Black Lives Matter. Period.
How to write a post about a cause I believe in and find a way to help? But without making it all about me, when I make everything about me, since it’s my gay opinion. The answer is through relatable music.
This Friday, June 19th the website I use to discover new-to-me indie musicians, Bandcamp, is giving 100% of their share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. So I gave myself a mission, to find an indie black diva I could support and promote this Juneteenth.
I hit the jackpot when I discovered Be Steadwell and her brand of self-proclaimed queer pop. How could I have never heard of her before? She’s a singer-songwriter, filmmaker and storyteller who performs often in New York City. She’s smart, talented, unapologetic and funny as hell. She’s everything a diva should be and more.
Be Steadwell has 9 albums and EPs under her belt that cover all genres of music. She’s a rapper, pop poet, torch singer, jazz chanteuse, blues balladeer, and every member of a barbershop quartet in one. Her lyrics are honest, socially-aware, tongue-in-cheek, full of girl-on-girl relationship drama and warms the coldest parts of my heart.
In 2013 her first album came out, Queer POP Mixtape is the perfect example of a mixtape, 24 songs that are a melding pot of styles. Rain Water followed with a beautiful, old-school, slow jam sound and creative fluidity to get the juices flowing. In 2014 and 2015 she challenged herself to Song A Day albums, writing a week’s worth of songs each. Her trilogy of love song albums (Notes, Acoustic Love Songs; Jaded, Dark Love Songs and Queer Love Songs) focus not only on the upside of love, but the downside too. Her Succulent EP is less love and more sex. My favorite type of song is a breakup song, when I saw Be Steadwell had a Breakup Songs album, I knew I found my diva.
This Juneteenth I’ll be on Bandcamp pickinng up Be Steadwell’s complete discography. In my gay opinion, even the simplest and smallest of actions is better than remaining silent and doing nothing. I also get a ton of great music for a bargain price of $36 and a new diva to stalk…damn it, I almost got through without making it about me.
If you want to see if there’s any artists for you to discover, this is a link that my partner found online for black artists, producers and labels on Bandcamp. Many are reasonable or have name your own price options.