Check Out The 21 Most Promising LGBTQ Artists Of 2019

2019 is almost at its end, guys. If you’re tired of people giving you obvious recommendations when asking about new music, don’t worry, here’s the list that’ll give you hope for next year. 2019 has been an awesome year for LGBTQ artists, so here are some of the most promising ones that shouldn’t fly under your radar.

Photo: Courtesy of The Glimmerist

#21. FHAT

FHAT is one of those musical acts that’s always seeking change. The duo that consists of Aaron and Cedric takes its ambitions very seriously: they’ve already relocated from New York to Los Angeles, to Berlin.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

The boys’ desire to absorb elements from different musical scenes is clearly palpable in their futuristic take of R&B. After starting with a couple of remixes, they released two great tunes which you should listen to ASAP: Pleasure and ONATD.

#20. Troye Sivan

Yes, South African-Australian singer and Youtuber Troye Sivan is practically a star now, we’re aware. But let’s not forget that despite the fact that Troye started to blow up in 2014/2015, he’s still a very young artist with a lot of potential!

Photo: Courtesy of NME

Troye Sivan, who once appeared on Time magazine in their “25 most influential teens” list, released his second studio album last year, which was called Bloom. But the artist has been also making some noise in the industry as a feature on others’ songs. Take 1999 for example, Troye’s collaboration with Charli XCX. That’s just got to be one of the catchiest pop singles of the decade!

#19.  Kim Petras

Charli and Sivan definitely make an explosive duo, and they demonstrate their chemistry again in “2099”, which appeared on the former’s recent album. Kim Petras, on the other hand, only recently dropped her debut album, titled Clarity. The German singer began to gain attention when she toured as the opening act of another star, and you won’t believe who that was!

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

Petras was invited by none other than Troye Sivan to be his supporting act during his successful Bloom tour, I guess the world really is a small place after all, right? But back to Kim’s music, her first studio album was received with rave reviews, so check it out if you haven’t already.

#18. Young M.A

Young M.A. is also having a big year in 2019 with her debut record, called Herstory in the Making. The Brooklyn rapper had risen to fame with the catchy single “Ooouuu” which rocketed into the Billboard top 20. It seems she has dominated the formula because the album is full of bangers, like the song Big.

Photo: Courtesy of XXL 

What’s more, Young M.A. made history as the first LGBTQ rapper to appear on the cover of Out magazine. In the interview, she admitted feeling reluctant to talk about her sexuality, but after thinking about it she accepted the feature, concluding that labels weren’t a real issue, since expressing oneself was more important.

#17. Shea Diamond

Though Shea Diamond may be unknown to many music fans, her story is truly inspiring. The soul singer overcame extreme hardship throughout her childhood and spent many years in prison. After regaining her freedom, Shea went on to become a leader of the transgender rights movement.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

After Shea Diamond’s powerful single I Am Her drew attention from several renowned producers, Warner finally offered her a deal. If you’re curious about Diamond’s work, listen to her impressive EP, called Seen It All.

#16. Lil Nas X

Similarly to Troye Sivan’s case, though Lil Nas X has already rocketed to fame, we think you should stay alert and follow the steps of the Old Town Road star, because he came out with a solid EP titled 7, and his debut full-length album will probably arrive in 2020.

Photo: Courtesy of Kiss 92.5

Besides, Lil Nas has already proved that he’s not a “one-hit wonder”, as several haters claim to dismiss his talent. That’s right, the rapper has already scored another great hit with one of the songs of the EP (Panini), which rose to the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart after its futuristic video received millions of views.

#15. Tommy Genesis

But going back to the underground world of pop and hip hop, Tommy Genesis is another skilled singer that you shouldn’t overlook. The Canadian received praise from many music publications with her World Vision mixtape, and she continued showcasing her sexually explicit lyrics and songwriting abilities on her recent self-titled debut record.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

Yet another proof that the pop world can sometimes seem small: Tommy Genesis’ music got to a broader audience when Charli XCX hopped on a remix for one of her biggest tunes, 100 Bad. If you’re paying attention, you should remember that something similar happened to Troye Sivan… I wonder if they’ve talked about their mutual Charli fandom!

#14. GIRLI

Since we’re talking about queer artists with a straightforward attitude that’s immediately evident in their blunt lyrics, we just got to mention GIRLI. This London artist can creatively blend different genres like punk, rap, and pop.

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But what GIRLI’s best tracks (Girls Get Angry Too and Not That Girl, for example) usually have in common is youthful energy and a direct approach to both sexuality and feminism.

#13. L Devine

Also born and bred in the UK, L Devine is definitely one of the best up-and-coming queer singers right now. Despite her young age (she’s 22), L Devine has already been signed to Warner and BMG. Impressive, right?

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

She still hasn’t dropped a full-length LP, but you can check her two EPs: Growing Pains, from 2017, and Peer Pressure, which came out last year. Look them up on YouTube!

#12. Rina Sawayama

Though Rina Sawayama was born in Japan, she’s been raised in the UK too. Not only does Rina constantly come up with brilliant ideas for her videos, but she’s also known for her amazing dance moves.

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Indeed, Sawayama’s talents are impressively vast, and her ability to infiltrate thoughtful lyrics about her pansexuality or the media’s lack of representation of LGBTQ people in catchy dance-pop tracks is her most unique skill.

#11. Cupcakke

Can you believe Cupcakke is only 22 years old? The rapper first went viral with a couple of singles in 2015, but it was the following year when she definitely broke into the mainstream with her debut mixtape, which was selected by Rolling Stone as the 23rd best rap album of that year.

Photo: Courtesy of The Outline

Cupcakke is known for her hilarious punchlines and a shamelessly explicit approach to sexuality in the lyrics. The picture shows the cover of her third studio album, Ephorize, which was released last year to critical acclaim.

#10. Syd

Also known as Syd Tha Kid, Sydney Loren Bennett has been a relevant figure in the music industry for a while now. She was a member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future (along with Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and others) and founded The Internet.

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The Internet have been a breeze of fresh air for R&B, they’ve released four amazing albums which also incorporate elements of hip-hop, funk, and electronic music. So yeah, Syd has been quite prolific during the last couple of years, however, her solo career is still relatively new.

#9. Perfume Genius

That’s right, Syd Tha Kid has barely put out one full-length record called Fin, in 2017, and an EP. So stay alert for her promising solo projects, and check out The Internet’s smoothest songs like Special Affair or Come Over. But enough about him, let’s talk about our #9!

Photo: Courtesy of Drowned in Sound

Another new artist that has renovated the sound of a genre is Perfume Genius. The Seattle-based indie-pop artist has released two of the most exciting albums of the decade: Too Bright, from 2014, and No Shape, which dropped in 2017. The latter was described as “majestic” by Pitchfork, which rated it with an 8.8/10. Impressive!

#8. Steve Lacy

Along with Syd Tha Kid, Steve Lacy is the key member of The Internet. The young singer, producer, songwriter, and guitarist from Compton started to gain recognition as a solo artist with Steve Lacy’s Demo, the lo-fi EP he dropped in 2017.

Photo: Courtesy of The Fader

Astonishingly, he made most of these great tracks with his iPhone. Who needs expensive studio equipment when you’re so talented! This EP included Lacy’s most famous single, Dark Red, and he followed this debut with his first LP (Apollo XXI) this year.

#7. King Princess

But Steve Lacy has also collaborated with other amazing musicians this year like the band Vampire Weekend. The rising star was featured on two songs of the indie-rock titans’ latest albums: Flower Moon and Sunflower.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

Like Steve Lacy, King Princess has also been blessed with an important co-sign: Mark Ronson offered her a deal with his label after being deeply impressed with the Brooklyn native’s music. Cheap Queen, her debut studio album, is amongst the most solid pop releases of 2019.

#6. Clairo

King Princess has stated that Cheap Queen’s ballads were created in a state of confusion and vulnerability that was due to her sudden success after her single 1950 (which paid homage to the LGBTQ community) went viral. Yet another young indie-pop artist that rose to fame with a viral hit is Clairo.

Photo: Courtesy of LaRata

Clairo is an immensely talented indie-pop and lo-fi singer-songwriter (and guitarist) of Atlanta. She’s released one of the sweetest albums of 2019, her first Lp, called Immunity. Bags, which is one of her most compelling songs, tells the story of the first time she fell in love with a girl and the fear of admitting one’s feelings when the outcome may be negative.

#5. Princess Nokia

Clairo’s record has been an outstanding success and Apple Music recently named her as the “Up Next” artist, an honor that corresponded to Billie Eilish last year. Let’s all hope the high expectations don’t affect her!

Photo: Courtesy of The Glimmerist

Destiny Frasqueri, also known as Princess Nokia, is a rapper from New York. After some time in the underground scene, she started to gain notoriety with her 1992 Deluxe album, which dropped in 2017. You’ll find clever rhymes about her Puerto Rican descent, her strong feminist convictions, and about growing up in the LGBTQ community of New York.

#4. Morgan Saint

In fact, Princess Nokia encourages the women in her shows to occupy the front rows, since she believes that the mosh pits near the stages are a space that has historically corresponded to men. A follow up to the brilliant 1992 Deluxe may be on the way, since she released an awesome single (Sugar Honey Iced Tea) a couple of weeks ago.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Times

Fellow New Yorker Morgan Saint has also fascinated music fans with her attitude. If dream-pop or indie is your thing, check out her EP called 17 Hero. It’s hard to find such a talented songwriter with an equally mesmerizing voice!

#3. Marilina Bertoldi

Marilina Bertoldi is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating rock artists to appear this decade. The Argentinean exploded into the local scene in 2016 with songs like Y Deshacer and Enterrarte.

Photo: Courtesy of Conclusión

But her last album, Prender un Fuego, was what finally earned her the recognition she deserved. Funky hits like Fumar de Día and La Casa de A were amongst the best of the genre last year, and Marilina went on to win the most prestigious music award in her country, which is given to the best album of the year.

#2. Kevin Abstract

If you consider yourself a hip-hop fan, I bet you’re familiar with Brockhampton, a.K.a the best boyband since One Direction. The eclectic collective released three of the greatest albums of 2017 (Saturation I, II, and III).

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Following that explosive year, they released Iridsecence in 2018 and the emotive Ginger a couple of months ago. But their de-facto leader, Kevin Abstract, has also displayed his creativity and bold lyrics about homosexuality in his solo projects. The most recent one, ARIZONA baby, contains outstanding songs like Peach and Baby Boy.

#1. Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana went from busking in the streets of Melbourne to going viral with a homemade video of her playing the song Jungle in her bedroom. If you haven’t already, check some of those stunning performances: they’re full of mindblowing improvisation and guitar solos.

Photo: Courtesy of Revista Semana

But Tash is also loved for her impressive use of multiple effect pedals and different instruments. Those attributes, combined with her hypnotizing voice, explain the acclaim of Tash’s debut album, called Flow State. Listen to it from front to back with no skips for an immersive experience!

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