32 Musical Artists You Can Support if You Care About Media Representation
Alright, we can all have endless debates about whether Taylor Swift is feminist or not, but the best way to make sure we see progressive representation in music is to actually listen to and support marginalized artists. I have a massive music library, so here are a few musicians I’ve picked out for people looking to support artists who are LGBTQ, racial/religious minorities, disabled, or otherwise underrepresented in their various genres. Please feel free to pass it around and add to it!
I don’t listen to these artists because they’re [insert marginalized status here], I listen to them because I believe each of them is a talented musician deserving of exposure and each of them has at least a handful of excellent songs. Some of them create art that specifically deals with minority status. Some do not. I cannot guarantee that none of them have said or done awful things any more than I can anyone else who I only know through listening to their music; I also cannot say that they haven’t done great things.
A project by Odd Future collaborators Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians, The Internet is a hip-hop neo-soul group, slickly produced and with huge, foreboding atmospheres. Syd tha Kyd is an openly gay woman of Jamaican descent. Their most recent album, ‘Ego Death’, was released this year. Listen to: “Get Away”
At the age of only 23, Angel Haze already has an extensive discography of mixtapes, on which they rap with dexterous flow and fierce conviction with pop-friendly choruses. Angel most famously did their own cover of Eminem’s ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ in which they detail their childhood sexual abuse in gut-wrenching detail. They are a genderqueer artist of African and Native-American descent. They have a new mixtape, Back to the Woods, coming out September 14th. Listen: “Werkin’ Girls”
Antony & the Johnsons/Anohni
One of the most prominent transgender musicians in the indie scene, Antony’s milky, dolorous voice has been her calling card for her erudite chamber-pop since 2000. She is currently working on an album under the name Anohni. Listen: “Hope There’s Someone”
Samantha Crain makes plaintive and delicate music that straddles the line between folk and alt rock while telling detailed stories of the American working class. Her new album, 'Under Branch & Thorn & Tree’, came out this year. She is of Choctaw heritage. Listen: “Elk City”
Brooklyn artist Torres’ new album, Sprinter, is a nine-song tour de force about religion, adulthood, anxiety and homoeroticism. She is currently touring with Garbage. Listen: “Strange Hellos”
FKA twigs is a British musician and dancer whose sparse, sensual electronic music is at the forefront of a new incarnation of R&B. She is of Jamaican and Spanish descent. She recently released an EP titled 'M3LL155X’. Listen: “Two Weeks”
It brings to mind a conversation I recently had with my friend Antony [Hegarty], the singer. He had been listening to my record, and he said something interesting, he said : “When everything fails, you can always just go back home.”
That made me think. Yes, it’s true. I went back to Iceland and wrote a record. I could do that—I am incredibly fortunate. There are so many people here [gestures out the window, at Manhattan] who, if they have a bad year or something, simply cannot go home—there is no “home” to return to. A lot of Antony’s friends are transgender, people who have been ostracised from the communities they come from. New York is like a collection of all of America’s outcasts. They all flee here. So, I thought that was an interesting point of view, this idea that we from Iceland can allow ourselves to be a little more daring ; if everything fails, we can just go home.
Björk recognizing the privilege she has being able to “go back home” to Iceland, 2015
Anohni, a trans singer who previously performed under the name Antony Hegarty, became the second transgender singer to receive an Oscar nomination, for her song “Manta Ray,” for the documentary Racing Extinction. Yet, a nomination is all the history that will be made: Hegarty will not be appearing onstage at the Oscars on Sunday. Meanwhile, a well-known rock star not even nominated for any music, will.
El 24 de noviembre de 1944 nace James Lawrence Slattery, conocida
después y hasta su muerte como Candy Darling, una ‘Warhol Superstar’,
musa del susodicho artista, y actriz de algunas de sus películas, Flesh
(1968), Women in Revolt (1971). Murió a sus 29 años, de leucemia,
causada por las hormonas de feminización.
November 24th 1944, James Lawrence Slattery was born, later known as Candy darling, Warhol Superstar and muse of that artist and actress of some of his movies, Flesh
(1968), Women in Revolt (1971). She died when she was 29 years old, of leukimia caused by the hormones she took to transition.
Hey I know everyone’s still upset about #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoMale and Carol got snubbed and whatnot but, kind of a big deal, a transwoman named Antony Hegarty got nominated for Best Song (“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction, a bizarrely beautiful song), making her, I believe, the first openly trans person nominated for an Oscar. So that’s really awesome.