We’ve all had a crush on someone we couldn’t have.
Maybe it was the most popular girl in school, the cheerleader who didn’t know you existed. Maybe it was a celebrity or someone who lived on the other side of the world.
Or, most painfully of all, maybe it was on your best friend.
Falling in love with your best friend is a uniquely excruciating pain. On one hand, you can spend all of your time together while you bask in her beauty and peach shampoo. On the other hand, you can never truly have her, so you’ll have to keep your mouth shut about the revolving door of guys or girls who catch her eye. (What do they have that you don’t?)
L.A. singer Hayley Kiyoko captures the agony of an unrequited best friend crush in the video for her song Sleepover.
The song chronicles the imaginary slumber party Kiyoko wishes she could have with her best friend. The slumber party starts with sensual cuddling and ends with both women naked in a bathtub. The camera lingers on her best friend as she gets undressed and pulls Kiyoko into a deep kiss.
Of course, this is just a fantasy. At the end of the video, we see Kiyoko sitting silently on her bed, fully dressed and alone.
Even without the video, the song’s lyrics tug on the heartstrings. She sings,
I’m just feeling low, feeling low. Even when you’re next to me, it’s not the way I’m picturing,” and, “Come on, sleep in my bed. Can I just be in my head with you?”
Kiyoko has always been vocal about her queer sexuality. She wrote an op-ed for Paper and her first hit single was even called Girls Like Girls. Hey, we never said she was subtle.
Listen to the song here and learn more about Hayley’s views on sexuality and music on her Tumblr.
Once you’ve heard a Be Steadwell song, all other music will sound empty.
This young queer artist specializes in a blend she calls jazz-acapella-folk pop&soul. What does that mean? Her songs are dense with atmospheric acapella layerings that transport you between worlds. Listening to her music is a full body experience.
Be Steadwell makes music about everything from heartbreak to fear, from Netflix to strip clubs. She gained traction in 2013 with the release of her Queer Pop Mixtape, which introduced her sound to the world. In order to create her unique sonic experience, she layers vocals and beatboxing with a loop-pedal and then sings on top of it. It sounds like she’s backed by an entire band even when she’s the only one on stage. The effect is both haunting and captivating.
Her most recent album, Jaded, touches on the drawbacks of technology. “We get in bed with the device/We fall asleep by the screen light/Netflix is fucking up my sex life,” she sings. Still, she owes much of her success to technology, from the vocal layering that allows her to create a unique sound to YouTube, where she’s found most of her followers.
When she’s not making music, she’s making award-winning films. Her most recent film, Vow of Silence, follows a queer musician:
VOW OF SILENCE – A heartbroken composer takes a vow of silence to win back the heart of her true love. In her struggle to reconnect with her ex, she meets an outgoing musician. Utilizing music, magic and silence, Jade finds her voice in the place she least expects it.”
Her next project is a script that explores a small southern town where African slaves drowned and then formed a new community underwater. There’s no word on when this supernatural project will be released, but if it’s anything like her other works, it’s going to leave a chill down your spine. You’ll still be thinking about it years after you watch it.
Check out Jaded: Dark Love Songshere, or learn about her amazing projects here.
On Yours, Madison Lawrence transitions from being a sweet, straight singer to being an edgy, queer pop artist.
The purple-haired singer-songwriter has been making music for years. In fact, she got her start on YouTube, where she now has over 8,000 subscribers, in addition to 20,000 followers on Twitter. She has found financial success as a sugary pop singer writing songs about boys and heartbreak.
Yours was inspired by her last relationship with a man – particularly the end of that relationship. In four short songs, she leads listeners by the hand through the discovery of her sexuality, to the fires of frustration and the depths of despair, to the break-up, to the healing. She describes the EP as “cathartic.”
It was the first time Lawrence had sung so openly about sexuality, which shocked some fans but ultimately expanded her catalog.
The most popular song is Take Care, an upbeat anthem about self-care that might be playing at your nearest discotheque. She wrote the song after realizing that the last year of her relationship was messy and painful and that she hadn’t been taking care of herself. In fact, it wasn’t until months after the relationship’s end that she began the slow process of cultivating her health.
Since the breakup, she has begun dating women and recently wrote her first song about it.
Meet JoLivi, a Los Angeles based singer / songwriter who writes from experience and performs with honesty. In fact, her latest single, Love Who You Wanna Love, was inspired by the first time she fell in love with a woman.
(I want to thank dearly both to JoLivi for taking the time to talk to us and to Candace Brown who was kind enough to make this interview happen.)
Kitschmix: So, let’s start with an easy question! Can you give our readers some information about who you are and what you do?
JoLivi: I was born and raised on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. I went to college at Colorado State University. I then moved to Los Angeles to pursue music.. I write all of my music, I assume like most artists, from experiences I’ve gone through in my life.. 🙂
Kitschmix: When did you start singing and songwriting?
JoLivi: I started singing at a very young age –Doing community theatre, part of dance/performance troups etc. Songwriting came initially through poetry. For some reason, at the high school age I didn’t want to write to rhyme.
But after one of my more less happy times the words and the melodies just came out, and they didn’t stop! My favorite is writing my own songs.. The way that people can be moved by or relate to them is the most inspiring thing to me. That’s what music does for me…it gets me through the happy, sad, angry, and alone feelings.
Kitschmix: What/Who inspires you the most?
JoLivi: lol…Well I guess I kinda answered that in the previous question so I’ll start with who! I like the question more as who as oppose to which artists…My inspiration is my grandpa 🙂 He passed about 4 years ago…but he was the singer in the family (well, I lie… all the girls in my family can SANG!!) I just got more of the powerhouse voice… He had a presence like no other human I will probably ever meet. And, of course in a non-cliché way…my mom and dad! They never told me to stop following this path…the support is incredible. THEY are honest and kind, encouraging but also logical. They are my whole world … and I just flippin’ love them so much..
Kitschmix: I am so sorry to hear about your grandpa. In regards to your latest single, what can you tell us about Love Who You Wanna Love?
JoLivi: It’s about every kind of love! It’s also, being who you wanna be to get there, and always knowing that you can change the outcome of a bad or tricky situation. In the end we live with our decisions (and sometimes others too) but only we can make ourselves truly happy!
Kitschmix: Why have you decided to come out now and why through music?
JoLivi: I just truly feel that in this time we should be able to Love who we wanna love! It shouldn’t matter what orientation, race, religion, etc. In this life we get to have a voice…we gotta speak out.
Kitschmix: So far, how was the fan’s response to the single?
JoLivi: The response has been great! It is still really brand new but across the board I am so thankful to have such accepting fans!
Kitschmix: And a growing fan base too, I am sure! Do you have any future plans/achievements in mind?
JoLivi: Touring of course! I mainly want to keep performing and affect people positively with my music!
Kitschmix: If you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
JoLivi: Playing golf, snowboarding, eating sushi with my bestie. Writing doesn’t feel exactly like working so that, being with all my happy people.
Kitschmix: Any final message you would like to share with our readers?
In a world where, in certain countries, being gay is still punishable by death, it’s important to take a stand. The internet is a beautiful place sometimes. That’s when I started feeling like a hypocrite. The whole situation made me wonder if I was considering myself honest.”
Martin said she was only six or seven years old, when she first had romantic feelings were for another girl. At the time, she read manga like Sailor Moon, which portrayed female characters in lesbian relationships, a plot she described as “enlightening.”
As she got older, she realised that for some “it was considered weird to like someone of the same sex”, so she suppressed her feelings, had a child and believed everything would be fine.
However, after giving birth to her daughter, she says that everything she had repressed came back in full force.
She said she felt “used and helpless” every time she came into contact with others.
Martin underlines her experiences as a closeted queer person and stresses the importance of living one’s truth.
That is why I’m coming out as queer today; because I can no longer be scared of what people might think about me. I can’t be scared that someone will stop listening to my music, or that parents might not want their kids listening to me because of the fact that I want to love whoever I want to love.
I’m coming out for my daughter who needs to learn that love knows no race, religion, gender or orientation. Even though the family that she knew in the very beginning won’t be the same, she deserves all of the love that she needs or wants. I’m coming out for the victims that lost their lives because they wanted to celebrate who they truly were.”
Representatives for Martin said she would not be commenting on the subject for the time being outside of this open letter.
Martin took to Twitter following her letter’s publication to thank people for their support.
It was hard at the beginning of the relationship, because until then I had only ever gone out with guys. But I am who I am. I’m never going to put a label on my sexuality and people should never feel uncomfortable about who they love.”
She later explained why she was so honest with fans over her sexuality and the inspiration for her songs.
I wanted my album to be as honest as possible. I’ve laid all my cards on the table and gave the truth. There was never a question of hiding the story behind it. I pray one day we get to a point where it’s no longer a thing.”
Rather Be singer Jess Glynne has revealed she was left heartbroken after being in a relationship with a woman.
The British songwriter said while she doesn’t define her sexuality, she was ‘in love’ with this girl.
Recalling the moment she landed her record deal in August 2013, she revealed to ES Magazine:
I was actually broken-hearted. She just fucked me over. It was the first girl I’d ever fallen in love with. I’ve never said that to anyone. It was a relationship that was so new to me. Someone I met working.”
Jess is adamant she doesn’t want to define her sexuality right now and instead wants to leave romance alone and just focus on her music career, with her debut album, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’, being released this August.
I don’t know what I want now – to be with a guy, with a girl, be with anyone. I’m so content with just doing this and seeing where it all takes me.”
Although she doesn’t want to label herself as gay, straight or bisexual, Jess will be embracing the LGBT community this summer as she is set to perform at both at Birmingham Pride this Sunday (24 May) and in Brighton Pride (August 1) this year.
Rihanna joined has a number of other celebrities to slam Indiana’s controversial ‘religious freedom’ law that enables businesses to refuse to serve gay people.
While onstage at NCAA March Madness Music Fest in Indianapolis over the weekend, the singer – in addition to debuting a brand new song American Oxygen – she expressed her political opposition to the law.
Referring to the state’s new RFRA in-between songs, Rihanna said:
“Who’s feeling these new bulls**t laws that they’re trying to pass over here? I say f**k that s**t… we’re just living our motherf***ing lives, Indiana!”
The singer also got the crowd to chant: “f**k that s**t”.
The Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence recently signed into law the controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which gives people the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.
Rihanna has often shown her supporter of gay rights. Last year, the singer shared a photo of herself on social media rocking a hat emblazoned with the logo “P6,” short for Principle 6 — a campaign opposed to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.
Rihanna was also one of many stars who opposed to Prop 8, a ballot proposition that was eventually passed in California banning same-sex marriage in the state.
Rihanna’s vocal opposition to Indiana’s RFRA comes on the heels of Miley Cyrus telling Time magazine that supporters of Indiana’s anti-gay bill are “dinosaurs, and they are dying off,” before throwing her social media weight behind the gay community by tweeting the following:
Senator Cotton thinks gay community needs to get “perspective” cuz “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.”
Edith Piaf was a French singer with a fantastically unconventional life. Her parents had left her in the care of her grandmother, who worked as a cook in a brothel. At the age of seven, her father returned and she lived her life out on the streets, passing a hat to collect money as her father performed acrobatics. They often slept out in the streets or in parks. At the age of ten, her father fell ill and Edith began singing on street corners to make money. Passers-by took note of her strong voice, and she made more money by singing than her father had with his acrobatics.
The teenaged Edith would explore the streets with her friends, singing for meals. She fell in love and had torrid affairs, one with a delivery boy who bore her a child that died at the age of two from meningitis, another with a leader of a prostitution group.
It was not until the age of twenty that Louis Leplee, a club owner, discovered this intense new talent. He named her Piaf, “sparrow”, and mentored her in stage confidence, manners, and singing for an audience. The audience received her well, and Piaf began to record albums.
Alas, this breakthrough that would take her out of poverty and into the company of renowned entertainment personalities, did not necessarily mean the end of her suffering. Leplee, her beloved mentor who had discovered and named her, was brutally murdered by an organized crime syndicate—and Piaf was the prime suspect in the investigation until she was acquitted.
Piaf developed several substance addictions, particularly to alcohol and morphine. She continued to engage in torrid affairs, it is rumored with lovers both male and female.
She died of liver cancer at the age of forty-seven. While the archbishop of Paris denied her a funeral mass due to her immoral lifestyle, thousands of fans attended her burial. Edit Piaf has since become a national treasure, and a global icon.
This Barbados-born beauty began her musical career at only fifteen years of age. She jumped right into professional recording without almost no training or music theory background. It is certainly admirable that, since then, she has risen to the challenge of proving one of the most versatile and prolific talents in the pop music industry today.
This talented singer’s personal life has been mired in controversy. In February of 2009, her boyfriend Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna over the latter’s allegations of romantic text messages that Brown had sent somebody else. Photographic evidence of Rihanna’s injuries as well as her identity had been made public, which was neither usual nor recommended in media reports of domestic violence.
Rihanna’s subsequent professional collaborations with her ex-boyfriend and ex-abuser over the past few years have sparked heated debates and discussions about the dynamics of abusive relationships. While criticized for prioritizing her personal life over becoming a role model for her fans, especially encouraging young girl to leave abusive relationships with her example, Rihanna might also serve as a reminder that real human beings, even those who are pop stars, aren’t ideas. Her weaknesses or failings in continuing to work with her abuser could be seen as reminders that human relationships are complex, especially when it comes to the nature of forgiveness or enabling harmful behavior.
Through the problematic aspects that Rihanna shows of her relationships under public scrutiny, it becomes more difficult to deny that there is more than one way for a woman to be empowered and make her own decisions. While examination of such personal details might be a controversy in and of itself, the discussions surrounding these actions have sometimes brought to light an additional layer to this controversial issue. That is: the morality of entertainment media that can reward an unrepentant abuser of women.
Recently, Rihanna has featured in Shakira’s new single, “Can’t Remember To Forget You”, the video of which is quite suggestive of lesbianism between the featured stars. Opinions about whether this is a boon or a bane to LGBT representation remain mixed.
Mary O’Brien earned the nickname “Dusty” because she liked to roughhouse and play football when she was a young girl. Music had always been a part of her life, although she never learned to read or write music. She, her brother Dionysius, and their mutual friend Reshad had chosen the stage surname Springfield while rehearsing in a field in Somerset. The three were great fans of American music, folk and pop. Dusty Springfield’s singing voice could be breathy or powerful—over this she had a phenomenal amount of control. As well as being a chameleon of vocal styles, she was a perfectionist when it came to the quality of her records. She would refuse to record in studios with “dead air”, sometimes recording in the corridors or ladies’ washrooms for the acoustic qualities of those spaces.
[tweet_dis]I’m the most misunderstood, misquoted person I know, honestly.[/tweet_dis]
At what would have been the height of her career, Springfield began to produce supporting or background vocal work, usually credited under yet another, purposely obscure, stage name. This was an effort to escape tabloid journalists at the time, who had a voracious appetite for the scandalous personal lives of famous figures. Speculations of homosexuality would be the most entertaining such scandal to the public, and the most devastating to a professional career at the time.
In her early fifties, Springfield had come out and participated in tempestuous affairs with women. Her marriage to actress Teda Bracci is notable for having lasted more than a year, compared to Springfield’s on-and-off relationships—and of having culminated in the hospitalization of both women by one another through domestic violence.
For her life’s work and memorable contribution to music, Dusty Springfield was inducted as an Officer to the Order of the British Empire, and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the United States. She died at the age of fifty-nine, of breast cancer.
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Kitsch Mix, is a rapidly growing social platform developed to promote the diverse creative ventures of women in the LGBT community. It aims to chronicle and celebrate the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community.
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