Be Steadwell has been writing pop music full of soul and funk for ten years. In this time, she’s grown a YouTube following and independently released and toured a showcase of smart, poetic lyrics and multi-layered but lofi sound. This spring, she released her first studio album with the help of a grant (Astrea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund). Her sound taken to the next level, she also collaborated with some amazing artists on this album, such as Asha Santee, Kei Slaughter, and Ganessa James. She co-wrote the song “The Door” with out lesbian and Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest favorite Toshi Reagon, who also plays bass and guitar on the track.
She says “I started making music because I believe that everyone deserves pop music, everybody deserves love songs, everybody deserves cheesy. That’s why I make music. This album is a collection of love songs I’ve written in the past ten years from my perspective as a super queer black woman who loves love.”
She also talks about love as a powerful political response to fascism. “I wrote “Gay Sex” a couple weeks after the Nazi/Klan rally in Charlottesville. I was so fucking sad and scared and pissed off at how this administration is normalizing xenophobia and ignorance. I wanted so badly to write a FUCK TRUMP type song, but it felt frivolous to me. Didn’t feel empowering. I wanted to laugh, and remind myself and my folks that we’re so beautiful for loving the way we do.” Add this one to your Pride soundtrack.
Although the album is called “Queer Love Songs” there is plenty that will resonate with lesbian and bi listeners, not the least of which is her use of female pronouns in many love songs. “Netflix,” about the late night binge bed death, is sure to be a fan favorite for its funny lyrics. “Let Me Go” and “The Door” take the album in a bittersweet/heart wrenching direction that will move you.
You can listen to the whole album on Spotify, YouTube iTunes, pretty much anywhere you usually stream.
Be Steadwell has a number of tour dates, and is also performing at a number of festivals this summer, including Sister Space and Michigan Framily Reunion.