From demos to debut albums, SoundCloud is often the first stop for any artist looking to get their music into the world. Now home to more than 20 million creators, the platform has helped empower a new generation of DIY artists to reach an audience without having to compromise who they are. To celebrate Pride, PAPER teamed up with SoundCloud to spotlight rising LGBTQ+ musicians all month long. We're already obsessed, and you will be too.
London-based artist, Andrea Di Giovanni has a sound that already feels primed for the top of the charts. Electro-charged Lady Gaga ARTPOP-era production with a voice that could give Sam Smith a run for his money, Di Giovanni is the genderfluid answer to pop mundanity.
Their debut EP, Permission, is vibrant, energetic, and unapologetically queer. Written in the wake of Chechnya's anti-gay purges, the EP's lead single "Forbidden Love" carves out space to honor a hard-fought history of LGBTQ activism by featuring a clip from Sylvia Rivera's famous "Y'all Better Quiet Down" speech amidst the soaring anthem's positively rapturous chorus.
For such a young musician, Di Giovanni shows an incredible amount of polish and appreciation for the queer artists before them that paved the way. Following the release of Permission this May, Di Giovanni says they are already working towards putting together a full-length debut that's sure to make a big splash.
PAPER caught up with Andrea Di Giovanni to help you get to know the rising pop phenom a little bit better. Follow them on SoundCloud, here.
How would you best describe your sound?
Electronic Dark Pop.
What was the most insane show you've ever played?
I'd definitely say Pride in London main stage at Trafalgar Square.
What was the first MP3 you ever downloaded?
I'd probably say Amy Winehouse "Frank."
Who are your queer music icons?
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride means loving out loud, embracing your true self and celebrating our incredible community all together as one. For me, Pride has always meant community, sharing your authenticity with your peers and also making a clear political statement.
Related | Welcome to Planet Grace Jones
As a queer artist, what are the challenges have you faced?
Silent discrimination and compromise. My image and the values I stand for have closed a lot of opportunities in the past and they still do, which I find absolutely deplorable. And also having to "compromise" in order to be more palatable to a mainstream audience, while my straight counterpart doesn't have to worry about it.
How would you like to see the industry be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ voices?
I'd love to see mainstream labels/media outlets taking that risk and supporting queer artists for real and not just using them for their artists' moodboards or exploiting queer voices only for their Pride month features.
How has SoundCloud been a tool in your career?
SoundCloud has been the very first platform on which I shared my work as a singer/artist. I used to record covers and originals in an acoustic format and that's where I have found my first audience.
Why do you think SoundCloud is important to creators in the LGBTQ+ community?
Because it links creators from across the globe in a fun and easy way.
What other queer creators have you discovered while on SoundCloud?
I'd say my friend Davy Boi, Sylvie and MNEK.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Di Giovanni