Pride Month is an entire month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ voices, celebration of LGBTQ culture and the support of LGBTQ rights. As we celebrate Pride here at Bonded, we wanted to put 10 LGBTQ+ artists on your radar, in no particular order.
1. Oliver Sim
Oliver Sim, best known for his work as songwriter, bassist, and vocalist of The xx, delivers his debut solo album ‘Hideous Bastard’, out 9th September. Produced by bandmate Jamie xx, Hideous Bastard is the culmination of two years of writing and recording, inspired by Sim’s love of horror movies and his own life experience, unpacking themes of shame, fear, and masculinity in a queer horror way.
2. Mavi Phoenix
Currently in his mid - 20s, as a producer, songwriter, and performer, Mavi Phoenix has never been afraid to blaze his own trail. His genre-mashing EPs and album debut have drawn unexpected links between pop, hip-hop, and electronic sounds, and listening to them in sequence can feel like a thrilling plunge into a selection box of assorted musical treats. He began producing, singing and rapping at just 11 years old. From there he developed his own distinct style of music production. In 2019 - still regarded as a female artist - he was in Austin to play some showcases at the iconic SXSW festival when he recorded his transgender coming out video. While last year was a tremendous blow for so many artists, Mavi Phoenix used the time to complete his gender transition, redefine his artistic vision, train his voice through its evolution of hormonal changes and write new songs locked down in his bedroom in Vienna.
3. Lava La Rue
Lava La Rue is a musician, poet and artist whose multi-cultural London sound is the noise of a generation. Whilst also being the designer and founding member of arts collective NINE8, a diverse London collective, home to rappers, producers and household names. The star on the rise is vastly gaining recognition following their 2021 EP "BUTTER-FLY EP" which was written in collaboration with Deb Never and Clairo, with production credits from Isom Innis (Foster the People), Vegyn (Frank Ocean), Dan Holloway (Dora Jar) Courage (Foxes) and more. The EP solidified Lava's transition from the Alternative Hip Hop focused projects that their previous work was known for, to a more indie/psychedelic RnB space - noticeably singing more and working on guitar based productions.
Claud is leading the charge for LGBTQ+ representation in popular music. A skilled lyricist with an extraordinary gift for writing infectious melodies, Claud's 13 track album of irresistible charm and a vertiginous but joyous coming-of-age reckoning with young love became the debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records. The album 'Super Monster' is like a compulsive compilation that Claud culled from a lifetime of musical enthusiasms—the arcing alt-rock of ’90s airwaves, the rapturous pop of ’00s chart-toppers, the diligent genre-hopping of modern online life. The artist has built a devoted following through regular single releases and tours. In the past, Claud has supported acts like Clairo, Triathalon, and The Maràas at shows across the US.
5. Cat Burns
Cat Burns is a singer and songwriter from Streatham. Drawing upon gospel influences, pop inspirations and a love of guitar and indie-led music, Cat proudly cites Ed Sheeran, India Arie and Tori Kelly as a few of her biggest inspirations. The former BRIT school student went from busking on the Southbank to mastering TikTok in lockdown, singing a mix of her favourite covers and original music. Cat Burn's candid and healing pop, which extends a helping hand to young listeners that may be experiencing hardship. Over a warm, deep blend melodies and soft electronic pulses, she confronts and unpacks weighty themes including anxiety, queer acceptance, and furtive relationships.
6. Dreamer Isioma
Nigerian-American artist Dreamer Isioma first grabbed the music world’s attention with the release of their striking single ‘Sensitive’ in 2020. Since then, the Chicago-based musician has gone onto release two stellar EPs in the form of ‘Sensitive’ and ‘The Leo Sun Sets’. Last month, Isioma released their long-awaited debut album ‘Goodnight Dreamer’, a collection of thirteen songs shining a light on the artist’s journey of healing and self love.
7. Tom Aspaul
Tom Aspaul is an independent singer/songwriter and producer from Wolverhampton. After writing songs for Celeste, Kylie Minogue and AlunaGeorge; in 2020, Tom released his debut album, 'Black Country Disco' - lauded as 'queer disco album of the year' by Gay Times. In less than a year, 'Black Country Disco' has been streamed nearly 3 million times - this was followed by 'Black Country Discothèque', a remix album including collaborations with Grammy nominated superstar MNEK and 80s legend Kim Wilde, as well as several other up and coming queer artists. Tom also embarked on his first ever UK tour, 'The Revenge Body Tour' in July 2021, tickets for which in some locations, sold out in 15 minutes.
Nxdia is a singer/songwriter hailing from the suburbs of Manchester with a new take on Pop Music, blending feel-good, slick and modern production with personal and relatable lyrics about love, identity and growing up as a millennial. Although based in the UK, Nxdia was originally born and raised in Cairo, Egypt in an area called Roxy. Her first memories are of living next to a cinema, providing her first surges of inspiration as a child, creating images and characters through drawing and poetry. This fascination for creativity and storytelling soon began seeping its way into music that she had also began writing, both through her lyrics and hypnotic vocal flourishes.
9. Dua Saleh
Fresh off their groundbreaking role playing Cal — the first nonbinary character — in Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Sex Education, the Sudanese-American artist and actor has also released a new EP. The project is a seven-track exploration of transitions, or crossovers, as they call it. Dua invites listeners into an undefined space through full-sensory lyricism and the singularity of their distinct voice. Before becoming a musician, Dua Saleh was more likely to be known for their activist work or their spoken-word poetry. But after only beginning to record their seductive, mercurial music within recent years, the Sudan-born nonbinary artist has already established themselves as an artist of the future, specifically with their 2021 EP ' CROSSOVER'.
10. Isaac Dunbar
Isaac Dunbar merges elements of alt-pop, smooth R&B, and woozy dance music into his musically whimsical, lyrically earnest songs. He released his debut EP, balloons don't float here, as a high schooler in 2019, leading to his major-label debut, isaac's insects, the following year. His fourth straight EP, Banish the Banshee, included the original single "Tainted Love." Hailing from Barnstable, Massachusetts, Dunbar first started learning the music production trade as a preteen, when he was inspired by the music of Madeon , whom he knew to be one of the producers of Lady Gaga’s Artpop album. Isaac tried to reproduce some of that record's songs while learning about synthesizers and music theory from free online video tutorials, fast forward to 2019 a then-16-year-old Dunbar released his debut EP, balloons don't float here. Within a couple months, he was touring with girl in red, and that October, he signed with RCA Records.