We’ll be listening to these artists beyond Pride Month
One of the best things music and art bring to the table is self-expression. It provides everyone an avenue to bend the rules, break boundaries and sing their truths for the world to hear. This Pride Month, we’re highlighting queer Filipino musicians that deserve spots on your playlists. Sure, we’ve got people like Kehlani and beabadoobee taking their spots as LGBTQIA+ icons in the industry, but let’s bring it closer to home, shall we?
When Filipino musician and LGBTQIA+ member and advocate BP Valenzuela dropped Bbgirl featuring August Wahh and No Rome, little did she know she made the anthem for all the women who love women. The song's easy beats and addictive hooks make it an easy listen. Couple it with the lyrics’ unabashed flirtation, Bbgirl makes a saccharine-sweet love song. Five years later, we still have this song on loop.
The first time I heard Filipino musician Stef Aranas was at a college event, and it was a live rendition of her song with fellow duo-mate Euge called With You. Stef’s soulful voice and honest lyrics playing over Eugue’s smooth instrumentals always bring us a brand new experience when listening to each piece. But one of their most poignant songs, Live for Love, paints a hopeful picture for community members. Coming from Stef’s lived experience as a trans woman, the two inject a spark of hope through their music.
Stef’s solo song, Don’t Like You Like That, provides another sassy anthem for brushing unwanted advances with enough finesse to last a lifetime.
UK-based singer Ángelito uses his music to send out important messages such as mental health and HIV awareness. His self-titled debut album explores his refreshing take on bubblegum pop: smooth, otherworldly synths coupled with buttery beats. Ángelito’s songs also explore the complex layers of his youth, from the funny moments to the sorrowful occurrences. Get cradled by his soothing voice by listening to Orange or dance around your room to Mood.
Kio Priest’s discography is a feast for the senses as his addictive pop tracks come with head-turning visuals. Take the duality of his latest song, Die First. The upbeat, acoustic guitar-led instrumental sounds like it’s plucked from a refreshing day out. But when he starts singing, it’s safe to say it’s anything but. This zero-to-100 contrast is reminiscent of Natalia Kills’ Kill My Boyfriend. Kio Priest’s songs often explore his personal experiences while offering much-needed queer representation in music.
Davao-based Filipino musician Paul Pablo is a force to be reckoned with. His songs explore identity, love and social issues with passionate and heartfelt vocals, addictive pop and R&B sound. Drawing inspiration from allies and icons such as Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert, Paul Pablo aims to champion LGBTQIA+ stories while making music anyone can vibe to. Check out his unique songs, such as Bangin and Kalawakan.
Did we miss any queer artists that deserve some more love? Sound off in the comments below.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver