Happy Pride Month to all members of the LGBT community! Through June and every month, we love spotlighting LGBT voices and celebrating the impact they’ve had on our society and people on an individual level. To celebrate this year’s Pride, we’re rounding up five songs by some of our favorite rising LGBT artists who deserve a spot on your playlist. No matter your favorite genre or how you identify, there’s bound to be something here that you’ll vibe with! 

2AM Ricky – “Cream”

Trans hip-hop trailblazer 2AM Ricky is ready to soundtrack your summer with the flirty “Cream,” which is the perfect listen for a windows-down car ride or a relaxing beach day with friends. It’s a smooth blend of rap and R&B reminiscent of greats like Bryson Tiller, while still feeling like something only Ricky could create. He knows just what details to add to his lyrics to create a vivid story, and the results are simply mesmerizing. He was also notably the first Black trans male artist to go to #1 on the LGBTQ Urban Charts with “Whatchu On” in 2021, which topped the chart for ten weeks. 2AM RICKY is bound to become one of the biggest names on the scene, so get ahead and follow him on Instagram and YouTube

It’s important to me that queerness is not only represented, but normalized. Through records like ‘Cream’, I’m able to shift the industry to a more inclusive culture, one song and conversation at a time.

2AM Ricky

Chris Courtney Martin – “MARQUESS MUNDAE”

Throughout our lives, we meet people who truly make an impact on us and help us come into our own, pushing us to come alive in the process. With the buzzy “MARQUESS MUNDAE,” Chris Courtney Martin pays tribute to a late friend who took them to their first Pride parade, celebrating their bond and the effect he had on their life. “Cover your tracks, the legend is back,” a voice beckons, encouraging the listener to embrace their own inner legend and refuse to compromise on who they are. It’s a beautiful homage to a sparkling soul’s legacy that continues the loving, accepting energy that he brought to the world as an anthem you can dance to through Pride Month and beyond. You can learn more about Chris Courtney Martin on Instagram and Twitter, and get more of their music and original writing here

I envisioned my Dear One voguing down to this the whole time I worked on the track. This is a tribute to his impeccable duckwalk. Rest in Power, babe.

Chris Courtney Martin

LÉA THE LEOX – “Over Again”

Trust us, you’ll want to listen to this next suggestion over and over again! LÉA THE LEOX (pronounced “Lay-uh the Leo”) will take your breath away with “Over Again,” a look back at a faded relationship that might’ve just boiled down to “love that was unrequited.” Every moment of the song is absolutely stunning, with LÉA’s vocals conveying the emotions of the song in such a beautiful way as she takes you on a journey through a back-and-forth romance that never quite realizes its potential. “Over Again” is definitely a standout on her new EP, PURPOSE, so if you love it, you need to check out the full project! And once LÉA inevitably gets you under her spell, get to know her on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and her website.

What started as thoughts in my diary blossomed into the PURPOSE EP. After reflecting and healing, I am so proud to present this body of work to the world. I hope that everyone who hears this is reminded that they are valuable and cherished. 

LÉA THE LEOX

Maria Rose – “The Garden”

Dark pop fans, we found your new favorite artist! Maria Rose blends pop and R&B in a beautifully haunting way on “The Garden,” a song that will definitely leave you feeling more confident and badass. It’s all about knowing your power and letting it attract the right kind of love and passion into your life, which is the perfect message for Pride Month. Maria’s vocals sound absolutely stunning, especially with the whistle notes in the end, and it creates such a gorgeous atmosphere for the song. Between the strong, unique sound and the infectious energy, “The Garden” will slither its way into your mind and playlist rotation within just one listen. Get more from Maria Rose on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube!

Step inside The Garden and fulfill your prophecy, letting go of what society tells you so you can find your destiny.

Maria Rose

Saint Martyn – “What You Don’t See”

Finally, we have a thought-provoking track from Saint Martyn! “What You Don’t See” touches on her experience as a trans person, merging elements of industrial and trip-hop to create an immersive song that really illustrates the difficulties of the trans experience and what it’s like not to be accepted for your true self. With engaging production switches and distorted vocals that mirror the harsh voices talking down to her, “What You Don’t See” is a journey that will help you feel so much less alone in your struggles if you face gender dysphoria and/or transphobia. Even if you’re not trans or gender nonconforming yourself, you’ll still find an appreciation and admiration for Saint Martyn’s honesty and courage in opening up about her story. You know you want to keep up with her future endeavors, so connect with Saint Martyn on Bandcamp, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter

‘What You Don’t See’ is a hard song to talk about as it’s a very personal account of my trans experience. In one breath it’s a protest, an attempt to make a silenced voice heard in a ‘debate’ that voice is excluded from. In an other, it’s almost a journal of how it feels to  ‘hide’ who I am because of the lack of understanding of others. But, strangely, the song is also a safe place.  A place I can be *me*. So much of my life is spent pretending I am someone else, just to appease others. Music is the one place I don’t have to hide… ‘What You Don’t See’ is me.

Saint Martyn

Which of these songs was your favorite? Who are some LGBT artists you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments below or link up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! And, of course, happy Pride Month to all those celebrating! You are loved and valuable just the way you are, and you don’t have to compromise your comfort or identity for anyone else. Keep being you and keep shining.

By Madison Murray
Featured Image: LÉA THE LEOX, courtesy of Andrea Higgins PR

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