June is Pride Month, and that means it’s time to expand our musical palettes to includeeven moreincredible, LGBTQIA+ artists and bands.GEN-ZiNEis here to help, showcasing some of our favorite queer talents: 

1. Ivy Sole 

Ivy Sole originally gained their acclaim with soulful R&B tracks like “Free Fallin’” in 2014. But, Sole’s 2018 album,Overgrown, is where the artist begins to really excel. The album deals with mental health, radical self-love as a black creator and the art of hitting on girls. Sole produced the hip-hop record as a 25-year-old living in Philadelphia, pulling inspiration from the Philly’s spoken-word culture, as well as the gospel of their hometown in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sole considers “Still Wasted” to be the gayest song on the album, but my personal favorite is “Rollercoaster.” 

Now based in Brooklyn, Ivy Sole released their 2022 album,Candid. Candidmuses on love, faith, and family but also reflects on Sole’s personal growth. On the album,Sole leans into their lyricism and rap inspiration, and collaborates with artists like Kingsley Ibeneche, Topaz Jones, and Bathe. 

Sole identifies as queer and non-binary, after years of struggling with their sexuality while growing up as a Southern Baptist. In aninterview with Billboard, Sole describes their sexuality: “I like women and I like men,” they explain. “I like women a lot though. Women have me on my ass, which is rare — I feel like I’m a very calm and collected person.” Sole also expresses distaste about being pigeonholed as a queer rapper. Sole explains, “[Queerness] can be a major detail — but I’d rather it be a detail than the thesis.” 


Formed in 2018, MICHELLE is a queer/POC collective based in New York City. The R&B group consists of six main members — Sofia D’Angelo, Julian Kaufman, Charlie Kilgore, Layla Ku, Emma Lee and Jamee Lockard — and draws inspiration from artists like NoName, SZA, and Led Zeppelin. While originally only planning to release their debut album,HEATWAVE,the collective quickly became popular and most recently produced their songUNBOUND. UNBOUNDreflects on desire and aims to “access nostalgia while also giving our listeners something new and danceable in a way we haven’t before,” MICHELLE toldcoolaccidents.comin an interview.

MICHELLE asserts they are a collective, rather than a band. The group explains each member is an individual artist, with projects and music outside of MICHELLE. But despite this fact, the six musicians got together “organically” to create some pretty incredible tracks. 

3. Fleece 

The Montreal-based LGBTQ band was founded with only two members: singer and songwriter Matt Rogers and drummer Ethan Soil. The two men went viral with theirYoutube video, “how to write an Alt-J song”in 2015 and began producing music the same year. But after adding guitarists Megan Ennenberg and Jameson Daniel, the group really honed their indie sound. 

 Three out of the four band members identify as gay or bisexual, and their most recent album,Stunning & Atrocious,deals with sexuality, vulnerability, and power — all of which can be stunningandatrocious. When asked in anIndie88 interviewhow they would describe their band, Fleece responded, “Fuzzy layered fun queer playground!” Fleece also explains how they improvise 60-70% of their lyrics, and would love to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves or Weyes Blood. 

4. Honey Dijon 

Honey Dijon grew up in the ‘70s on the south side of Chicago, gaining her a multitude of musical influences stemming from Chicago’s many gay and black clubs. She began clubbing as just a teen and quickly rose to fame through her work as a DJ in the 90s, and later through her debut albumThe Best of Both Worldsand her activism work. Being a black, trans woman, Honey Dijon often speaks on her experience being a DJ in the eclectic music industry. 

“This culture has really morphed to be white, heterosexual, cisgender men,” Dijon explains in a2022 interviewwith NewsHub. “Which is quite funny because I feel like when Frankie Knuckles died, the last great black, gay DJ died with him.” 

Now, Honey Dijon is internationally acclaimed, basing her performances in New York City and Berlin. She has collaborated with brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, curating soundtracks for their runways, and continues to speak out about trans visibility. 

“Trans people have it more hard because we are throwing back in people’s face everything that they know to be who they are and the security within themselves,” Dijon says in her NewsHub interview. “That’s what frightens people — I don’t need anyone’s permission.” 

5. Black Belt Eagle Scout 

Black Belt Eagle Scout is the musical moniker of Katherine Paul, a Portland-based indigeneous musician. She is a self-described “radical indigeneous queer feminist,” as can be seen written on her t-shirt in the music video for her 2018 song, “Soft Stud.” Growing up on the Swinomish Indian Reservation in Washington state, Paul learned to play piano, guitar, and drums, and was imbued with the musical talents of her family. In herartist’s statementon the Black Belt Eagle Scout website, Paul describes her early musical experiences on the Swinomish reservation. She describes her father’s chantings lulling her to sleep as a baby, as well as her grandparents’ singing of  native songs in their drum group. Paul says, “This is what shaped how I create music: with passion and from the heart.” 

Paul’s debut album,Mother of My Children,was recorded in the winter of 2018 in Northwest Washington. Paul played all of the instruments on the album. On the Black Belt Eagle Scout website, Paul describes how the album made her “feel awake and desperately want(ed) to put new music out into the world.” 

Paul’s most recent project was released in 2019, in the form of her albumAt the Party With My Brown Friends.The album deals with love, desire, and friendship — all common themes in Paul’s daily life. The lead single, entitled “At the Party,” features the story of Paul at a party with her Indigenous, Black, and POC friends, whoshe states“always have my back while we walk throughout this event called life.” Other tracks expound her experiences traveling along the coast, visiting Ohlone indigenous land, and relationships with loved ones and friends. 

Though Paul’s first album heavily featured guitar anthems,At the Party With My Brown Friendsis freckled with softer chords and vocals. The Black Belt Eagle Scout website describes the record as “presenting something shadowy and unsettling; a stirring of the waters.”

6. Girlpool 

The California-based indie rock duo, Girlpool, was formed by Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad in 2013. The band as cited inspirations such as Cocteau Twins and Siouxsie and the Banshees as their primary influences, along with Tyler the Creator and Charli XCX. Most notably, Girlpool’s “strippped back… raw instrumentation and emotive harmonies”are comparedto The Shaggs. Many of the band’s tracks feature sing-talky lyricism, repetitive guitar riffs, and even shouting. If you frequent TikTok, you might have heard Girlpool’s popular cover of Radiator Hospital’s “Cut Your Bangs,” which is also featured on the band’s Spotify. 

As of a few years ago, Cleo Tucker has been decidedly public about coming out as transmasculine. Cleo goes by they/them pronouns and, as of 2018, began to take Testosterone. In aninterview with i-D, Tucker describes his process of learning to sing with a newly tenor voice, as well as struggling with androgynous presentation in “Girlpool,” a previously feminine duo. Tucker continues to identify as nonbinary and exist outside of any singular gender. In the i-D interview, Tucker states, “Whatever it is that I want it to be, I’m killing it.” 

7. Sofya Wang 

Sofya Wang is a Chinese-American, lesbian, young indie-pop artist and LGBTQ+ activist. She began playing instruments and singing as a young girl, and then took production lessons to kick-start her music career. Wang is best known for track “Boys Aside,” which details her romance with a female love interest, who was initially dating a man.SOVO// Magazine describesthe song as “effervescent synth vibes spun with a little bubblegum pop.” The “Boys Aside” music video — produced with Sofya Wang’s sister — mixes stripped-down, but neon-esque California Gurls aesthetics with minimalist queer scenes. As per the cover art for “Boys Aside,” Wang fans are often called “Wangsters.” 

Whenaskedabout her experience as a queer woman of color in the music industry, Wang responds, “Art in general nowadays is people connecting with authenticity. I’m just being me, and I happen to be an Asian lesbian, so I understand that’s much needed in the world to have representation.” Because of her authentic presentation, Wang receives many online messages from queer Asians who listen to her music, asking her about her identity. When questionedby SOVO// Magazineif Wang worries about limiting her audience due to being publicly lesbian, she retorts, “... I don’t see it being too much of an issue nowadays.”

8. Ashnikko 

Ashnikko, moniker for Ashton Casey, quickly rose to fame due to her brilliant blue hair, Tokyo-style fashion, and unabashed, gay lyricism. The rapper isdescribes herselfas an “angry, punk, hip hop, sad-girl-feminist, bubblegum” artist, specifying that her music may seem comedical, but is not parody. Her influences include Gwen Stefani, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Missy Elliot, and Rico Nasty. Ashnikko first gained attention with her 2019 single “Stupid” with Baby Tate, and then shot to the top with “Slumber Party” featuring Princess Nokia. 

The 2021 “Slumber Party” is famously queer, but Ashnikko didn’t come out as pansexual until the very same year. In aMay 2021 Twitter post, the rapper clarifies, “I am pansexual and genderfluid, I just didn’t feel ready to tell the internet yet.” In aninterview with the Gay Times, Ashnikko explains her struggles accepting her identity growing up in a “patriarchal” and conservative Southern town in North Carolina. However, shecitesthe gay Tumblr community and Santana Lopez from “Glee” with helping accept her pansexuality. 

Ashnikko’s single, “Slumber Party,” actually became so famous itstirred controversyon TikTok. The app’s queer users criticized straight TikTokers for lip-syncing to the song, claiming the song was not meant for the “straight side of TikTok.” In fact, LGBTQ+ TikTokers began noticing a trend in the song’s appropriation: straight users refused to sing the more openly queer lyrics in “Slumber Party.” Queer TikTokers explained the trend reinforced stereotypes of bisexuality as a trend, rather than interpreting the song as gay expression. The controversy is still contested, but such conversation helped make “Slumber Party” Ashnikko’s most popular track. 

9. Yves Tumor 

Yves Tumor is completely and totally enigmatic. The experimental artist’s real name is unknown, being cites as Sean Lee Bowie, Rahel Ali, and Shan in different corners of the internet. Yves Tumor’s current residence is also unknown. They are Italy-based and have spent time in the Los Angeles experimental scene, but neglect to include their current home in interviews. In aninterview with Pitchfork, Tumor explains, “A lot of people are confused about my actual whereabouts, but that’s okay.” 

When asked why they don’t like people to know their name, Tumor replies, “Being online so much, I’ve noticed that people who post a lot of stuff about themselves grow a fanbase out of the constant show that they are putting online, and then their fanbase starts to feel like they know this person personally even though they’ve never met them… Sometimes the fans cross the line and take advantage of this connection, and it becomes super unsettling, and it’s hard to reverse.” Tumor hopes to avoid crossing this line. 

Yves Tumor has gone by many different monikers — Shanti, TEAMS, Bekelé Berhanu — keeping even their stage name fluid. But they are best known for their eccentric live performances. In June of 2017, Tumor performed at Hood By Air’s runway show in Los Angeles. During the performance, he was placed amid the models, on top of a pile of sand, where he moaned like a zombie during the walks. 

Despite some of his tumultuous musicality, Yves Tumor’s music hasbeen describedas “funk” and includes a great deal of bass and “groove.” Tumor’sSerpent Musicis especially groovy, but mixes in themes of spirituality, including a song named for Dajjal, a false messiah in Islamic teachings. Tumor attributes his funk inspirations to his father, who was “obsessed” with Motown. Other tracks, like “Kerosene!” feature soft vocals paired with squalling guitar. The music video for “Kerosene!” emulates Tumor’s more utopian aesthetic.

Yves Tumor uses both he/him and they/them pronouns, as of 2021. But just like their name and whereabouts, they like to keep their gender identity and sexuality unknown. 

10. Raveena Aurora

Raveena Aurora, who more regularly goes by Raveena, blends R&B and experimental pop styles to curate her dramy, romantic records. Raveena is especially known for her music videos, in which she mixes hyperfeminine aesthetics with retro tones and Bollywood dress. This style is especially prominent in videos like that of “Temptation” and “Love Overgrown,” both of which heavily feature sensuality and female love interests. 

Raveena spoke on the making of “Temptation” inan interview with i-D, explaining her inspiration for the visuals. “Green and orange relates to India because it’s the colors of the flag,” She explains. “The whole inspiration from it, styling wise especially, was 60s and 70s Bollywood film. Our whole mood board was filled with old Indian Bollywood actresses.” Through the track, Raveena hoped to embrace her sexuality and become more comfortable with fluidity. As of now, she considers herself bisexual. Raveena hopes to contrast the aspects of Indian culture that are more conservative,explaining, “I want young brown people to feel totally open and free to be themselves.” 

Of course, the list doesn’t stop here. Seventies jazz legend Beverly Glenn-Copeland is a great listen for a relaxing afternoon, as well as a transgender pioneer in the music industry. Gay twins Tegan and Sara will take you back to 2013 with “Closer,” and bisexual R&B artist Kaash Paige is blowing up on TikTok for her hit “Love Songs.” Hip Hop and R&B artist Syd has produced must-listen-to queer anthems, both as Syd and with her group The Internet, since 2009 — including bops like “Wanna Be,” “Special Affair,” and “Right Track (feat. Smino).” Joy Oladokun is a Nigerian artist revolutionizing folk music with meandering female-centered songs like “jordan.” 

There is no shortage of queer talent and this pride month, we encourage you to explore some of their music for yourself.