Queer Music News: Big Freedia and Riotron collaboration; new singles from Bronze Avery, Johnny Manuel


An animated Big Freedia and Riotron in the new “Drop a Bomb” video. (Courtesy image)

A look at what’s happening in the music of LGBTQ artists and the artists we love. Big news in other headlines includes Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes, making her music debut with the video and song “Lock&Key.” Its good. And after weeks of hype, Elton and Britney’s duet “Hold Me Closer” is finally out. Click on the link to listen.

Bounce queen Big Freedia joins Riotrion in new video for ‘Drop a Bomb’


A dynamic queer duo just dropped some visuals.

Canadian electro-pop artist, Riotron has teamed up with Big Freedia to release the new video for their song “Drop a Bomb”. The song, which was produced by Matt Malpassis, has mind-blowing beats, but the video really brings it to life. And the video takes on an animated perspective from Alex Sayer who has worked with Miley Cyrus and Trixie Mattel.

Greater Freedia

“It was so much fun! I loved the process of creating my animated image. We had a great meeting where we got to see the basics of animation video, and I just loved it! really captured the fun energy of the song. Drop a bomb on them,” Freedia said in a press release.

“The song felt like a fun reminder of the importance of letting go of insecurities, letting go of whatever you’re doing, and dancing as often as you can. I want to shine a light on homosexuality in a fun way, wacky and joyful. All are welcome in my cartoon country,” Salyer said.

Jeff Fettes, aka Riotron, thought Freedia’s style contrasted with his own.

“I had wanted a ’90s-style rap interlude and thought, imagine if someone like Big Freedia had just exploded into a third verse here,” Fettes said. “Freedia was on tour and stopped at a studio in Cincinnati for an evening and did it. The first time I heard it, I literally jumped out of my chair and said, ‘Yeah ! This!’

The two recently filmed an interview with GLAAD which can be seen here. Watch the video for “Drop the Bomb” below:

Bronze Avery releases ‘Figure it Out’ single and video

Bronze Avery (Justin Gilbert)

Avery released his new single and video “To understandon Friday. The song gives upbeat pop sensibilities about toxic relationships.

“I wrote [the song] at the height of a tumultuous situation,” Avery said in a press release. “I was framed for being overly emotional with crazy expectations when I now realize I barely asked for anything in the first place. Even something as simple as a kiss felt like asking for the keys to the city. My friend and neighbor Bonavega, a flamboyant, beaming and loud glam rock artist, helped me re-record the epic guitar solo in the outro but I wrote and produced [the song] alone on my couch. It basically wrote itself in 15 minutes.

From the Avery ad:

Soundtrack to the queer experience, Bronze uses her voice to change the sensual perspective of mainstream music, elevating the art of marginalized groups to realize her role as a force for freedom in the music industry – a role that abandons the usual stereotypes that have been placed on queer people of color, inspires people to be authentic themselves and paves the way for other black and queer pop artists to follow in her footsteps.

Watch “Understand” below:

Queer Artist Johnny Manuel Releases Brand New Single “Again”

Johnny Manuel (courtesy photo)

It’s a busy Friday for new LGBTQ+ music. queer artist and The Voice Australia finalist Johnny Manuel released “Again” on Friday which previews his upcoming EP younger skinwhich is slated for release on October 7. younger skin is Manuel’s first solo project.

“There was a level of comfort I had never experienced in creating my music before and it allowed me to open up. The icing on the cake was having it mixed by Elijah Marrett-Hitch, and his magic ears, and mastered by Dale Becker. Their combined level of skill and attention to detail elevated the EP and gave it the polished finish it needed,” he said in the single’s announcement.

“Again” tracks with a relaxing and soulful vibe against an electronic beat. The song and EP are produced by Aidan Leprete. Manuel discussed the meaning of the song.

“’Again’ is a kind of emancipation. It’s me celebrating parts of myself that I’ve been told I’m not supposed to do. I get rid of the opinions I was afraid of. I live on the other side of what was holding me back and I give myself permission to enjoy it. I fall back deep into what I was told I had to leave behind. It’s me who smells like my oats a little too. That’s part of what made writing with Aidan Laprete and Mischa Mandel so fun. I’ve never spoken like that on a record before. It was liberating. I think this song also speaks to Aidan’s genius as a producer. It’s so smart and contagious. I am obsessed with his production on this one,” he mentioned in the statement.

Watch the visualizer for “Again” below:

Rupaul, Lily Tomlin and More to Host Willis Wonderland Night of Wonders

The first Willis Wonderland Foundation Night of Wonders will launch its new non-profit organization that supports the education and advancement of songwriters and media artists, especially those in underserved communities, who will continue the legacy and creative vision by songwriter Allee Willis. The host committee for the event includes RuPaul, Lily Tomlin, comedian Luenell, Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) and actress/singer Jenifer Lewis.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the legacy of Renaissance woman Allee Willis. Through her music, her foundation and her legendary friendships, she will continue to inspire others for generations to come,” RuPaul said in a press release.

Allee Willis, 2015 (Photo by Bret Hartman/for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

From the Foundation:

Passionate about mentoring various songwriters and multimedia artists, Willis wanted to secure a future for them, especially given the continuing decline in arts funding. After his sudden death on Christmas Eve 2019, his longtime partner Prudence Fenton established the foundation to preserve Willis’ legacy by continuing to support his passions. The foundation will offer mentorships, seminars, lectures and podcasts, as well as artist-in-residence programs at Willis Wonderland, Allee’s North Hollywood home purchased on his first “Boogie Wonderland” royalty check. The 1937 Art Deco Streamline Moderne house is home to one of the world’s largest collections of kitsch pop culture memorabilia.

The evening, “21st Night of September”, a line from one of Allee’s biggest hit songs “September”, will feature a live auction of some of Willis’ most notable collectibles, including collectibles from Willis Wonderland and exclusive memorabilia and artwork. Guests will also be treated to a fashion show of pieces from Willis’ pioneering collection, which will be modeled by surprise famous faces, as well as a Sing-A-Long of some of Willis’ award-winning tunes. Cocktails, food, a DJ and other artists and surprise interactive games will complete the Nuit des Merveilles.

Notable Willis songs and hits include “September” and “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind and Fire, “Neutron Dance” by The Pointer Sisters, “What Have I Done To Deserve This” by The Pet Shop Boys featuring Dusty Springfield and The Rembrandts. “I’ll be there for you (theme of Friends).” She also co-wrote the Broadway musical produced by Oprah Winfrey The purple color.

Click here for more information.

–Rich Lopez


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