So now that it’s officially Pride Month again (yay!), I begin my yearly ritual of getting myself in the right mindset: festive, positive, and of course…proud of myself and my community!
Anyone who knows me knows one of the first things I do to gather my thoughts or to get myself into a certain mindset: construct a playlist. It doesn’t matter if I’m about to write a script or throw a party or play a character…they all usually start with a playlist. I’m not really sure why that’s the case, but I like to think that it has something to do with me meditating on an idea, gathering my thoughts on it, and then searching for songs that stimulate my creativity, compile them all together, and assemble them together so that I can refer back to it whenever I need to get into the right mindset. That sounds like a good explanation, right? I mean music has always been a huge part of my creative process and a perpetual source of inspiration for me. And what’s great about platforms like Spotify is that I get to share these playlists with the world!!!
It’s in that spirit that I’ve started my yearly unofficial tradition of constructing a Pride playlist. It’s a chance to not just hype myself up and to share that excitement with other people. Before I share this year’s list, though, a quick word on my music tastes. They’re eclectic to say the least. I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to a whole bunch of different music genres growing up, so I LOVE that I’ve been able to appreciate and enjoy all sorts of different music over the years. Part of that eclectic nature always makes it into my Pride playlists, partly because I like eclectic and partially because I want to celebrate the diverse nature of Pride itself. The whole point of the festival is to celebrate everyone’s individual identity and show how diversity enhances everyone’s experience.
So as you listen, just be ready for some curveballs. I usually start with some of the classic Pride staples that we’ve accumulated over the years: “I Will Survive”, “Let’s Have A Kiki”, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”, “Spice Up Your Life”…you know, the stuff that’s guaranteed to bring out the sashay in almost anyone. Then I throw in a few contemporary Top 40 hits from the past year, but not just any Top 40. There’s gotta be some kind of queer appeal or, better yet, something about the song that touches on love and/or pride and/or positivity in some fashion. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”? No thanks. “Cheap Thrills”? Absolutely. From there, I try to add at least one or two vintage songs that deal with protest or social commentary of some kind. I want to gently remind people that there’s a reason behind all the parading and celebrating. Plus I want to pay tribute to all of the people who came before us and made all of the progress possible (that’s also why “Together Again” always makes the list, since that was Janet’s tribute to the friends she lost to AIDS), and remind people that there’s still work that needs to be done. And finally, I like to pour through the archives of my other music and playlists and throw in a few songs that people either haven’t heard or wouldn’t expect. I’m a firm believer that a good DJ doesn’t just play what people want to hear, but who can also make people go, “What song is this? I really like it!”
Anyways, enough rambling. Here’s the playlist as of now! I’ll be updating it over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back or follow it or whatever it is you do with Spotify playlists (lol). Enjoy!