#Representation Series PT.5
We’re doing a series of posts this season supporting people who’ve impacted our EDM community. Happy Pride Month! As a continuation of the series we are highlighting 30 incredible LGBTQIA+ artists. Go show them some love by adding their tracks to your playlists and seeing them at any upcoming events. Make sure to click on each artists’ name to take you to their Spotify profiles!
Based in Los Angeles, formally known as Ducky, now goes by a. k. a. skips, is a talented music producer and DJ who made their foray into the EDM scene by playing at clubs at the age of 13. A. k. a. skips has established a distinct niche within the EDM realm by crafting a fusion of vintage warehouse vibes with contemporary club sounds. In the past year, he openly shared his personal journey on Twitter.
Alice Longyu Gao, a DJ, producer, and performer, holds a prominent position as an influencer and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Throughout her career, she has fearlessly spoken out and delivered captivating performances at major Pride and queer events. Beyond her prowess in electronic music, Alice Longyu Gao has been immersed in the study of music since the age of 4, honing her skills in piano and soprano singing. Following her iconic hit ‘Rich Bitch Juice,’ which was cleverly mirrored with ‘Dumb Bitch Juice,’ she has recently released a compelling single titled ‘LEGEND,’ featuring the renowned artist Alice Glass. Alice Longyu Gao’s artistry and dedication to her activism continue to make a lasting impact in the industry.
Andrew Michael Bayer, an American DJ and highly acclaimed music producer, has made a name for himself in the industry. Andrew Bayer, who is openly gay, stands out as a prominent figure in the trance music scene and has become an integral part of Anjunabeats, earning two Grammy nominations for his outstanding contributions to the field. For Pride month in 2022, Andrew Bayer debuted a double album, Duality, which featured a diverse array of LGBTQIA+ artists.
Venezuelan singer and producer Arca (in 2022 used it/its pronouns as a musician and she/her pronouns personally) made it a mission to raise awareness for this issue through the power of music and video. It has emerged as a trailblazer, leading the transgender community’s charge in the electronic music domain. While some of her tracks are tailor-made for the late-night club experience, Arca also delves into more experimental compositions, infused with industrial hip-hop influences. It’s album, ‘KiCk I,’ boasts collaborations with notable artists such as ROSALÍA, Shygirl, and SOPHIE, further solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the industry.
Cara Eser, known by her stage name Baby Weight, is a DJ, producer, and label owner hailing from Washington, D.C. She has garnered recognition for her unique and “chunky” style of dance music. With her sincere and open-hearted approach, she pushes the boundaries of genres and advocates for greater inclusivity within the dance music community. In 2017, Eser founded Chub Rub, a record label dedicated to showcasing emerging talents across the wide spectrum of house music. In 2020, Cara Eser courageously came out as transgender, recognizing the importance of addressing her transition both as an artist and in her personal life. Later that same year, her track “Rave Police” reached the #1 spot, opening doors to a wider audience and further establishing her presence in the music industry.
Chloé Herry, professionally known as CloZee, is an exceptional French DJ and music producer who has made a profound impact on the experimental bass music scene. Her innovative approach to the genre has earned her widespread acclaim. CloZee’s music can be best described as “world bass,” as she seamlessly blends diverse instrumental sounds from different cultures worldwide with powerful basslines. She’s performed at renowned international music festivals such as Oregon Eclipse, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Camp Bisco, Lightning In A Bottle, and many others, captivating audiences with her captivating performances.
During Pride Month in 2021, DJ Minx, a legendary techno artist from Detroit, publicly came out as gay. Despite having an extensive DJing career spanning several decades, she had long grappled with the homophobia prevalent in the Detroit techno scene. However, a shift in lifestyle during the pandemic provided her with an opportunity for personal growth and the realization that she no longer wanted to conceal her true self from the world. Renowned as Detroit’s “First Lady of Wax,” DJ Minx is the visionary behind the DJ collective Women on Wax and its accompanying record label, Women on Wax Recordings. As a seasoned veteran, she fearlessly infuses her discography with hints of old-school funk, showcasing her musical versatility and unique style. DJ Minx continues to inspire and pave the way for others in the electronic music scene.
Terre Thaemlitz, professionally known as DJ Sprinkles, is an accomplished DJ, producer, and the visionary behind Comatonse Recordings. Thaemlitz, who identifies as transgender and subscribes to a “non-essentialist” notion of gender identity, uses alternating pronouns. Hailing from Minnesota, this transgender artist is recognized not only for their groundbreaking work in the realm of deep house but also for their insightful and outspoken role as an educator on gender issues. Terre Thaemlitz’s musical style embodies a thought-provoking approach, delving into themes of sexuality and race, creating a cerebral and impactful experience for listeners.
Eli & Fur, based in London, have established themselves as prominent figures in the global house and techno scene through their unwavering dedication to producing, songwriting, and performing. Their music is characterized by dark, emotive dance anthems that captivate listeners. With a blend of mysterious and enigmatic elements, evocative vocals, captivating synths, and rolling basslines, their sonic aesthetic creates an intoxicating and mesmerizing experience. The duo has collaborated with renowned artists such as Camelphat, Disciples, Danny Howard, and Booka Shade, further solidifying their position in the industry. They have released music on their own label NYX Music, as well as esteemed record labels like Crosstown Rebels, Anjunadeep, Positiva, Sony RCA, Cercle, Yoshitoshi, Electronic Elements, and FFRR sub-label SIKR. Eli & Fur compositions possess a hypnotic quality, staying true to their artistic vision and cementing their reputation as exceptional artists.
Courtney Simmons and Emma Montalvo (She/Her), known as the dynamic duo Gem & Tauri, have immersed themselves in the EDM scene for over a decade, developing a deep passion for house and techno music. Their performances and productions are infused with a unique charisma and chemistry, delivering a captivating blend of melodic, tech, deep, and progressive house. Gem & Tauri have found a home on Ophelia Records, the renowned label helmed by the legendary Seven Lions. Notably, they made history at EDC Las Vegas as the first openly LGBTQ duo to grace the main stage, leaving an indelible mark on the festival’s legacy.
Giolì & Assia, a talented young Italian couple, are a dynamic duo of producers, multi-instrumentalists, singers, songwriters, record label owners, and DJs. They skillfully combine elements of techno, house, indie, and pop to create a distinctive and original musical style. Notably, they have collaborated with renowned artists such as GRiZ and Wreckno, showcasing their versatility and ability to collaborate across genres.
Since 2011, Grant Kwiecinski, aka GRiZ, has been an active producer of electronic music. His distinctive style merges elements of heavy bass and trap, skillfully intertwining them with soulful jazz-funk influences. Through this innovative combination, GRiZ has carved out a genre that is truly his own. Frequently gracing the stages of major music festivals across North America, GRiZ delivers captivating performances, incorporating a complete DJ setup alongside his live saxophone play and vocals. After coming out publicly later in his career, he’s been a huge advocate for LGBTQIA+ community.
Honey Dijon, a DJ, trans activist, and influential fashion icon, utilizes her platform to amplify more than just great music. Coming of age as a queer Black individual on Chicago’s south side, she discovered her sense of belonging in the clubs that gave birth to the genre of house music. In the 90s, she relocated to New York City, where her DJ career soared to new heights. With seamless transitions across disco, house, and techno, Honey Dijon embraces the diverse sounds and cultures that define her craft. Her artistry is a testament to the power of versatility and the celebration of music’s transformative influence.
Jasmine Infiniti, a non-binary artist and DJ of color, hails from the Bronx and currently calls the Bay Area home. They play a vital role in the vibrant New York vogue house known as House of Infiniti. Her DJ sets and original music oscillates between ballroom, hip-hop, house, industrial and techno; racing between fury and euphoria to create cathartic moments.
From a small town north of Chicago, Jamie Sitter, professionally known as J. Worra was immersed in house music from an early age. Her impressive discography boasts notable releases on esteemed electronic record labels like Mad Decent and Dirtybird, signifying her unwavering dedication to her craft. J. Worra, who fearlessly embraces her identity as a gay artist, has actively championed the elevation of LGBTQ+ voices within the music industry, working diligently to establish a safe and inclusive platform for emerging LGBTQ artists. J. Worra’s passion for both her music and advocacy shines through in her relentless pursuit of artistic excellence and inclusivity.
Having ascended the ranks of the bass music scene and graced esteemed labels such as Mad Decent and Big Beat Records, KANDY, a talented DJ and producer based in New York. He came out in 2018, and in an interview with EDM.com at the time he shared, “I think it was just time for me. I was ready with myself, it was within myself, it was a fight with myself for my whole life to do it. And I have this platform… why not use it to inspire other people who are in the same exact position I was in? I know it’s not the best position to be in. I want to be that voice to stand up and let people know it’s okay to be yourself.” KANDY’s powerful journey serves as a beacon of hope, encouraging others to embrace their true selves without hesitation.
Louis Kevin Celestin, professionally known as Kaytranada, is poised to revolutionize electronic music within the mainstream industry. In 2021 alone, he clinched two Grammy Awards, securing recognition for Best Dance Recording and Best Electronic Album. This accomplishment places him among esteemed Grammy recipients like Skrillex, Daft Punk, Zedd, The Chainsmokers, Aphex Twin, Justice, The Chemical Brothers, and others. In April 2016, Kaytranada made a significant announcement in an exclusive feature with online magazine The Fader, openly revealing his sexual orientation as gay.
Kittens is an exceptionally bold and passionate producer within the dance music realm. Hailing from Los Angeles, this talented artist specializes in crafting trap and pop beats, consistently using her platform to advocate for the LGBTQ community. Among gay women in the music scene, Kittens stands as a powerful and charismatic figure, fearlessly leading the way. In a May 2018 tweet, she boldly declared, “I’m gay as fuck and identify as a lesbian and have for almost 15 years…and I STILL get people thinking it’s some not serious just for fun/show thing.” Kittens’ unwavering authenticity and dedication to her identity inspire others, challenging misconceptions and fostering a more inclusive industry.
Emily Rose, renowned by her DJ moniker Luci, shines brightly as an ascending luminary in the realm of bass music. Her presence remains a constant force in the scene, characterized by an array of awe-inspiring releases under the Wakaan record label. Luci’s trademark lies in her ability to seamlessly merge evocative lyrics with mind-bending, psychedelic-infused dubstep sounds. Notable collaborations with esteemed electronic music producers like Champagne Drip and Dion Timmer have further cemented her reputation. Lucii’s vibrant performances have graced the stages of renowned EDM festivals across North America, including Bass Canyon, Wakaan Music Festival, Lost Lands, High Caliber, Ubbi Dubbi, and many more.
Within the depths of the underground electronic music scene thrives the extraordinary talent known as LYZZA. Hailing from Brazil, this remarkable young artist wears multiple hats as a producer, DJ, and occasional singer. LYZZA’s journey in the electronic realm began at a very young age, as she found fabricating her age to launch her DJ career in Amsterdam clubs like Paradiso and NYX. By the time she turned 18, she had already made her mark on the global club scene, sharing stages with icons such as SOPHIE. Her experimental yet emotionally resonant electronic sound aligns harmoniously with the vibrant London scene, where she currently resides and flourishes.
Moore Kismet is a must listen artist! Hailing from California, this nonbinary talent, who prefers they/them pronouns, has already made a mark in the music industry. Collaborating with Universal Music Group, Bassrush, and Never Say Die Records, Moore Kismet’s impressive repertoire includes a noteworthy collaboration with Apple Music—a 40-track DJ Mix exclusively released for Pride Month 2021. Despite these early achievements, Moore Kismet shows no signs of slowing down. Beyond their musical pursuits as Moore Kismet, they also explore other artistic avenues, including screenwriting, visual artistry, and voice acting.
Following her rise to prominence as a DJ, producer, and artist, Octo Octa, based in Brooklyn, bravely revealed her identity as a transgender woman several years ago. Initially, her solo career as an experimental artist began as a mere side project to her band. However, after unveiling her debut single and subsequent EP a decade ago, Octo Octa has since delivered a remarkable portfolio consisting of five albums, drawing inspiration primarily from house music and EDM. Octo Octa’s artistic evolution continues to captivate audiences, leaving an indelible mark on the electronic music landscape.
Rezz, also known as Isabelle Rezazadeh, is a Canadian DJ and music producer renowned for her distinct style characterized by haunting basslines and mesmerizing, dark lyrics. Adding to her enigmatic stage presence, Rezz wears LED goggles during every performance pairing well with the artistically crafted visuals. Since 2013, she has been crafting electronic music that captivates listeners, earning recognition from prominent EDM producers such as Skrillex, Deadmau5, Zeds Dead, and others who have been drawn to her unique sound.
Sherelle, a skilled and emerging producer and DJ hailing from London, stands as a representative of the younger generation of artists advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights. She has taken the initiative to establish BEAUTIFUL, a label and music project specifically dedicated to showcasing the talents of Black and LGBTQIA+ artists. This endeavor is a direct result of Sherelle’s personal experiences as a Black and Gay artist within the electronic music industry.
Shygirl, a British artist, thrives within the vibrant London scene much like LYZZA. While associated with the hyperpop movement, Shygirl infuses her electronic sound with elements of grime and industrial hip-hop. While her 2019 single “UCKERS” gained mainstream attention through TikTok, her EP “ALIAS” resonated strongly within the underground scene. Shygirl’s musical journey began in 2016 with the release of her first single, which debuted on her own collective and label, NUXXE. Notably, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand has featured select tracks from NUXXE in its promotional campaigns.
The impact of SOPHIE, a renowned producer and DJ, on the realms of electronic, experimental, and pop music cannot be overlooked. As a transgender artist from Scotland, she pioneered the distinctive sound of PC Music, which has now become widely recognized as “hyperpop.” Collaborating with notable artists like Charli XCX, Kim Petras, and Madonna, SOPHIE has carved a space for herself in a genre that is uniquely her own. Her presence as a graceful and vulnerable transgender woman has served as an inspiration for countless individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community, both past and present. SOPHIE’s legacy continues to resonate, leaving a profound impact on successive generations.
Hailing from Los Angeles, SweetTooth is a pansexual artist who epitomizes raw energy and unfiltered talent. With a background rooted in the underground scene, he has swiftly made his mark, extending his reach to the festival circuit. As a dubstep producer, his mixing style is characterized by its raucousness, setting him apart in the fiercely competitive dubstep community. With an unmistakable personality to match his music, SweetTooth emerges as a true standout in the vibrant and intense world of dubstep.
Tsu Nami, pansexual Los Angeles-based producer, captivates listeners with her distinct fusion of dance music and electronic elements, evident in her original compositions. In 2022, she unveiled her debut EP “Ethereal” on bitbird, showcasing her artistic vision. Along her journey, Tsu Nami has collaborated with esteemed labels such as mau5trap, Anjunabeats, and Lost in Dreams, while also venturing into independent releases. Currently touring alongside Jai Wolf, Tsu Nami’s live performances are not to be missed, representing a must-see experience.
Renowned for her infectious, bass-infused house music, Kristy stands out as a key figure in the realm of Dirtybird Records, being one of its original co-founders and artists. Now apart of Altered States label, her unique sound has garnered attention from influential figures in the dance music industry, such as Carl Cox, Diplo, and Richie Hawtin. In a significant personal announcement shared on Facebook in December 2020, Worthy, who now embraces the name Kristy, revealed her transgender identity and non-binary identification.
Emerging from Detroit, Michigan, Brandon Wisniski, professionally known as Wreckno, is an accomplished 24-year-old queer rapper, DJ, and music producer who has been making waves in the bass music scene. Wreckno’s EP, “Pansy,” explored the concept of reclaiming and finding power in hate speech once used against him.
His dynamic talent has captured the attention of influential tastemakers, including G-Space, Peekaboo, iLL Gates, and even the esteemed GRiZ, with whom he co-produced the track “Medusa”.