JoySauce Radio: Celebrate Pride with these LGBTQ+ artists

From indie-pop to punk rock, these artists will help you kick off summer right

Let's celebrate Pride Month with some recent hits by Asian LGBTQ+ artists.

Still image from SASAMI's "Honeycrash" music video

Words by Anjana Pawa

JoySauce Radio: Consider JoySauce Radio our own personal song recommendations—from the tunes and videos our writers love to DJ-produced mixes of dance floor bangers—all from Asian and Pacific Islander artists around the world. 

Happy Pride, music lovers! As you curate your playlists and live out your best BRAT girl summers (thank you, Charli XCX), be sure to also check out these tracks by Asian artists that belong to the LGBTQ+ community. From indie-pop to punk rock, these songs and artists will not only elevate your summer vibes but also highlight the amazing talent within this eclectic and vibrant community.

“Ava Gardner” by SuperKnova

Trans artist SuperKnova is the indie-pop girl of your dreams. She can play several instruments, has a beautiful voice, and can write a song that will sit in your head for days. She’s constantly experimenting sonically, but in “Ava Gardner,” she’s at her best; her raspy voice showcases her vulnerability but the electric guitar and drums showcase her power. 

B.I.L.L.S.” by Towa Bird

If you’ve been on the Internet in the past few months, you’ve probably seen at least one video of Towa Bird shredding on her guitar. The Hong Kong-born, Thailand-raised, mixed Filipino English singer has been taking over TikTok with her guitar covers, but also with videos of her on stage while touring with Renee Rapp (where the two have become quite close!) But she also releases her own music! “B.I.L.L.S.” feels like a classic punk-rock song: it’s angry, it’s straightforward, and it’s a banger.

“Honeycrash” by SASAMI

SASAMI’s solo career has been full of a variety of sounds, fitting usually into the rock and heavy metal landscape. Her latest single “Honeycrash” is more vulnerable and softer than her typical vibes, but still holds a sharp edge. The visuals that accompany, in classic SASAMI style, are striking, bold, and full of various forces of nature, like lightning, a blaze of fire, and waves crashing ashore.

“Shut It Down” by Queen Priyanka

Queen Priyanka is a true multi-hyphenate. She’s been notable in the drag community for years, but her burgeoning career has spanned several artistic pursuits. From starting off as a host, to winning Canada’s first ever season of Drag Race, to now being on the precipice of her debut album, there is nothing she can’t do. Her new single “Shut It Down” is energetic and confident, and it’s sure to heat up your summer playlist.

“Her” by alextbh

If you need a yearning anthem this month, listen to this track by queer Malaysian singer alextbh, whose real name is Alex Bong. In this dancey tune, he asks his lover, “What do you see in her that you don’t see in me?” The lyrics are heartbreaking, but the backtrack is high tempo and upbeat, creating a dissonance as you listen. This fun tune will make you forget all your worries and dance, even if you’re sad.

Published on June 26, 2024

Words by Anjana Pawa

Anjana Pawa is a Brooklyn-based culture reporter who regularly covers music, entertainment and beauty. You can find her on Twitter at @apawawrites.