7 Out Musicians to Watch

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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

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

that.”

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

orientation.

Watch a video of Nina Storey’s song “This Naked Woman” here:

For more on Nina Storey, visit her MySpace

page
or her official website.

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