World Music Day: Queer Artists

Alisha Batth (left) | Jay Anand (right)

World Music Day: Queer Artists

The 21st of June is celebrated as Fète de la Musique or World Music Day! Jack Lang, the cultural minister of France in Paris in 1982, celebrated the first annual music day. Citizens are encouraged to play music in their neighborhoods, public spaces, and parks, and free concerts are organized to add to the sense of revelry and artistic appreciation. 

A 1982 study on the Cultural Habits of the French conducted by Maurice Floret, (the director of music and dance at the French Ministry for Culture) revealed that one young person out of two played a musical instrument in France. The festival aims to bring young people onto the streets to display their skills and appreciate each other's prowess.

This year brings in the 42nd edition of World Music Day, we decided to celebrate it by compiling a list of a few of the brilliant and upcoming queer artists in India who embody the spirit and zeal of this wonderful day!

Jay Anand
This young trans artist has made waves in the Indian music industry. Jay taught himself how to play the piano at only five years old and went on to become the he voice behind the famous Loop Lapeta title track starring Taapsee Pannu. Jay advocates for awareness around gender identity through his Instagram reels and is a well-known figure in the Indian queer music scene.

Friends of Linger
This mixed-genre indie band is based out of New Delhi and is known for their debut single “Head Held High” which stands out in support of the Queer community. Their controversial 2016 hit ‘Miss You’ is an ode to homosexual relationships and has received immense backlash from the CBFC. This led to a drawn-out legal case in 2016, and their victory signaled a new milestone for the Queer community in India. 

World Music Day: Queer Artists  Teenasai Balamu (left) | Angelique Jacquet (right)

Teenasai Balamu (left) | Angelique Jacquet (right)

Teenasai Balamu
This Bangalore-based artist is known for their hit single “Free” which was released in 2020. Also known as GrapeGuitarBox, their music celebrates all that is ‘non-binary’ and unrestricted! Teenasai also runs a series called The Queer Question with their partner on Instagram.

Angelique Jacquet
This talented pianist released a short EP called Digital Native in 2020 which was promptly followed by their full-length album Insequeer in the same year. Their versatile music blends synth-pop with more delicate piano melodies to create a beautiful blend of instrumental catharsis.

Alisha Batth
This Mumbai-based singer-songwriter is heavily inspired by punk and folk influences from the 90s. Her debut six-track EP titled Prologue is a combination of punk rock and folk and offers a dynamic new take on the Indian music scene.  Their newest single Blue Moon is out on all digital platforms now! 


Words Aliya Anand
Date 21.06.2024