We're spotlighting the powerful stories and tracks of LGBTQ+ artists. Get ready to hit play on anthems of freedom and acceptance. Discover new favourites of LGBTQ+ artists this Pride Month.

Cormac View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

ha i think my taste and education in music outed me long before i knew was gay, but when i came to know more about myself it all made sense. it's impossible for me to separate music and my journey because music has been a contact companion. It's important that we learn and acknowledge the queer roots of house music, because it's one of the many artforms that queer people can be proud of introducing it to the world. that's important because LGBTQIA+ folk have been shamed in society, and the knock on effects of generations of shame can have lasting ill effects on the community. we have to celebrate queer excellence in all areas.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

oh so many, it changes on the day. Today i'll choose the Romy Mid Air album. It's such a joyful celebration of a queer love story and very beautiful.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

i stared my record label Polari to, in part help platform LGBTQIA+ talent. The roster has grown in just a few years and i'm proud to host game changer talent such as Josh Caffé, CYRK, Rotciv, Michael Lane, DJ City, HiFi Sean, Shay Shaz, Joshua James, Nimmo, Boys Shorts and Hard-Ton.

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

I launched my podcast, Cormac's Queerly Beloved this year because i think it important that we tell our individual stories, but the end goal of that must be that we connect. we must practice community. we can do that by focusing on our similarities rather than our differences. we all feel the same feelings regardless of how we identify . music is such a powerful force for feeling. its a perfect tool to help us unite. Outside of the queer spectrum i hope that anyone who has let loose on a dancefloor and felt the liberation of house music, can learn our history and understand why our communities are important and equal, and become better allies. we all have work to do.

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Dee Diggs View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

When I started out DJing post-college in Boston where I went to school, I joined a femme-focused electronic music collective called EVoLV-tech. We threw a weekend festival with panels and workshops and everything in 2016. It was a community for self-identifying female, transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary producers, DJs, and live performers. We came together to support each other irrespective of what genre or style of music we were into. Being involved in this work and community naturally being involved in planning and throwing Pride parties in Boston as well.

From the beginning, it was other women who empowered me to believe in what I was doing musically and gave me the support to rise above the obstacles misogyny, racism, general boys club attitude present in our scene and every scene (if we are being honest).

People said we were gossiping and meddling, but we were really listening to each other’s trauma and perspectives on how the scene could be better, safer and more inclusive. We threw our own parties to implement that and gave guidance to other events we attended that did not feel safe or welcoming to marginalized identities.

Musically, I think LGBTQIA+ DJs evolve the art form to a place of pure expression, not just playing the music, but sharing an internal dialogue, musical history, cultural research and knowledge when we play. We are good at world building because we do it all the time to survive, the queer imagination is unhinged.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

I’ll speak about an artist because I love her whole discography: Viola Wills. This is my testament that I think she is my favorite Disco Diva. I had a moment scrolling through Spotify, coming down on mushrooms, after a beautiful night out, I think it was after a Carry Nation party in summer of 2021.

I listened to Trilogy: Both Sides Now, Ebb Tide, Over the Rainbow - Medley and when she got to Over the Rainbow tears flooded from my eyes. It unlocked such a pure feeling of hope and elation. I have been a trained singer since I was a little girl, but I don’t really do it so much anymore. Something about her voice, though, makes me want to sing too and to live what she is singing.

Her voice pulled the emotion out of me, I was sitting in the sunny front room of my apartment, the room flooded in noon sunlight. I was so happy in that moment that parties were back after the Covid Quarantine months. I understood this ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ feeling of wanting to go somewhere beautiful, idyllic and safe where you can get lost in the music and connect with others in a playful, vulnerable, and real way. I bought the track on vinyl and I ended my set at Honcho Festival 2021 with that track. Recording is here ( https://soundcloud.com/honchopgh/campout-series-deed-iggs).

I love any and everything Viola Wills. Please look her up. God rest her soul and thank you Diva for putting your life force into the music you gave us.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

I’m fresh off of my Movement Festival Detroit gig on the Pyramid stage on Monday May 27th, 2024. I shared the stage with many of my house heroes so they are top of mind for me.

Dj Minx’s House your Life party curated and hosted the stage that day of the festival . I opened, Tama Sumo b2b Lakuti played next, then Gerd Jensen b2b Dj Tennis, Dj Minx herself and then Honey Dijon closing out the stage at the end of the night.

It was a dream come true to share the stage with all of these heavyweights, especially considering the diversity of the people and the perspectives of house music we brought to the stage. I always have such affirming interactions with DJ Minx, Honey Dijon, Lakuti and Tama Sumo, especially.

They are all shining examples of how lifting other people up also elevates your own energy in a mystical way. Legacy is a thing that wants to continue, it wants to elevate and evolve and collaborate. I was humbled and inspired to be in their ranks. If this is my niche, you better check the material! This is an expansive kind of excellence.

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ESSEL View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

I listen to a lot of seminars on manifestation, I feel this represents my identity fully alone with the adhd and autism. It took me a while to figure out what resonated with me in life but eventually came to find Abraham hicks, their words are the reason I am where I am.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, a track I released called ‘Reachin’ was most influential to my lifestyle and personality as it quotes Abraham Hicks and how you need to believe in your power as a being.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

I really like Jodie harsh, I’ve not collabed with her yet however I love her entire brand and vibe.

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

Diversity is crucial in the music industry because it allows for a variety of perspectives, experiences, and voices to be heard. It breaks down barriers and fosters innovation, leading to a more inclusive and dynamic industry

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Hard Ton View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

As an 80's kid, I was fascinated by the dramatic looks of people like Boy George, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, the big hair and make up of people like Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran, the stunning androgyny of Sylvester as well as of David Sylvian. Straight, gay, whatever, the 80s are known for their love for what some people called "excess" but that I just found being gender bending and gender banging! This general feeling of joy, boldness, creativity was truly inspiring and empowering to me.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

Hard Ton is turning 15 this year, and luckly there are quite few tracks of ours that I still love and feel "truly mine". If I have to pick up one, maybe "Not Again", that got released on ToyTonics and that we still play in our live shows. It's bitchy, it's Chicago house, it's party, it's queer.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

Oh the list is long, and our track "Queer Nation" is actually an ode to some of our queer idols. As for the collaborations, well our recent remix for Punx Soundcheck ft.Boy George and our remix for Mr. Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes To Hollywood definitely deserve a mention for the category "dreams can come true".

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

Being different for me means cultivating your authentic self, knowing yourself deeply, avoiding the easy temptation of putting yourself in a box and sticking to it. And this works for any context: the music that you make, the life that you live, the relationships that you build.

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James Hurr View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

At 13 I was obsessed with heavy metal and had a Mohawk with several facial piercings. The music gave me an identity where I could express being different as I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. I remember going to a Cradle of Filth concert in London and seeing hundreds of queer people just like me with piercings, mad hair and tons of eyeliner, I felt at home and ended the night with my first kiss from someone of the same gender.

By 15 I discovered electronic dance music, which gave me the same release and freedom to be myself. So I quickly adopted the club scene as my new home and soon after started DJing on the gay scene in London. I was having the time of my life going to G-A-Y and Heaven, and finishing every weekend in the infamous after hours club Trade! The music I make today is heavily influenced by gay scene music from the late 90s and early 2000s.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

I draw a lot of influence from my personal journey. In particular I like to incorporate elements of music I would hear in gay clubs in the early naughties, bringing them up to date for today’s dance floors. For example my new release ‘I Got All This Love’ with Mark Knight and Darius Syrossian samples the classic track ‘Let’s All Chant’ by The Michael Zager band. It's originally from the 70s, but was a revamped as a gay scene hit in the early 00s.

My music is made for people on the dancefloor, so everything I produce represents the way I want to feel when I’m in a club. Driving sexy rhythms that make you want to move, mixed with memorable hooks and melodies, plus a bit of nostalgia to thrown. I want people to be able to connect to the music on many different levels.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

Absolutely! I’ve had the honour to work with some incredible established LGBTQ+ artists including Yomanda, Darin, Smokin Jo, Per QX, as well brand new talent like Xoro, Sakima, and ESSEL. The community has produced such an amazing hotbed of talent and it’s really amazing to see them flourishing - I feel very proud to be a part of it.

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

I think it’s important to remember where electronic music came from, especially house music. If it weren’t for black gay clubs in the 70s and 80s, we wouldn’t have the dance music we have today. Sometimes I feel this history is lost on some people in the industry as we should never forget our roots and the people who made us what we are today. Artists like Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy were pioneers of the early house scene in Chicago, paving the way for the multitude of electronic genres we have now.

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Mandidextrous View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

Music has always been my escape its always been the one thing that stops me fighting feelings of depression or gender dysphoria, Its been a self exploration of happiness and gender variance. Its always helped me find myself and I think that comes across in my music.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

Express yourself by Mandidextrous, Although I never play this track out much I wrote it at a time of change in my life as we came to the end of the pandemic and I felt like I had lost my career in music and was working as a grocery delivery driver after 10 -12 years of giving every part of myself to my music career it all seemed so bleak. I wrote this song from my feelings of self development and a great reset as an artist with new direction and new fire in my heart to push as hard as possible to prove to myself its all been worth it. Its funny what a global pandemic can do to a person.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

I really love Peaches and I would LOVE to colab with her ! NGL!

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

If you are a queer artist be brave and be bold and PUSH as we need more of you in the industry. PLEASE

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PACH. View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

From a young age, I always knew I was 'different' but could never put my finger on what it was until I started getting older. Coming to terms with the fact that I was gay was really difficult at first, especially in an all-boys school (lol).

When I was 16, I started learning music production. I downloaded FL Studio and made a horrendous remix of Destiny's Child. Even though it was terrible, I found something I was really passionate about. As I got older and learned more about myself and queer culture, discovering films like Paris Is Burning and the ballroom world, I really started diving into house music. Over the next ten years, I really knuckled down on music production and started going to places like Sankeys religiously. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a DJ.

As I've matured and become more comfortable with myself, it has allowed me to flourish as an artist. In this industry, I feel very lucky that I've never had to change who I am and feel comfortable that people watching me aren't judging, even when the questionable dance moves come out.

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

I don't think there is one specific release that sums up my story. Each release is different from the next and is part of my journey. From the first track I ever created to my latest one, it really shows my growth and musical evolution as an artist. Two that stand out though are my PACH LUNCHES EP on Dimsumrecords and the first release on my label, Back Of The Bus.

PACH LUNCHES was the first 'listening' record I made. I wanted to create something that wasn’t specifically for the club, something more melodic and down-tempo, using breaks and synths to make it enjoyable for listening at home. I made it during a really hard time in my life, and you can hear the emotion in it.

The first release on my label was also a massive milestone for me. I've always wanted to do my label on vinyl, not just digitally. Having full creative control—from the artwork to the tunes—really allowed me to express myself.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

There are so many amazing LGBTQ+ artists and allies in this industry. Two that stick out in my mind are Liquid Earth and tINI. I got close to both of them after they played at my party, After School Club, in Manchester. They are major musical inspirations for me, both in their productions and their selections. Proper top kids!

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

Having diversity in the electronic music scene is crucial. For many, music serves as an escape and a source of happiness, enabling them to express themselves freely. No one should be discouraged from pursuing their passion because they are slightly different. This is especially important in a world filled with hate and negativity.

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Peachlyfe View Back Catalogue

Can you share a little about your journey in discovering your identity and how it has influenced your music?

Discovering the queer scene in club music was like discovering home. It helped me define myself as a human and as an artist and musician. Discovering real people who were serious about getting to know themselves was an epiphany. I make honest music and art, as I try to live my life, being as honest as I can to myself and to the people around me. Always with a crooked smile though - because who are we if we cannot laugh, also at ourselves?

Is there a particular track or album you’ve created that feels most representative of your personal story? Can you tell us more about it?

My recent album and book Permission to Roam is a surreal story about love, identity and self discovery. The tracks go along with the chapters in the book and is best enjoyed together. I am very proud of this release and I feel like it represents what I have been going through the last few years.

Are there other LGBTQ+ artists or allies in the industry who you admire or have collaborated with?

DJ NAH CARE, Entree, Cockwhore, Macho and Lucky Lube are (among many!) powerhouses in the Copenhagen scene! I am lucky and get to experience the queer scene all over (most of) the world and here I have played and collaborated with organizations like Spielraum (Amsterdam), Sirän (Istanbul), Mina (Lisbon) and with people like Marum, Kübra Uzun, Cocln, Cru Encarnação, Feyd Angeles and many, many others - both in music and art capacities. There are so many amazing queer people all over the world and they all inspire me more than I can put into words!

Is there anything that you wish to add on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness within the electronic music scene?

Diverse crews bring diverse lineups and diverse lineups bring diverse crowds! Society is dull without diversity and a dull society kills imagination. How can we imagine a better world if we don't have an imagination? Bring marginalized people to the front and center and just see how your event will flourish and turn into something you couldn't have imagined.

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