Press Play: 10 Black LGBTQ Singers, Rappers & Bands You Need To Listen To

In celebration of Pride Month, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Black LGBTQ artists and bands. From the angelic voice of Moses Sumney and the velvety croons of Arlo Parks — to the post-punk vibes of Shopping, and the hard-hitting beats of Big Freedia — press play on these black voices and go purchase their music and merch.

MOSES SUMNEY

Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney – Photo by Alexander Black

Dually breathy and suffocating, Sumney’s still-life atmospherics of lightly scratched guitar strums are texturized in the surreality that gushes from his raspy croons and velvet murmurs. Sumney just released their gorgeously powerful new album græ, out now via JAGJAGUWAR.

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ARLO PARKS

arlo parks

The things we would do to have Arlo Parks sing her sweet lovely croons into our ears … Her voice is seriously like throwing your naked body into the softest, 1-zillion-count luxury cotton thread sheets. Soft, soothing and beautiful — Arlo Parks is pure comfort to your ears.

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SHAMIR

shamir
Shamir – Photo by James MacDonald

There is a stunning effervescence in Shamir’s diverse sound. While he has the ability to create one of the hottest dance floors with songs like “Call It Off” and the playfully bratty “On The Regular,” Shamir can also break it down simply and beautifully with the folk-inspired song “KC.”

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BRITTANY HOWARD

Brittany Howard
Brittany Howard – Photo by John Furth for Grimy Goods

Brittany Howard recently put the Alabama Shakes on the shelf for a bit to focus on her solo work and the resulting album Jaime is astonishingly beautiful. Prior to Covid-19, we were lucky to catch Brittany Howard at the Hollywood Palladium for a compelling performance. More Here.

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SHOPPING

Shopping band
Shopping – Photo by CJ Monk

Thrumming with a kinetic-anxiousness, Los Angeles / Glasgow-based trio, Shopping recently debuted the sleekest version of their queer post-punk sound on their new album All Or Nothing. Comprised of Rachel Aggs (guitar, vocals), Billy Easter (bass, vocals) and Andrew Milk (drums, vocals), the potent threesome has moved further into 80’s pop textures and electronica–which they always seemed almost destined to tap into–in their new soundscapes.

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SYD

budland syd the internet
Syd – Photo by Brandon Espeleta for Grimy Goods

Sydney Bennet (aka SYD) is another voice that is sweet honey to our ears. With a professional background in sound engineering, producing and collaborating with Odd Future and Tyler, The Creator — SYD also leads the alt-r&B group The Internet. In 2017 she dropped her solo album ‘Fin” and fans have been craving more ever since.

How You Can Support: Merch | Instagram

MYKKI BLANCO

MYKKI BLANCO

A pillar of the underground music scene, Mykki Blanco has grown to become a world renowned artist. Heavily respected in the queer hip-hop community, her vivid sounds transcend. From hip hop cuts, to infectious pop heard in “Patriarchy,” and ethereal semi-ballads such as her recent song release “You Will Find It” feat. Devendra Banhart — Mykki Blanco’s sound is unapologetically multi-faceted and full of flavor. More Here.

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BLOC PARTY

bloc party hollywood palladium
Kele Okereke – Photo by Danielle Gornbein for Grimy Goods

Known as one of the bands that led the indie music scene, Bloc Party has been owning us every since we heard “Banquet” and “Helicopter” off their 2005 debut ‘Silent Alarm.’ With “Banquet” becoming an indie anthem, Bloc Party helped shape the sound of indie rock in the UK and beyond. Front-man, Kele Okereke is an openly gay man who has inspired many to come out. More Here.

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KEHLANI

Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival 2017 by Andrew Gomez
Kehlani – Photo by Andrew Gomez for Grimy Goods

Full of that sultry, 90s-inspired r&B – Kehlani’s voice is angelic, yet bold, and full of those romantic vibes. Oh, and if you’re still questioning her identity after the birth of her daughter — let us remind you:

“cuz i keep geddin asked.. i’m queer,” shared Kehalnai in a string of Tweets. “not bi, not straight. i’m attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non binary people, intersex people, trans people. lil poly pansexual papi hello good morning. does that answer your questions?”

How You Can Support: Merch | Instagram | Twitter

LE1F

le1f

Le1F may be from NYC, but the rapper/producer/dancer’s impact is felt world-wide. As an openly gay rapper, Le1F is well know for his musical and performance styles. Dripping with robust beats, songs like “wut” and “Soda” will soon be the anthems to your work-out playlists. Le1f has worked with a variety of artists including Evian Christ, Junglepussy, Balam Acab, Lunice, Boody, Sophie, Dev Hynes and more.

How You Can Support: Merch | Instagram | Twitter

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