Here’s Your Playlist Update

Playlists are lifesavers. Not only can you keep little collections of your favorite songs, but with a playlist going, there are no awkward lulls between songs like there might be if someone were searching for a song to play next. Even if you’re riding solo, a playlist is great because you can keep your fingers free of the phone and mind focused on the road since the songs have already been chosen. On my phone, I have countless playlists. Some are for specific moods, specific bands, made to last a certain duration of time or tailored for a special destination. Let me give you a few updates for your playlist as you travel home this fall break. These artists are bubbling up into the mainstream, but some haven’t quite reached it yet. In addition, all these artists are a part of the LGBT+ community.

  1. 1. Sam Tsui

    If you want lyrics that move you, notes that tug your emotions and a voice that wraps you in a blanket of warmth, this artist is for you. Sam Tsui went from making music in his dorm room to blowing up on YouTube with cover songs and eventually creating his own music. He’s been on tour in his home country, the US of A, as well as Asia and Australia. He still continues to give his YouTube “Samily” content. Although his mashups and covers are lovely and deserve a listen, my recommendation is one of his originals called “Clumsy.” This song sits at 813 thousand views. One of, if not the, most popular of his songs is “The Promise” where we see Sam with his husband Casey Breves. It’s currently at 4.1 million views. His gentle tenor and on-point pitch control will give you chills. The soft sound when he closes words off and the notes raise will make you lean in. Oh, and when you’re not driving, the video for “Clumsy” is a must see.

  2. 2. Trevor Moran

    Trevor Moran stepped up to the singing platform through a TV show called “The X-Factor” and YouTube. Though his time on the show was short, as that little boy from California grew, so did his YouTube channel and fanbase. Trevor has shared his personal struggles in understanding his gender and sexuality with YouTube viewers in a manner that’s honest and relatable. His songs also show his honesty and are relatable in their lyrics. My recommendation, “Sinner,” does this well through proclaiming, “I’m sorry if my whole heart was not enough” and “Father please forgive me cause I’m on the floor” among other lines that will have you nodding along. Let’s not forget this melody is so catchy that you won’t be able to get it out of your head. “Sinner” is sitting at 1.6 million views and the video is definitely worth watching, especially if you haven’t seen the way this man dresses and dons makeup. His style, which is something else Trevor talks about on his YouTube channel, is bold and unashamed, similar to his music.

  3. 3. Troye Sivan

    This is a name I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard. Troye has come up loud and proud into popularity. If his accent didn’t give it away, this artist is from Australia. Troye participated in talent competitions in Australia before his rise to singing fame on YouTube, and now he’s traveling for world tours. His last tour hit 15 countries between January and June! You can see Troye on talk shows like “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and online interviews with magazines like “Vogue” and “Rollingstone Australia.”. Troye’s charisma and talent will get you hooked on both his music and personality. Music wise, my suggestion is one of his most notable songs, “Youth.” This song has hit 125 million views for a good reason. Troye’s vocal talent is stellar, falling into a low baritone at the chorus start then soaring to tenor without a hitch. The slides on “fire proof” are addictive and the melody demands to be sung. And for my fellow guitar players, I can confirm this rhythm is perfect for replicating on acoustic.

  4. 4. Holland

    Go Tae-seob, a singer hailing from South Korea, has been stumbled upon by many through his song “Neverland.” He has a soft tone that’s used for bilingual lyrics which carry over to “I’m Not Afraid” and “I’m So Afraid.” These last two songs  show the social effects of restrictive culture as well as internal struggles with sexuality and personality. “I’m Not Afraid” and “I’m So Afraid” are my recommendations to you from Holland. They offer listeners two sides of the singer, confidence and insecurity, with their videos showing their connection if it didn’t come across audibly. Various online articles and interviews have explained the meanings behind “I’m So Afraid” and “I’m Not Afraid” which go together because without context people have been confused by the lyrics and some found them generic. Holland’s music is considered Indie and EDM. If you like a beat that gets your feet moving, this is your guy. Even so, these songs are worth supporting for their purpose if nothing more. Holland who has been given the title of K-Pop’s first openly gay idol, explained in an interview that his songs are meant to be encouraging for those who are struggling with their identity.

This update could potentially be endless with so many LGBT+ positive artist influences out there. These four offer different genres, songs with different messages and vocal tones for all preferences. Whether it’s music from one of these artists or an artist that you found while looking into them, I hope your playlist is now packed for your drive home for the holidays!