How many female artists do you listen to? How many non-binary artists do you listen to?
Equalising Music Pledge is a movement to ‘shift the diversity dial and push for greater gender balance in the music industry.’
Only 17% of PRS for Music’s registered songwriters are female, the gender pay gap at major music companies averaged at 30% and only 15% of labels are majority owned by women.
Since Smirnoff first launched Equalising Music in 2017, there has been a growing response to the vital need for inclusivity and representation for women both on stage and behind the scenes.
UK radio host Annie Mac came out in support of the campaign today. She’s performed at some of the world’s best festivals: Lovebox and Creamfields in the UK, Ultra in Miami, Dalt Villa in Ibiza, and Coachella in Palm Springs.
Annie explained: ‘The music industry is still embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity. We are all acutely aware of the enormous contribution women make to this business, and yet there’s still so much work to be done to ensure they’re embraced and championed, both in front of and behind the scenes.’
But not only should everyone be backing female artists more, they should also be backing non-binary and trans artists.
So, we’re here to help. Here are 30 amazing queer women and non-binary people in the music industry who you should be listening to.
Find a playlist of all mentioned artists at the bottom of the article.
Artists you may already know
St Vincent is an American singer-songwriter and producer. She’s been working in the music industry since 2003.
She has explained that she does not believe ‘gender or sexual absolutism.’ Instead she says that fully supports and engages ‘in the spectrum.’
The singer has 13 awards to her name, including a Grammy Award for 2019 Best Rock Song.
Affectionately labelled Lesbian Jesus by her fans and the press, Hayley Kiyoko is an American singer-songwriter and actress.
She has been going from strength to strength since released her first album, Expectations, in early 2018.
That same year, she won MTV Push Artist of the Year and Billboard Women in Music Rising Star.
Powerhouse Janelle Monae is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer.
She’s been active in the industry since 2003. Most recently, she took the world by storm with her bisexual jam Make Me Feel. Janelle herself identifies as pansexual.
For her acting and music, she’s received a total of 68 award nominations to date. She has so far won over half of them (38).
American singer, songwriter, record producer Kehlani has long sung about her attraction to the same-sex.
In 2018, she labelled herself as queer.
Kehlani has been nominated at the Grammy’s twice.
Tove Lo is a Swedish singer-songwriter. Despite starting to write songs in 2006, she didn’t achieve international mainstream success until 2014.
It was 2016 when Tove Lo came out publicly as bisexual.
The singer has been nominated for over 50 awards since 2014.
Christine and The Queens
Pansexual Héloïse Letissier is professionally know as Christine and The Queens.
She came out as pan in 2014.
Over the course of her career so far, she has been nominated for nearly 40 awards.
Artists you may not have heard of
ZAND is an ‘out and proud non binary‘ person.
They’ve been ‘properly’ creating music since they were 20.
GIRLI is a London born-and-bred singer, songwriter and rapper.
She identifies as pansexual, and toured for the first time within a year of graduating college.
American singer King Princess’s debut single 1950 reached a wide audience after popular singer Harry Styles tweeted the lyrics.
They’re genderqueer and gay.
German performer Kim Petras has been in the eye of the media since she was young, after coming out as trans in her early teens.
She toured the world in 2018 as Troye Sivan’s opening act.
Dodie Clark, known professionally as dodie, is an English singer-songwriter, author and YouTuber.
She’s been releasing music online since 2011, but didn’t release her first EP until 2016. That same year, she came out as bisexual.
Planningtorock is a genderqueer artist from England.
They’ve been creating and releasing music since 2004.
FLETCHER’s debut single War Paint went viral on Spotify when she released it in 2015.
Her music video for 2016 track Wasted Youth saw her with a female love interest.
Kelela identifies as queer.
She’s released 9 singles so far, and has appeared on Solange’s album A Seat at the Table.
SOPHIE is a record producer, singer, songwriter, and DJ from Scotland.
She explained to PAPER magazine that for her, transness is ‘is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit so the two aren’t fighting against each other.’
Lucy Whittaker is an electro Pop artist from England.
She’s been released music since 2015.
This English singer and songwriter released her debut in 2017.
L Devine explained that growing up, she ‘literally can’t think of anyone, like [she] can’t think of a queer artist.’
American singer and songwriter Daya’s debut single in 2015, Hide Away, peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two years later, she won a Grammy in 2017 for her track Don’t Let Me Down.
In 2018, she came out as bisexual on Coming Out Day.
Maggie Lindemann is an American singer and songwriter who released her debut single in 2016.
This track, Pretty Girl, peaked at number 2 in Sweden, number 4 in Belgium, number 8 in Norway and the UK and number 16 in the Netherlands. She came out as bisexual this year also.
Lady Leshurr is the professional name for English grime and hip hop rapper Melesha Katrina O’Garro. She is best known for her Queen’s Speech series of freestyles.
The artist came out as pansexual in 2018.
Bands and groups
Rituals of Mine
Rituals of Mine members, Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez, are both queer.
Queer pop group MUNA have earned themselves support from the likes of Harry Styles.
Every member of American band No Girlfriends is a lesbian.
PVRIS’s lead singer, Lynn Gunn, is lesbian.
The xx’s front woman, Romy Madley Croft, is lesbian.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Alynda Lee Segarra is the queer front woman of this American band.
Khaela Maricich is the queer front woman of The Blow.
Kera and the Lesbians
Despite the name, no one in Kera and the Lesbians is a lesbian. However, lead singer KERA is genderqueer.
It Was Romance
It Was Romance is a band consisting of one queer woman – Lana Moore.
Lower Dens’ front woman Jana Hunter is queer and identifies ‘within the trans community.’