Mx Blouse, a South African writer and musician, has compiled a playlist — for OkayAfrica — that showcases musical excellence on the part of South African artists who just happen to be queer.
That house music and techno were born in Chicago and Detroit's queer scenes a few decades ago is a well-established fact. Unfortunately, it's a fact many would prefer to turn the volume down on. It's important to remind those who doubt or prefer to ignore our excellence that some of their favourites, the biggest and most revered musical icons to come from these parts, like the late Brenda Fassie and Lebo Mathosa were queer. That legacy continues.
We're in the midst of a heartbreaking spate of homophobic violence that has seen many lives lost in recent months. Almost weekly, we hear reports of yet another queer South African found murdered. Compiling this list without thinking of homophobic violence and murders is impossible. I also couldn't help crying tears of joy as I went through this music, and felt a deep sense of pride.
Our music is of a very high standard, that is quite easily comparable to the best in the world. Much as we are faced with this crisis, our music reminds me that we are indeed resilient and we relentlessly bring joy to many in spite of our own struggles.
This playlist showcases uncompromising musical excellence on the part of South African artists who just happen to be queer. From Deekaydidit's mighty raps, Muneyi's blistering testimonies about pain and healing, to River Moon's fiery techno bops, it's a list that traverses genres as diverse as the spectrum of queer realities and experiences.
Remember that music has no gender or sexual preference. It's beauty transcends everything, prejudices notwithstanding. Happy Pride Month!