THE FINAL CUT: see who’s new on QBL (July 2019)

Queer before liquor (QBL) is our playlist featuring all LGBT+ musicians, producers, and DJs – updated on the first Friday of each month by our music content creator!

Read on to learn more about the artists featured in the most recent update.

CLEAR MORTIFEE embodies fluidity in both their gender expression and genre-bending musical style. Despite this Toronto local’s tendency to experiment with sounds, their expressive, raw, reflective lyricism remains ubiquitous in their work.

QUARTERBACK has a voice as clear as crystal, and a persona that shines the same. Relatable lyrics coupled with a sultry, sexy delivery makes for an irresistible combination. Catch him at a live show until he drops a full project.

CAVEBOY is a Montreal-based, all-womxn trio whose music feels something like a time capsule. Their latest single ‘I Wonder’ exemplifies a retro alternative-pop vibe, and could easily be crowned the Song of the Summer. Rumor has it that their live performances are something to remember – keep an eye on their website for info regarding upcoming tour dates.

MNEK is a Grammy-award winning artist with songwriting/producer credits on tracks by Beyoncé, Stormzy, Madonna, and dozens more iconic artists. His accolades mean more than just trophies on a shelf to him; MNEK strives to be the pop star to whom young, gay, black boys can look up to that he did not have growing up.

IVY SOLE calls her fan the ‘garden gang’ – which makes sense because her music has a common theme of growth. She explores the journey of love and self-realization on her latest album. If you vibe with it, purchase this commemorative anthology of poems, photos, artwork, and more; 50% of proceeds will go to TWOCC, National Bailout for Black Mamas & Native Women Lead.

TIFFANY GOUCHÉ is a triple-threat singer, songwriter, and producer who has rubbed elbows with Jill Scott, Lil Simz, .Anderson Paak, and many other notable names in music. She has teased her fans with the drop of timeless singles as they await the follow-up to her critically acclaimed, last body of work.

SIYA is not only a rapper and actress, but an advocate for those who suffer from Clinical Anxiety. The development of her latest project actually acted as a form of therapy through her personal struggle with anxiety.

LIL NAS X has taken the world by storm since the viral spread of his country chart topping single ‘Old Town Road’. On the last day of Pride Month, Lil Nas X tweeted a rainbow emoji and urged his fans to listen closely to the lyrics of a track titled ‘C7osure (You Like)’ from his newly released EP. Stream his coming out track now on QBL.

ÄNGIE is a self-proclaimed weirdo narcissist, and she definitely brings that energy to her tunes, which span several genres. Beyond her musical talents, she co-directs the majority of her music videos – boasting over 17 million views on Youtube, collectively.

SOFIA FLY is a transgender rapper, producer, and DJ hailing from Toronto. Her debut EP made an impressive entrance onto the scene. Filled with empowering anthems driven by latin rhythms and bilingual lyrics, it is sure to make you dance.

What does Pride mean to you?

What does Pride mean to you? What do you get most excited about during this month? Is it the parade? The comradery and connections? It can be whatever you need it to be. As it has taken many years and battles for us to be able to be who we are today, we must remember that every journey is different. 

This year we are quite publicly celebrating 50 years since what is known as the Biggest step towards Queer Liberation; the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969. There were many important moments before and after this date that have led to the freedoms we have today, being able to celebrate Pride in 2019. 

Image result for stonewall riots pic

I was lucky to partake in planning Toronto Pride last year, as well as an international parade while travelling. The freedom to travel as a queer person without fear is a blessing I get to experience, as a “less visible” queer woman. Every year since the history of the Riots, our ability to live as we are becomes easier. With every movement, activist, and Pride parade, our community will be more accepted.  

Let us remember the strong people who came before and after Marsha P Johnson. Who created the thoughts and opportunities who made it possible.  

Continue reading “What does Pride mean to you?”

Taking Up Space For Queer Artists Of Colour

Come As You Are: An Art Show

Curated By: Tiana Smith

Tiana Smith is a Fashion Arts Student at Humber college who truly is art AF. This is the second year that she presents her “Come as You Are Art show for pride!”

Photo By @Photosbyzain

Hi Tiana, thank you so much for being here and for everything you do! I want readers to get to know you some more. This art that you do, where does it come from? What is your artistic background?

I am a Fashion Arts student at Humber College. I am also a freelance multimedia artist with a background in photography, film making, creative directing, and styling.

That explains a lot. I’ve been following you on social media for a while now and you’re either modelling or creating! I love seeing your art! You’ve got something huge coming up right? How did you come to creating ‘Come As You Are’?

Cathleen Calica, the director of 187 Augusta is the amazing individual who encouraged me to provide a space initially for my work last year, and the series that I originally directed ‘Queer & Existing’. I felt seen and it allowed me to feel proud of the space that I was taking up for black queer people. 

Behind the scenes photos by Tiana Smith
View the full series at digitalteee.com

Amazing Tiana! As a queer black woman myself I think this is so important and I’m so thankful for people like yourself who create these opportunities for our community. So what is your reason for this? Why do you organize, plan, and prioritize an art show for queer people of color?

I continue to organize and provide a space that prioritizes QTBIPOC because we need to be seen and we need to be celebrated. I personally have not felt seen during the overwhelming celebration of Pride Toronto. There are so many intersections of sexuality and gender expression when it comes to someone’s identity, especially when culture plays a big role in how we identify. 

Beautiful, I agree with you; these spaces are so important! I think you’ll have a huge turn out! Tiana, beyond the obvious amazing reasons you spoke about already why should queer folks and allies in the community attend ‘Come As You Are?’

This show provides a breath of fresh air for folks who don’t understand or know how to provide language to their identity. I want people to see that through them living their life as who they are; amongst the obstacles and hardships is how they can provide language to their stories. There is no one-way to be queer, like there’s no one-way to be anything. Throughout the night I open the floor to include the audience to speak on their truth by asking, “What does it mean to you, to be your most authentic self?” I ask this question to remind the individuals who are attending the event to understand that they are loved, and that they are seen. As much as the art show and space is for the artists, it is also for our community as a whole. This space provides a chance for allies, queer folks, and especially queer folks of colour to realize that we should be here for each other and respect each other as we are.

Photo By @Photosbyzain

So I’ve got to ask you then, what does it mean to you to be your most authentic self?

As a black, queer, femme, woman, being my most authentic self means loving all of who I am and being damn proud of it. Living authentically as me is reminding black girls and women that we live for ourselves and not within the gaze of men and the media to sexualize our bodies.

Wow, so proud of you and what you do! Well, I want to thank you again Tiana for chatting with me and readers please support this event! Details below!

187 Augusta Avenue
$10 at the door
Doors open at 6:00 PM
Thursday, June 20th 2019

See event page for more details.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2316612738659672/

Local Flow

Are you ever looking for a little special something to add to your outfit? Maybe pins, or a leather harness, or a vegan one! Does your cute and tiny apartment needs some more art to liven up the space? 

What to do, oh what to do. 

Watch Trigger Warning with Killer Mike Episode 1.  
 
Then come back here and read the rest of this blog. 

Continue reading “Local Flow”

#TwentyGayteen

This was my motto for the year. I remember seeing it in the early days of January 2018 (soon to be renamed) on Tumblr (pre-censorship of course). I remember feeling a little confusion, and a lot of understanding at the same time. This will be the year.

As a new year approaches, we tend to look back and say how awful the last 12 months were and how exciting the new replacement will be. My first couple weeks of January 2018, I hoped for the same, but felt the negativity of 2017 drag on. Until I grasped TwentyGayteen by its septum ring, and took charge of how I was going to live the year.

I decided I was going to get involved. I was going to start dating – all sorts of people. Throw myself out there! I met some beauties and some busts. I matched with a lot of women who have no effort or attempt to carry conversation, learning some of the frustrations of queer women, and dating. I immersed myself in the queer, local, Toronto scene as much as I could. Learning what the city and community has to offer. Helping out with Pride planning, partaking in an international parade, and even embarking on a journey or two I never would have expected.

This year we saw a lot of representation a in the media. Fictional characters, Rosa Dias, Wonder Woman, both played by bisexual Actresses; Janelle Monae, Kehlani, Brendon Urie, loads of others who came out and made TwentyGayteen even gayer.

My timelines saw a lot of success and happiness around the world. Australia’s yes vote, decriminalizing consensual same sex relations in India, the ability to change your gender marker, or to mark an X on legal documents in Ontario. We definitely still have ways to go, but TwentyGayteen was a huge success in my eyes.

Let’s look back on all the positive, queer and loving goodness of the year, and not let it die as we go into the new one.

I plan to keep #TwentyGayteen alive annually. It will always be our year.

*Aria