There is no shortage of queer musical artists quietly making a name for themselves
in cities throughout the U.S., but we’ve brought together five acts (comprised of seven musicians) we think
you should know about, in case you don’t already. Some have been touring and
performing for years; some are turning in a new musical direction; and some
are just about to release debut albums.
All are openly gay and deserve a spin
on your iPod. So sit back and take a look — and listen — to these
out lesbian and bisexual musicians.
Nina Storey uses the phrase "21st-century soul" to describe her
music, "because it’s rooted in a soul sound with bluesy overtones,"
she explained to AfterEllen.com. "The music that I write is a mix of singer-songwriter
acoustic stuff, and then there’s rock, and then there’s quirky stuff that’s
totally out of the box."
A Boulder, Colo., native now living in Los Angeles, Storey has been singing
pretty much her whole life — professionally since the age of 12. She is self-taught,
but grew up in a very musical family: Her mother is a songwriter and producer
(and also acts as her manager and publicist), and her dad is a sound engineer.
Her parents always encouraged her to pursue her craft.
Storey has independently released five albums and is about to release her
sixth later this month. She plans to tour extensively throughout the country
with her new CD. She already has followings in northern and central California,
parts of the Pacific Northwest, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New York and in
Boston, but on this tour she will visit other places as well.
Storey’s music can be heard on both film and television, and she recently
performed a song for the WB series Girlfriends. Her work will also be featured
on the new Fox series Standoff. A more unusual gig is her concert appearance
on Frontier Airlines’ in-flight television channel.
Storey said she hasn’t talked about her sexual orientation in interviews before
this one. "I’ve always kept a very private personal life my entire musical
career," she said. "I’ve always been kind of protective of that. Mostly
it’s just because I’m a pretty shy person, and it feels kind of vulnerable to
me. But I think it’s really important to be a whole person. In my daily life,
I’ve always been out and that’s never been an issue."
The subject matter of Storey’s songs runs the gamut from relationships to
politics and social commentary. "I definitely have some music that’s more
pointed and more out, and then some stuff that’s more general," she said.
"Personally I’ve lived a life where I’ve had relationships with men and
women and celebrated both of those things equally, and my music has always reflected
But Storey and the persona of a particular song aren’t necessarily one and
the same. "That’s the beautiful safety that you have writing," she
said. "It may or may not be about me. It may be thinly veiled or completely
fictitious. I would like the listener to have the opportunity to interpret it
however they want."
Storey described some of her songs as gender-bending, such as "Better
Man," where she sings in the first person of the people who have inspired
her to be a better man. She also has a song about someone transitioning. "I
toy with the concept of identity," Storey said.
"If you’re writing music from a passionate place, the listener is hopefully
going to identify with that," she said, regardless of their gender or sexual
Watch a video of Nina Storey’s song "This Naked Woman" here: