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Queer Artists You Need to Know

The list includes musicians, poets, illustrators and more

Rolling Stone India Jun 22, 2020

Illustrator Anwesh Sahoo. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Pragya Pallavi


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#nofilterneeded #instaqueer #weekendvibes #yolo

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Patna-bred multitalented artist Pragya Pallavi is a classically trained Hindustani vocalist who juxtaposes genres such as EDM, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, alt-rock and more.  

Anwesh Sahoo 


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Clearly OBSESSED. . . . . . @reebokindia @reebokclassicindia #loveislove #pride #AllTypesOfLove

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The former Mr. Gay India 2016 and youngest winner of the pageant in the country, is an illustrator, writer, model and TEDx speaker. Sahoo also moonlights as The Effeminare where he blogs about a parallel universe and illustrates the Utopian world he wants to be a part of.

Indranil Basu

Kolkata-based Indranil Basu is a young poet and environmentalist who uses his voice to support causes he believes in.


GrapeGuitarBox aka Teenasai Balamu is an indie musician originally from Bengaluru. Balamu’s alt-pop sound is created to have a safe space away from judgment or discrimination.   

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Harmeet Rehal


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so happy to draw my dear pal Iman in a dreamy mushroom home✨

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Harmeet Rehal is an Indo-Canadian LGBTQI+ activist and artist whose art includes queer identity. Rehal’s art informs us of changes we can make in our daily lives.

Janvi Anand


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New Delhi-based singer-songwriter Janvi Anand aka Jay has been steadily building a following across India and in the U.S. for creating openhearted songs set to diverse sounds. Jay released Faces of Love in 2017 and began moving into an increasingly candid space with singles like “Fool to Want You” (2018) and 2019’s stirring, string section-aided ballad “Come Home,” which spoke about loss. 

Friends of Linger


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Friends of Linger #queermusic #gaymusicchart #gaypride #gaylove #queer #edm #dancemusic #pop @sharif_rangnekar

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Founded by author and singer-songwriter Sharif D Rangnekar, New Delhi’s Friends of Linger also includes composers Smiti Malik and Adhir Ghosh. Primarily a “concept band” who have written about gay relationships (“Miss You”) and queer pride (“Head Held High”), Friends of Linger don’t shy away from socio-political issues like the murder of Gauri Lankesh (“Silence”). 

Tropical Marca 

Marc Mascarenhas aka Tropical Marca is a drag queen and rapper, which means that music videos for releases like “FYB” and “Tropical Queen” are a kaleidoscopic treat. Amongst the few queer rappers in the country, Marca has some ways to go with lyrical finesse but brings the heat nevertheless. 

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Vardaan Arora 


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more pictures of me from the same spot as the ones i posted yesterday! this is all i do now

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Actor and singer Vardaan Arora was born in New Delhi but has made his mark in the U.S. thanks to viral singles such as “Feel Good Song.” That was in 2016 and ever since then, Arora’s soulful, finger-on-the-pulse pop has been gaining fans, even as he’s tapped for more film and TV roles. 


New Delhi artist, curator and DJ-producer Vidisha Fadescha has worked most recently in Parramatta, Sydney for an installation called Burn All The Books That Call You The Unknown. Piecing together soundscapes and recordings collected over eight years, there’s ambient and noise at play, which “makes space for plurality of identities and enacts a moment for self-representation and personal agency,” according to an event description.

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