Top 5 artists to be listening to during LGBTQ+ history month

The UP interviewed several students on campus about their favorite LGBTQ+ artist.

Gregory Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

LGBTQ+ history month has arrived! It’s time to celebrate the many trailblazing voices belonging to the community. With the school’s annual drag show on Oct. 22, the UP interviewed students for music suggestions to create a playlist featuring pioneering LGBTQ+ voices in music. 

Here are the top five LGBTQ+ artists students think you should be listening to.


1. Shygirl — “BB” 

Lady Gaga featured Shygirl on her latest remix album, “Dawn of Chromatica.” Her remix of the song “Sour Candy” peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard U.S. Dance chart. Shygirl is known to collaborate with trans artist Arca as well.

“I love listening to Shygirl because of her unusual beats. ‘BB’ is one of my favorite songs by her.” said Kylie Aylies, a senior in the university’s studio art program. The music video for “BB” has 700k views on YouTube.


2. Tyler, the Creator — “EARFQUAKE”

“He’s Tyler, the Creator, not just Tyler the musician,” said sophomore linguistics major Lisa Ramirez. 

This certainly rings true considering Tyler’s track record, and his collaborative projects with singer Frank Ocean,  he recently won a Grammy for his album IGOR that features this track. 

“I like him because although he has a pretty problematic past, you can see through his work as it changes, that he’s just trying to become a better person,” said Ramirez. 

Lyrics in some of his older songs landed Tyler in some hot water. Ramirez is on the optimistic side, hoping his growth as an artist reflects his own personal growth as well. “EARFQUAKE” peaked at number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100 in the year 2019.


3. Sam Smith — “Too Good At Goodbyes” 

Sam Smith came out as nonbinary in 2019. They wrote the theme song for the Bond film “Spectre,” winning them the Academy Awards for “Best Music (Original Song).” Smith is featured on the song “Latch” with the electronic duo Disclosure. The song peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Smith’s music tells a message that anyone can identify with. Winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist this year, as well as in 2018 and 2015. 

“I love their music so much. I just relate to this song a lot,” said Erin Mullholland, a freshman business major. 

Smith’s also responsible for other hits like “Dancing with a Stranger” which is a collaboration with popular R&B artist Normani, once again peaking at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.


4. Lil Nas X — “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”

Lil Nas X recently dropped a new album that became number five on the Top 5 from the Billboard 200. Some students on campus express great admiration for his ability to make catchy chart-topping tunes. 

“I love how when he makes a new song, half the posts on TikTok use his music,” said Lenel Metayer, a chemistry major. 

“Honestly I just like the melody behind some of the songs,” said Metayer. His song “Old Town Road (remix)” won him four Billboard Music Awards, establishing Lil Nas X as a queer voice that is here to stay.


5. Frank Ocean — “Nights” 

Frank Ocean released his album “Blonde” in 2016, making it five years since he released new music. 

“I like Frank because he explains very specific emotions that everyone feels but are hard to describe,” said Paul Leachman, a freshman in the college’s political science program.  

Ocean used to belong to the label Odd Future Records, notable rapper Tyler, The Creator is a former part of that label as well. His debut mainstream album “Channel Orange ” got nominated by the Recording Academy for album of the year at the 2012 Grammys, not to mention his latest work featured backup vocals from Queen B herself, Beyoncé. Ocean is known to collaborate with popular rap star Kanye West.

Gregory Rodriguez is a Contributing Writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected].