Growing up, I always wished there were more people similar to me on TV, the radio, and magazine covers. These days especially, I think it’s super important to have diversity within media and the music and pop culture scene so young people of all different lifestyles have people to look up to and then see their own beliefs, circumstances, and outlooks on life reflected back. That's why today, I decided to create this playlist, “Stand Together,” consisting of multiple artists who identify as POC and/or LGBTQ+ and whose music works to celebrate and shed light on these voices and experiences.
#Shamir , for example, is a black queer artist from Nevada who doesn't identify as male or female, proving that non-binary people can be active and successful in the music industry just the same. I first started listening to her in 2015, when the musician opened for #MarinaandtheDiamonds ’ Neon Nature Tour. Shamir’s music is so uplifting. “On the Regular” is her most well-known song for obvious reasons: its catchy chorus and the track’s electronic beat.
Artists #AmberBain from #TheJapaneseHouse and #MarikaHackman are advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, and they make great music as solo artists. Amber’s beautiful, relaxing songs are perfect for when you’re studying, painting, or going for a drive. I’ve seen her live a couple of times, and she never disappoints. Of everyone on this list, though, one of the most inspiring to me is Willow Smith. Willow is only 16 years old, yet she’s achieved so much at her young age. Her album, Ardipithecus, was written when she was only 14, yet the lyrics are so mature, discussing issues like love, identity, and growing up. Plus, her voice is so easy to fall in love with. “Marceline” and “Wait a Minute” are two songs that I never get tired of hearing. These artists and more, like #BloodOrange and #KevinAbstract , are all rad examples of the different sorts of people who help make up my growing music taste, and they’re worth checking out, not only for their music but also for their messages. If you haven't already listened to these artists, tap the link above to listen to the playlist on Obsessee’s Spotify. — @menswearmisha