As Pride season amps up, we’re sure to hear cherished classics from Diana Ross and Madonna being played to death at festivals and parades. While empowering anthems from our fav allies capture the essence of pride, why not turn up the party with songs that speak to our experience?
Between established stars like Janelle Monáe and Troye Sivan and rising DIY talents like ROB.B and Tami T, the LGBTQ community is brimming with new anthems that run the gamut of queer themes. From bops about bi-curiosity and bottoming to anthems that deconstruct the gender binary or celebrate the power of peen, these 20 tracks will help bring authenticity to any Pride festivities.
Don’t miss the accompanying Spotify playlist at the end of this article for a last-minute soundtrack for your own pride party.
1. MNEK – “Girlfriend”
At 24, this singer-producer has already worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna, and Christina Aguilera, among others. On “Girlfriend,” a stand-out off last year’s pristine debut album Language – MNEK embraces his love for Y2K-era urban pop on this way-too-relatable track about hooking up with the closest case. “Neither you nor your story’s straight,” sneers the British talent.
2. Hayley Kiyoko – “Curious”
“I’m just curious / Is it serious?” flirts the rising pop star, cheekily referencing her crush’s bi-curiosity. In her short career, fans have honored Kiyoko with the most prestigious of nicknames: “Lesbian Jesus.”
3. Kiddy Smile (feat. Crookers) – “Dickmatized”
“You’ve been dickmatized / It’s too late,” chants Paris-based House of Mizrahi member Kiddy Smile over a throbbing beat that reeks of poppers. Relatable.
4. ROB.B – “What’s Your Lyfe Lyke?”
The Los Angeles-based stud shows off his bars on this brag-happy rap banger: “These other dudes is Bait Bus and straight played / I’m the only homo outbound to get straight paid / It’s survival of the fiercest faggots / Slay or get slayed.” The colorful music video, which features the rapper straddling a giant eggplant, takes this track to the next level. The heartthrob will take the stage at LA Pride on June 8.
5. Kandy and Madison Rose – “Keeping Secrets”
Fans of Rihanna’s team-ups with Calvin Harris would be sorry not to give this club-ready collab between out-and-proud producer Kandy and rising pop singer Madison Rose a few spins.
6. King Princess – “Pussy Is God”
The Mark Ronson protégé co-wrote this ode to vaginas with her famous girlfriend, Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg.
7. Pabllo Vittar – “Entao Vai”
Did you know there’s a drag queen with more than three times as many Instagram followers than RuPaul? Brazilian technobrega singer Pabllo Vittar has collabed with Charli X and Diplo. In fact, Pabllo shares a steamy makeout sesh with famous DJ in this track’s music video.
8. Rhyan Besco (feat. Diamond White) – “Naked”
“He said ‘I’m so faded’ / I said ‘congratulations’ / I’m so glad you made it / Now can you be naked?,” inquires the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter in his bedroom voice over an icy, minimal beat.
9. Solomon Ray (feat. Mancandy) – “Llama A Tu Novio”
Think Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” but make it gay and Spanish. The Latin hunks trade verses on this anthem for those tired of being the chick on the side.
10. Tami T – “Princess”
“Don’t call me she or her / The pronoun I prefer / Is your majesty,” squeaks trans Swedish pop singer Tami T before bursting into this twinkling dance track’s euphoric chorus. The last ten seconds of its accompanying music video – where she reveals she filmed the whole thing in what appears to be a corner in her loft – is the ultimate mic drop moment.
11. Shea Diamond – “American Pie”
The trans soul singer’s latest single is deeply personal, but its message is universal: oppressed communities deserve equal rights. “Who’s gonna say my want is not a need?” the rising star ponders.
12. Sakima – “Daddy” (ft. YXLR)
Inspired by the pornographic lyrics of Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home,” electro-R&B crooner Sakima wrote “Daddy” as an equally seductive, queer equivalent.
13. Naomi Smalls – “Pose”
“Shoulders back, hips forward,” commands the stylish RuPaul’s Drag Race superstar over a throbbing beat that sounds straight out of a seedy sex club.
14. Troye Sivan – “Bloom”
Upon this track’s arrival, the prince of queer pop tweeted (and then deleted) “#BopsForBottoming,” confirming why he needs his lover to “take a second, baby, slow down.”
15. Holland – “I’m Not Afraid”
K-pop’s first openly gay idol celebrates the freedom of coming out on this jubilant techno jam.
16. Dorian Electra – “Flamboyant”
Non-binary singer Dorian Electra channels Liberace in the music video for this funky, autotune-heavy track.
17. Lizette Lizette – “Non”
“You wanna call me a girl / You wanna call me a woman / I am non,” snarls the Swedish-Peruvian club kid on this thumping declaration of their refusal to conform to the gender binary. This throbbing club track wouldn’t feel out of place among a playlist of ’90s House throwbacks.
18. LP – “Girls Gone Wild”
After writing for the likes of Cher and Rihanna, LP (short for Laura Pergolizzi) breaks out on her own and channels her inner John Wayne on this hazy, summer-ready ode to West Coast women.
19. Gia Woods – “New Girlfriend”
Pop newcomer Gia Woods taunts her ex on this summer-ready bop: “I met your new girlfriend, she’s cool / Betcha I still smell like her perfume.”
20. Janelle Monáe (feat. Grimes) – “Pynk”
The multi-talented superstar’s snappy proclamation of the power of pussy is a must for Pride festivals.
Listen to and follow the playlist below.