Can you share your journey as a creative and how your queer identity may have influenced your work? (if at all?)
My queer identity has definitely put into perspective how important inclusion is in my daily work at UKF. By curating the YouTube channels, I always keep an eye and ear out for artists of a diverse identity to have more recognition for their work. Bass music is still fairly underground as it is, but for those in the LGBTQ+ community it can be super daunting to become part of a scene that’s very predominantly white, cis and male.
Similarly, in my own creative work as an artist I include as many queer artists in my mixes and am inspired by their tracks and how they use their identity to express their art. Our courage and pride for being who we are, influences me to create more and demonstrate who I am as a human in my work.
Are there any particular events, organisations, individuals or initiatives within the LGBTQ+ community that you find particularly impactful or supportive of queer creatives?
For queer creatives particularly, I would have to say Unorthodox are really killing it in the scene while representing our community. The group are so inspiring to so many individuals who are queer and have a passion for Drum & Bass, it truly is the first of it’s kind in the Drum & Bass scene.
I am also part of an LGBTQ+ group called TGTHR that is powered by the company I work for, AEI. We just launched our first networking event for those who are queer with the hopes to create a space to raise opportunities, and to collaborate and/or to be inspired for future projects. We are still growing and learning but I believe there will be a strong queer creative community in all areas of music in the future!
How do you feel about the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the creative industry? are there any improvements you would like to see?
I think in Bass music in general, the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals are so minimal. However, I see some artists like Mandidextrous, Anaïs and Chickaboo proudly representing the community in their work and in the underground music scene. However, I would always love to see more representation and for promoters to book people for their music not just their identity.
What advice would you give to other LGBTQ+ individuals who aspire to pursue a career in the creative industry?
Make what you love, express yourself in fashion, music, art, makeup and just be who you are and OWN it. This is obviously easier said than done, but having the confidence to be unapologetically you, it can in some ways bring peace. Knowing that you’ve been true to yourself and cared less about peoples judgements, can allow you to grow. Saying this, I would always say to do what feels comfortable in your own time, where you feel safe and happy.
How can creative spaces like ours better support and uplift LGBTQ+ voices and talents?
Creative spaces can always provide the opportunity to educate those who aren’t queer because a lot of fear could come from ignorance from those who don’t know how to communicate with us mindfully. This could aid in ensuring a safe space for LGBTQ+ voices. Maybe connecting more with queer creatives to perform or tutor in the Halley, or just play more queer music, present more queer art on the walls. Also, having more conversations about LGBTQ+ diversity and how we can welcome that more.
How can people find you/engage with your work?