As lesbian and bisexual women have become more comfortable being out and open about their sexualities in the music industry, they are increasingly more visible. I put together a list of contemporary Black female musicians who should be on your playlist.
Originally from New York and currently in Los Angeles, Latisha “Tish” Hyman is blowing up the pop music scene. She was signed to the independent record label Blues Babe Records by Shawn Gee — who has served as the tour manager for Lil’ Wayne and a music manager for Nicki Minaj. Tish’s debut album Dedicated was released on July 8th, 2016. Her music video “Subway Art” is an exposé of the struggles everyday New Yorkers face trying to survive in the urban jungle.
This Brooklyn artist started rapping at the tender age of nine, went viral online in 2014 when one of her songs became a topic of controversy, and her hit song “Ooouuu” made it on the Billboard 100 Chart. In 2016 this debut single was played seven million times on Spotify. She has stated in a Vogue interview that coming out as a lesbian has helped her music evolve.
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.
Syd tha Kyd
On January 13, 2017, Sydney “Syd” Bennet debuted the song “All About Me” as a solo artist after leaving the hip hop collective Odd Future. She still performs vocals for the R&B group, The Internet, which was nominated at the 2016 Grammy Awards.