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Seven Black Queer Artists You Should Stream This Summer

As the queer community continues to develop with more people identifying across the sexuality and gender spectrum, musical artists are becoming more vocal about their identities—opening the door for marginalized artists to assume their rightful thrones.

Here are seven Black queer artists you should add to your summer playlist.

Blake Fusilier

Originally from Atlanta, Blake Fusilier grew up loving to untangle a mystery. Fascinated by the brain, he pursued a career in neurobiology. But after college, he realized that there was a purer version of himself that needed to emerge.

That self manifested in musical form as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, and then as a solo artist. He plays most of the instruments himself. That means when you hear a Fusilier song, you’re hearing myriad incarnations of his artistic vision at once, and that’s no accident. Through rock, pop, and funk, he sings the unspoken stories that have collected in his mind for years.

Follow him on Instagram 

 

Marck Angel

Evoking the charismatic timbre of the Jacksons, with a splash of present-day urban soul, Marck Angel is a highly versatile music artist whose soft, skilled, countertenor vocal styling is only matched by his talent for songwriting and producing. And if that’s not enough, he’s got a potent dose of urban dance choreography to add to his palatable agenda. 

Marck heavily credits the influence of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tevin Campbell, Ralph Tresvant, El Debarge and Marvin Gaye. The impact of these multi-talented artists spurred Marck’s diverse interests and abilities; he was dancing (on beat) at age two, singing by four, writing songs at 10, and producing them at 16.

In May 2018, his most recent effort and newest music video for “Maybe” garnered over 1.2 million views (and climbing). The paramount single/video is the first track setting the stage for his upcoming album, Seraphim. The record will pay sonic homage to pop, rock, hip-hop, soul, and world dance music, but substantively speak to social issues, political rhetoric, and cultural commentary. 

Follow him on Instagram

B.Slade

A 2017 Emmy winner and three-time Grammy-nominated artist, B.Slade is called to write, produce and perform alongside his musical idols, from Janet Jackson to Snoop Dogg.  He began his journey over 20 years ago and has since written and produced more than 300 songs for some of the biggest artists in the industry including Chaka Khan (“I Love Myself”), Sheila E. (“Fiesta”), Faith Evans (“Paradise”), and Angie Fisher, for whom he wrote and co-produced the 2014 debut smash hit single, “I.R.S.”, garnering Ms. Fisher’s first Grammy nomination and B.Slade’s third.

Often compared to Prince, B.Slade plays multiple instruments, makes memorable appearances in all genres of music, and has an unmatched vocal range. His latest single, “Cough it Up,” is now making waves.

Follow him on Facebook

 

Cakes Da Killa

Cakes Da Killa made international headlines in 2018 during Black History Month when, during a performance in NYC, he requested all white patrons get off the stage to make room for Black audience members to dance to his music. Cakes is someone who not only takes pride in music but, more importantly, his people and his culture.

The Brooklyn-based rapper has a growing name in the music industry—specifically the LGBTQ music scene. Bradshaw started rapping in high school for fun before considering it as a career. He first began writing tracks to instrumentals he found on the internet, and then posted them to Facebook.

Since 2011, Bradshaw has released three mixtapes (Easy Bake Oven Vol. 1, The Eulogy, and Hunger Pangs), and his debut album Hedonism entered the market in 2016. He continues to perform across the country at various festivals, clubs, and music venues—changing the game of rap music as we know it. 

Follow him on Facebook  

Shea Diamond

“The struggle looks different for different people. But this music is for everyone.” So testifies Shea Diamond, who, with a gritty mix of sounds that digs into everything from R&B, rock, and hip-hop to blues, folk, and gospel, makes music that speaks to the universal experience while sharing from her very personal one.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Shea, which makes her music even more powerful and necessary — not only for trans women, but for everyone. Desperate for money for a sex reassignment surgery, she committed armed robbery and served 10 years in a men’s prison. Here, Shea found her voice, often singing to other inmates who quickly became fans of her song “I am Her.” 

During a Black Trans Lives Matter event years later, Shea was discovered by songwriter Justin Trantor (Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez) after her a capella performance of “I Am Her.” Trantor brought her to L.A., where they co-wrote three songs for her project Seen it All.

With Seen It All, her soulful and soul-baring debut EP (Asylum Records) executive-produced by Justin Tranter, she is turning her struggle into her triumph.

Her latest track, “Keisha Complexion,” addresses colorism, with Shea singing about feeling herself more after finding a man who loves her dark skin. 

Follow her on Instagram

Aurora Lloyd

This 26-year-old transgender woman out of Philadelphia is a multi-talented choreographer, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist who has been performing since the age of eight. (She was inspired after seeing and meeting the cast of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.)

Lloyd has written music for the web series Willology and The Art of The D, in which she also stars. She released her first mixtape, Inside My Notebook, in 2016, containing interesting combinations of trap, R&B, pop, poetry, neo-soul, and even a touch of opera.

Lloyd is currently promoting her newest song,  “Stay Here.”

Follow her on Instagram

Dave Tony

Dave Tony was born into a very musical family and, even as a toddler, his own musical abilities were evident. In 2003, Dave Tony officially embarked on a singing career, and he has performed backup vocals for independent artists such as Nhojj, Kenya Sollas, Crystal Monee Hall, Judith Casselberry of Casselberry and Dupree, and Rhonda Ross, daughter of icon Diana Ross. Tony has shared the stage with Crystal Waters and Lady Gaga, and released his solo debut, the neo-soul/R&B album Life Lessons,  in May 2017.

Follow him on Facebook


George M. Johnson

George M. Johnson is a black queer journalist and activist located in the Nyc area. He has written for TheRoot, ET, HIVequal, TheGrio, TeenVogue, NBC News and several other major publications.

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