10 Best
Jason kwan
17.06.2024, Words by DMY Staff

10 Best LGBTQ+ Anthems according to Jason Kwan

Alt-pop artist artist curates a playlist for Pride Month

Hong Kong-born, London-based singer-songwriter, Jason Kwan, is writing the songs they wished they could have heard growing up.

Pulling on influences from pop to R&B and soul, Kwan's music is noted for its sweeping cinematic melodies and introspective lyrical storytelling. Their new EP, 'Deja Vu', captures the late night adventures they had growing up in Hong Kong, "Still closeted, but exploring love, sexuality, and adventure for the first time. These stories of falling in love, experiencing rejection, heartbreak, and celebration were stories I thought would only ever live in my memory," they explain.

Ahead of performing at a sweep of Pride city celebrations across the UK and Europe, Jason Kwan has put together a playlist of their favourite songs to celebrate for DMY. 

"Happy Pride Month! These songs are the soundtrack to my queer journey and discovery from growing up in Hong Kong and the UK, to living in London now. They all highlight different facets of my queer, non-binary identity, and are songs I would never skip. 

I encourage you to listen to them in the below order, and make sure you have enough space to dance and sing-a-long."

1. Lady Gaga - Born This Way

"It’s no secret that I’m the biggest Gaga fan. This song came out during a tough time when I was living in the UK, struggling to come out to my friends and family. Although completely virtual, Gaga showed me an allyship that was possible, and the song gave me the motivation and courage to come out. It was wild that my parents had no idea I was queer, even though I was blasting and singing this song non-stop, on repeat."

2. Chaka Khan - I’m Every Woman

"The way Chaka Khan makes me feel, is gay. She makes me feel SO gay. This song is deep for me on several levels; it celebrates femininity, but also embodies the spectrum of what it means to be a woman. This song gave me space to explore my femininity and to declare loudly that femininity is something to be celebrated, not something to be ashamed of."

3. Jason Kwan - Faith

"'Faith' is one of my songs from my debut EP, and I put it on this list because I hope that one day it will be in someone’s “Top 10 LGBTQ+ Anthems”. I wrote 'Faith' as a fight song for my trans and non-binary siblings, for those who want to give up on being themselves. This song is me rallying behind them, behind myself, to have a little more faith that things will get better."

4. Barry Harris - Dive In The Pool (feat. Pepper Mashay)

"I first heard this song on Queer As Folk (US), the first mature LGBTQ+ TV series I ever watched. I was enthralled with the queer club culture, underground drag, and queer sex. This song served as my gateway into queer club music, and this level of camp allowed me to completely lose myself, dancing in the club."

5. PlanningToRock - Get Your Fking Laws Off of My Body

"By one of my favourite artists, this song has quickly surged into my Top 10. PlanningToRock has influenced me since I was a teenager. This song is a banger, but also has so much rage in it. The way trans people are mistreated makes my blood boil. This song gives me an outlet to stay intact and stay strong. It’s a protest song, which is what Pride is all about."

6. Denise Ho - 光明會

"This Cantopop queer anthem was written by the icons Denise Ho and Wyman who I look up to endlessly. I performed this song in London at my very first Pride performances ever. Towards the end of the song, I stripped to reveal an outrageous peacock bodysuit. It was a sight to see. This song translates into “Illuminati”, but the message of the song is about LGBTQ+ people coming out of hiding to celebrate themselves. Denise is the activist we don’t deserve. I fucking love her."

7. The Cheetah Girls - Strut

"'Strut' is my childhood queer anthem and still hits hard for me today. The power that The Cheetah Girls have on me is intoxicating. This song gave me so much confidence to be camp, to strut, and to be expressive as a closeted kid growing up in Hong Kong. I used to drag up in a towel and dance to this song."

8. Tina Turner - The Best

"This is absolutely my self-love anthem, and the love song I attribute to my friends, my allies, my family, and my loved ones. This song is such a raw declaration of love. It is timeless and encapsulates how I feel about my queer-Asian cabaret family, The Bitten Peach."

9. Countess Luann - Money Can’t Buy You Class

"This is peak camp. I started watching The Real Housewives franchises during lockdown. There’s something so carefree and nonchalant and kind of ridiculous about this song - it’s perfect. So much of the queer experience is serious unseriousness, and Countess Luann singing this song perfectly captures that sentiment for me."

10. Janice Vidal - 離家出走

"Ending this list with a ballad, this song translates to “Run Away From Home”. It’s by my favourite Cantonese pop singer, 衛蘭. This song came out when I first started to feel queer emotions before I even hit puberty. The song became my and the Hong Kong LGBTQ+ community’s anthem. The lyrics talk about running away with those you love to find a better world, to let yourself be free, and to leave all limitations behind. Janice’s performance is very sweet, innocent, but determined. I used to sing this at talent shows and still perform it at my shows today."

Stream the 10 Best playlist on Spotify below:

You might like
10 Best