Growing up, mainstream music and media never really had the representation that spoke to me. But I think it’s time for queer children to be given the kind of depiction they deserve. Queer artists must be heard for us to hear the stories that reflect who they are. In line with that, I strongly urge you to listen to the music of these five local queer music artists!
If you are looking for new OPM artists to follow, you better dive into these 5 local queer music artists
Filipino R&B musician Dom Guyot hails from Cebu City. The distinctive and sensuous tone, sophisticated riffs and runs, clever and beautiful lyricism, and haunting melodies of this local queer music artist are his trademarks. Dom has been putting his own spin on R&B with his recently released singles.
Meantime, he makes songs that range from relaxed and soulful to vibrant and sensual, all displaying intense passion and vulnerability. Also, he choreographs the dances for his songs, writes the lyrics, and directs his own music videos. The complete package we all need.
Meanwhile, Unbeloved, a 43-minute musical journey that recounts Dom’s tale of loss and reimagined love, is his debut full-length album. It is a compilation of some of his favorite songs. He claims that the songs were created at the most “unbeloved” period of his life. Likewise, Unbeloved chronicles the love-filled journey of a young queer person who finds love, loses it, and then finds it again. Five sections make up the album, and the twelve tracks range in style from modern R&B to pop and soul.
Paul Pablo is a local queer music artist who deserves to be on our radar. He entered the OPM scene with a distinctive pop style that combined electro-pop, indie, disco, synth-pop, and R&B. He was born and raised in Davao City. Meanwhile, Paul Pablo came out as gay to his family and friends when he was 14 years old. He had known he was gay since he was a little boy. Since that time, he has grown into an openly gay man, gradually revealing his dynamic and unapologetic nature.
Moreover, for the month of August 2021, he was named the “Myx Spotlight Artist,” and he was featured in prominent Philippine newspapers. On the other hand, his most recent single, Di Inakala, was launched as his career continued to advance. He added Di Inakala, a song that recounts a love story, to his “hugotronic” music. It’s a sweet song to find your person.
As the lead vocalist of the pop R&B combo Stef & Euge, this local queer music artist transforms personal experiences into sumptuous rhythmic songs. Stef Aranas, as a transgender, sings loud and boldly in a world where transgender voices frequently go ignored. Further, fans who had troubled romantic backstories and share similar ideals have been connecting with her pop and R&B songs from her solo ventures and Stef & Euge.
Meanwhile, she hopes that her decision to break up with a guy she adores in her new song Don’t Like You Like That will inspire her queer sisters to take risks in both their work and their relationships during Pride Month. Moreover, Aranas makes films that explore trans identity, such as Resolving ‘Your Biggest Fan’, which she submitted to the 2021 Toronto Queer Film Festival.
Our next local queer music artist was born and reared in the little Camarines Norte town of Daet. At the young age of 17, Kio Priest set off for the city of Manila to pursue his dream of working as a songwriter for a few record labels. He created various songs at the beginning of his career for Nadine Lustre, James Reid, Enchong Dee, Matteo Guidicelli, and many others.
Meanwhile, he now has a new lease on life and is a proud part of the LGBTQIA+ community. He wants to speak out for the community’s young aspirants. He also wants to produce more relevant songs by using same-sex pronouns and real-life situations as themes in his tracks, tailoring tunes that communicate his story as a queer artist. One of them is his single I Wish You Were Gay. It reminds us of the times when we were foolish and wished that someone we like were also gay.
On the other hands, his most recent song, Pretty Boy, will undoubtedly get you up and wanting a pretty boy. With flawless vocals, catchy lyricism, and groovy music, Kio Priest’s song is indeed a serotonin booster.
Jason Dhakal is a modern queer R&B and neo-soul artist who was born and raised in Oman. At the young age of 4, he became passionate about music. In order to pursue a self-sufficient existence in and of music, Jason returned to the shores of his motherland in 2017 and settled himself in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, Jason’s distinctive sound presents an astonishing range, full of sensuous intensity born from fearlessly speaking, writing, and living his own truth. It is wrapped in elegant production and soft synths.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to find a song that strikes the perfect combination of dreamy and lively. Because of this, Jason’s most recent hit, can’t get enough, is a breath of fresh air in the R&B scene. Jason’s musicality reaches new heights on can’t get enough, which features a stunning drum and wind instrument accompanying that enhances his vocal talent.
Similarly, can’t get enough begins softly before becoming into a full-on, fast-paced neo-soul ballad that celebrates queer love at its height. It’s a lively and daring song that’s designed to keep you off your toes. It’s simple to understand why can’t get enough is so popular because it resonates with a wide audience. Jason’s smooth vocals are also undeniable, especially when paired with sensual lyrics that arouse passion.
All in all
Doubtlessly, local queer artists are becoming more popular, and through their music, they reflect many LGBTQ+ spectrums. By challenging heteronormative standards, these queer artists give queer youth the representation they deserve. They show that they are unapologetically queers. They don’t adjust their music in response to how well it is received by the public. Instead, they face them and allow them to overtake them. They are the way they are for a reason that few people can fully understand.
Meanwhile, these openly queer artists support diversity in their work and are emphatic that the music industry has to include inclusive LGBTQ+ representation. By being who they are, they overcome obstacles. By writing songs that everyone can enjoy, these queer musicians contribute to raising the rainbow flag.