From genderbending fashion to pinkwashing cishet artists, let’s have a conversation on the (re)appropriation of queer aesthetics in mainstream music.
Few industries are as accepting to queer aesthetics as the music industry, yet the people that pioneer a lot of pop and mainstream music in this field struggle to be centre stage. In this talk we’ll chart the contributions of queer communities to the (aesthetics of the) music industry, and discuss how these communities can capitalize on their contributions, both financially speaking, and to further the LGBTQ rights movement.
w/ BRYN, Juriji der Klee, Hendrik Wittock and Amari Bouzin
The conversation ise in English and moderated by Rachael Moore (The Belgian Pride)
Recorded on 12.05.21
Brussels-based pop singer-songwriter BRYN has quite the story behind him. The Rwandese refugee followed his dreams in the music world - against the advice of his teachers and parents, who wanted to push him into academic studies. He moved a lot growing up before settling in the country he now calls home. He started writing songs in 2011, whilst living in an asylum seeker center, where he taught himself how to play guitar. He regularly played his compositions to a friend there who used to call him “The Brain” as a way to encourage him in his passion: that’s how the project BRYN (pronounced “brain”) was born. Now the 21-year-old is back to tell us more with his first EP ‘Middle 8’ of heavy pop sounds inspired by artists such as Lorde and Tove Lo, including the singles ‘A Degree’, ‘Teenage Dreams’ and ‘LTIWYL’.
JURIJI DER KLEE
Juriji der Klee, a drag performer who trained as a lyrical singer, cabaret artist at Madame Arthur in Paris and the mother of the house Bénédiction-Rituels Exceptionnels. She creates electro-pop music away from the mainstream, where lyrical singing is made sacred again, transcending sounds, genders, and eras, blessing the city through Queer rituals where inclusivity and diversity are the keywords.
From street dancer to art performer. Amari is an artist but also a non-binary fashion model, represented in Paris and Milan. They’re known as an experimental DJ, deconstructing club's music narrative with spiritual sounds. But most of their recent work is around Black and Queer sensualities: creating innovative spaces around that topic. They are the founder of ROYALE, a new experience diving into the Art World with visual art, sound, and performance, questioning institutionalized spaces around Queerness, Blackness, and sensualities.
Hendrik Wittock is a marketeer and writer with a Master's in Comparative Modern Literature. He graduated with a thesis on (metaphorical) discourse on HIV/AIDS in the 80s and is currently working as Marketing Manager for VICE Media Group, the biggest youth media company around the world. In his current position, Hendrik is responsible for partnerships and marketing of VICE in Belgium, and he also writes and (co)produces (video)content related to queer politics, gender equality, music, and other art forms for vice.com.
Rachael Moore is a British-born LGBT activist who lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. With a background in youth empowerment, LGBT rights, and advocacy, Rachael is no stranger to discrimination in social and professional settings. Previously she worked at the European Parliament and as the director of Rainbowhouse Brussels. Her experience at both local and European levels of politics has given her a greater insight into places that were never meant for Black people or people of colour. Together with Eric Cyuzuzo, she co-founded Rainbow Nation Brussels, an organization that pushes for a different narrative regarding the visibility of QTIBPOC through pushing for diversity, inclusivity, and multiculturalism that is not defined by whiteness, with a true ‘Nothing about Us without Us’ stance with regards to how the LGBT community deals with its own issues of racism, transphobia, and xenophobia. Rainbow Nation Brussels also provides support group meetings for QTIBPOC and organizes community-building activities for victims of racism. Rachael is also cofounded SHAKEDOWN Bxl which organizes cultural events that centralize queer and trans women and femme persons. Additionally, Rachael works as a consultant about intersectionality and anti-racism.
Co-organizers: Vice & The Belgian Pride