R&B crooners who are trailblazing their way to the top and inspiring their listeners to find their voice.
You're going to want to keep an eye on these bright young stars, because they're here to stay.
West London's Arlo Parks has already scooped herself up a BRIT Award for Best New Artist, and it's no wonder - the singer-songwriter is absolutely spellbinding.
Parks, who is openly bisexual, made waves with her melancholy single 'Black Dog' in 2020, while popular singles 'Caroline' and 'Hope' followed.
Parks described coming out at the age of 17 as a "spontaneous decision, just another part of my world", and often cites fellow LGBTQ+ artist Frank Ocean as one of her biggest inspirations.
R&B starlet Kaash Paige is living proof of just how powerful social media can be when it comes to propelling new artists.
The Dallas native flew to fame on SoundCloud and TikTok with her viral smash hit 'Love Songs' and was soon snapped up by Def Jam Recordings.
Paige is openly bisexual and says she uses her sexuality to her advantage when it comes to her music, rather than letting it limit her.
"I find it cool because it's like I'm speaking from a male and a female perspective at the same time," she told the Dallas Observer, "So I feel like that's why everybody really f**ks with me."
If you like your music to sound like long, lazy summer days, then Hope Tala and her heavenly vocals are right up your street.
The London-raised singer-songwriter blends R&B and soul with thoughtful storytelling to form her addictive mellow sound, and has spoken openly about how important LGBTQ+ visibility is to her when it comes to her music.
"I want everyone to be able to like my music, no matter of creed, race, religion, gender, or sexuality. If I hadn’t had that music, I would have struggled quite a lot, so I’m really conscious of the fact that there are people out there who need to feel seen and represented," she told Gay Times.
"When I was a teenager and questioning my own sexuality, it was really useful for me to be able to listen to music that mirrored that experience, she added, citing queer artist Kehlani as one of her biggest inspirations.
British-Asian artist Seeva writes songs that are so beautifully introspective, it's like taking a look inside his diary.
A fusion of electronic sounds, delicate, soulful vocals, and deeply personal songwriting, Seeva's music is already achieving critical acclaim.
The queer singer released his debut album, We Need To Talk, in 2020.
"I wanted to prove to myself that I could dive in deep and be honest with myself about mental health, heartbreak, sexuality and just growing up in our society," he told Music Crowns, "and finishing the album during lockdown allowed me time to reflect and write even more intensely."
Nigerian-American musician Joy Oladokun is blossoming right in front of our eyes.
In 2019, she made huge waves with her single 'Sunday' which she described as the song "that 12-year-old Joy, seated in the back of church youth group, needed to hear."
"She needed to hear that you can be queer and happy. Queer and healthy. Queer and holy. She needed to see married women kissing and playing with their kids."
Oladokun, who recently dropped a song with Maren Morris, is destined for greatness.