Music is powerful medicine – especially when it’s coming from people who move through this complicated world as queer or Two-Spirit Indigenous people. That’s why we put together a list of some of our favorite songs released by Indigequeer artists that speak to our experiences in electrifying and empowering ways.
t4t (4s) – Bobby Sanchez
Bobby Sanchez (she/they) put out her third EP, Prophecy, in 2022 and it’s all bangers. But the song we’ve literally had on repeat for weeks is “t4t,” an invigorating ballad about the beauty of transgender people and trans love. In “t4t” (trans for trans), Sanchez drops frank lyrics laying out a heart song to her trans community:
“This song’s for the trans baddies worldwide
yeah I’m t4t
that beauty is so divine, know why
yeah I’m t4t”
If you like Sanchez’s unabashed sound and decolonial message, check out “Quechua 101 Land Back Please.” The entire first half of Sanchez’s most listened to song is an all-Quechua rap! Plus, their “Two-Spirit Anthem” continues to be the kind of representation that we crave. The rest of her discography is strong AF, and honestly it was hard to pick just one to highlight. So, here are three songs! You’re welcome.
Native Tongue – Mo’Ju
The next artist that made our list is Mo’Ju (fka Mojo Juju), a Wiradjuri and Filipino singer, based out of Melbourne (shout-out to our relatives down under!). In “Native Tongue,” Mo’Ju opens up about being mixed-race and feeling disconnected from their culture: “I don’t speak my father’s native tongue…I don’t know where I belong”
However, Mo’Ju confidently owns their identity and isn’t afraid to be confrontational as well:
“If you wanna call me somethin’
Call it to my face
But I will not apologize for taking up space”
YSB – NIMKISH (feat. ASCXNSION)
“Young, sick, broke, I need healing
I got issues stacked to the ceiling
I need healing, I need freedom”
A lot of us can relate to what NIMKISH has to say in this honest R&B-pop song that’s somehow both validating and a cry for help. Perhaps YSB is not the mood-boosting pre-party athem that will get you ready for a night out, but the queer, Cree, Kwakwaka’wakw, and Chinese artist is healing through music – and you can feel it.
Yes, please. We all need more of this.
Braids – Anachnid
“Boys with braids, girls with braids, they with braids, ha!”
In the second-to-last track off Anachnid’s album Dreamweaver, the Two-Spirit Oji-Cree/Mi’kmaq artist sings about the power in making her braids. “Braids” features dreamy synths and saxophone that make this the perfect song to jam to while getting ready to take on the day (or night).
For a bassy diss on colonizers, listen to “Windigo.”
Not Exotic – Frosty
“Don’t call me exotic…
and even in your most evolved state you couldn’t get with this
I’m done being polite cause shit don’t ever get done
I’ll die to defend before I’ll ever turn and run”
Frosty’s “organic ethereal flow” is as prominent as ever in “Not Exotic,” where she raps about being Mexica, resisting colonialism, and getting ready for the revolution. If you wanna keep dreaming of a liberated world, give Frosty’s All Frost No Ice a listen.
Give Me Life – Quanah Style and Diana Boss
To finish off this playlist with a bang, we present Two-Spirit Cree icon Quanah Style (she/her). Quanah Style gives us LIFE on “Give Me Life,” a super-dancey house track. A multi-talented drag queen, dancer, actor, and singer, Quanah is proud to represent the culture she was raised in. Watch her fulfill her lifelong dream of dancing jingle in this short documentary, “Dance with Me.”
Author: Chloe Runs Behind (they/them) is an Indigequeer artist and librarian with Northern Arapaho and Filipino roots, living, loving, and dreaming of better worlds in occupied Séliš and Qlispe land in so-called Missoula, MT.