Celebrate Pride Month by getting to know some of the vibrant and diverse 2SLGBTQ+ voices in Canadian music. Spanning multiple genres from rap to vocal jazz, these talented musicians fearlessly express their queer identities through their art, creating music that is both perfect for Pride Month festivities and everyday listening.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, DijahSB brings a fresh perspective to rap as a non-binary artist. Through earnest and quick-witted lyrics, DijahSB’s music describes triumphing over difficult moments like heartbreak and emotional lows, while also celebrating the joy of life. Their music presents a genuine and unique exploration of the experiences and emotions of a Black non-binary rapper.
“This honestly is a special moment to see anybody that’s non-binary,” DijahSB told gal–dem. “The representation does matter, and you never know who’s watching – you never know who’s listening, never know whose life you might change just for being yourself openly. For there to be any sort of representation is very amazing.”
Canadian crooner, Mathew V is creating a queer space in a musical genre that is not traditionally known for having queer representation. On his album Anything Goes, Mathew V breathes new life into timeless jazz classics like “Moon River” and “Georgia On My Mind.” With authenticity and pride, he performs these renditions through the lens of a queer man, sharing his experiences, perspectives, and insights on love.
“Queer culture, gay history, and jazz music have a lot of parallels,” Mathew V told Queerforty. “Jazz music was vilified not just as a genre of music but as a lifestyle that society looked down upon. It was synonymous with sin. This music lives at the intersection of camp, glamour, and showmanship, which are all aspects that inform the very essence of my performance.”
Kim Villagante, known professionally as Kimmortal, is a queer Filipino-Canadian musician, songwriter and visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Blending together their love for hip-hop, visual art, theatre, spoken word, ancestral wisdom, and liberation, Kimmortal aims to construct immersive environments where queer and diasporic individuals can find a sense of belonging.
In the description of the music video for their hit single THIS D*KE, Kimmortal told fans, “I wanted to create a sexy banger for the d*k3s, femmes, queer community, and ultimately for me because I have never fully leaned into expressing my queer sexuality in a track and my journey of getting here is what I am most proud of.”
Wares is a Canadian musical group hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, founded by transgender musician Cassia Hardy. Their latest album, Survival, intimately explores Hardy’s personal journey of transitioning. Delving deep into the challenges she has faced, Wares’ music beautifully encapsulates the full spectrum of Hardy’s emotions, experiences, and her path toward hope and acceptance.
“The songs on this album are really personal to my journey,” she told Mint Records. “The worlds inside it are about carving out an identity and learning acceptance so you can join a community for a better world. Finding people and opening your heart to companionship, love, and vulnerability is the real deal. I just want to reach people wherever I can.”
Singer-songwriter Shawnee Kish is a Two-Spirit Mohawk performer who thinks of music as medicine. During a time when Kish was struggling with her identity as a queer Indigenous woman, music helped her find her place in the world and connect with others. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous youth and 2SLGBT2Q+ communities, Kish’s music is meant to inspire and uplift.
“I don’t have control over the hands my music will get into, where my career will end up, where music will take me,” she told SOCAN Magazine. “But I do have control of growing as a writer, as a lyricist, as a person who can stand tall and tell my story. And I hope that I might be able to change someone else who’s like me.”