8 trans musicians you may have never heard of (and my connection to all of them)Nov 15, 2023
Next week is Transgender Awareness Week, with the last day being Trans Day of Remembrance. I know this can be a heavy time, and often, the content that gets shared can skew toward some of the harder parts of being trans.
So I just wanted to remind you -
Yes, sometimes being trans may give us some unique challenges. However, being truly ourselves is also the thing that can bring us the most joy possible! Being trans and expressing ourselves fully is such a beautiful gift!
So this week I wanted to share with you some talented trans musicians that absolutely inspire me. This list is very Montreal because my favourite music is the music my friends and neighbours make. These people have personally impacted me, and I'm excited to share them with you!
I've included links to everyone's Bandcamp so make sure you click through and give them a listen!
Eve Parker Finley
My TikTok mom! When I first had a viral hit on TikTok, Eve Parker Finley came to my rescue and talked me through all my feelings. Being an amazing comedian and musician herself, she had already had a number of viral hits when she took me under her wing. I will forever be grateful for her kindness! Her album Chrysalia is like a soothing hug and fall is the perfect time to get into it.
A metal / hip hop sensation! The biggest flex in my life is that I’m able to say that Backxwash used to be my actual neighbour. She lived in my building, and I babysat her cat! If you are ready to have your face absolutely melted, then check out HIS HAPPINESS SHALL COME FIRST EVEN THOUGH WE ARE SUFFERING.
Beverly Glenn-Copeland is one of the most tender and moving jazz singers out there. He’s been out as a trans man since 2002, and he was one of the first Black students to attend McGill University in Montreal (which is my alma mater) in 1961. I had tickets to see him in Montreal a few weeks ago, and the show got cancelled due to COVID, and I’m still not over it 😭
This fabulous multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter was a student of mine during the early days of the pandemic. We worked on both her singing and her songwriting so it’s so special to hear how her haunting, melodic songs developed from those early stages. I’m sure you’ll be transported by her debut album!
It’s hard to describe Russell Louder’s latest album, Fair-weather. It’s like a synth-pop film noir folk rock mash up. Their voice has a distinctly ethereal, nonbinary quality to me that I never tire of listening to. Russel is another Montreal local, transplanted from Prince Edward Island. I first met Russell at a pride pool party and we talked about top surgery and tattoos.
Possibly one of those most talented people alive, Vivek Shraya is a musician, author, playwright, and more. She recently released her CBC original series “How to Fail as a Popstar”, which I saw as a one-woman show when she came through Montreal and she was so amazing! I cried!
BiG SiSSY is a Montreal drag superstar who I first met on TikTok. Their work is irreverent, boundary-pushing, and definitely for an 18+ crowd! I’m obsessed with every track on Black Starr. They also happen to live in my neighbourhood, and sometimes I bump into them at my local coffee shop! I’m starstruck every time 🤩
It wouldn’t be a majority-Canadian list without some francophone music! Samuele is a former student-turned friend of mine! They studied singing with me back in 2019/2020, and when I had top surgery last April, they very sweetly brought me food and watered my plants. Their latest album is a hard-rocking feminist, queer, trans manifesto that I’m sure you’ll love, whether or not you understand French!
I am so inspired by these incredible trans artists and glad I can share them with you. I hope you found some new music to love and some new artists to follow! Take extra special care of yourself during the upcoming Trans Awareness Week, and don't forget that being trans is a gift.
Sending you lots of love.