Nhojj at Forefront of 'Gay Music' Revolution

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The trend of increasingly more recording artists coloring the full spectrum of gay music and the mainstream success they are receiving illustrated by black gay music artist Nhojj, recently # 1 on MTV Music Top 100 chart.

Gay Music Artist Nhojj

Music and revolutions go hand in hand, and I'm proud to be apart of this revolution!

What is Gay Music? Music by gay artists... music by out musicians... music with gay lyrics? Nhojj is one of a growing number of recording artists carving out a niche in the music industry, and shaping the answer to those questions. Expressing their reality, artists like Nhojj are depicting gay life and sharing their experiences as gay people in gay songs and gay music videos. This baby industry revolution has been growing underground for almost 2 decades and is beginning to spill into mainstream America .

Music lovers have always danced with gay artists. Tom Robinson's “Glad to be Gay” was a hit in the UK in the 1970s and disco singer Sylvester won 3 Billboard awards. In 1998, Rolling Stone named Rufus Wainwright Best New Artist, and Adam Lambert's release debuted at #3 on Billboard's 200 chart. However fans often become aware of a singer's sexuality after the artist-fan bond is formed - as is the case with Elton John, George Michael, Boy George, Tevin Campbell and Johnny Mathis. The industry's model of marketing to heterosexual desire keeps many artists closeted until after their career's have peaked.

But while mainstream approval keeps many major label artists in the closet, the indie music world is rich with gay music in every genre.

In 2009, BET/Centric TV congratulated soul singer Nhojj on being a gay history and a black history first, after becoming the first gay black male to win an OUTMusic Award. His provocative gay music video “Love” recently climbed to the #1 spot on the MTV Music Top 100 chart and was featured at the Sundance Film Festival's Queer Lounge. Nhojj's work has been featured on Logo TV and VIBE/Singersroom. Other black gay performers include 6x Stellar Award winner Tonéx now TON3X™, Donnie, and Rahsaan Patterson, who co-wrote Brandy's #1 song “Baby.”

In 2007, gay rapper Deadlee grabbed Rolling Stone and CNN headlines when he organized the first HomoRevolutions Tour, eventually appearing on the Tyra Banks show in the homo hip hop episode. The tour featured gay hip hop artists Tori Fixx, QBoy, and Johnny Dangerous among others. And last year gay rappers Last Offence and Bry'Nt were featured in Spin Magazine.

In 2006, alternative pop artist Josh Zuckerman scored the #1 spot on Sirius Radio, and the year before that Levi Kreis released his debut after appearing on “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump. Around that time music from Christopher Dallman's debut was featured on MTV's “The Real World.” While last year Matt Alber's dreamy vocals earned him a spot in OUT Magazines OUT100 issue.

Dance music has always been a popular form a gay music. Artists Kevin Aviance and RuPaul have both earned #1 Billboard Dance hits, Ari Gold won at the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards, and artist baron was nominated for an OUTMusic Award.

OUTMusic is an 18 year old organization that promotes and supports gay artists, and runs OutMusic.com - a database of popular indie gay recording artists. This year marks the first time the OUTMusic Awards have been featured on a Major Television Network - MTV owned LOGO.

One can remember the pivotal role songs like “We Shall Overcome” played in the Civil Rights Movement - music has always affirmed shared experience. Now gay rights is front and center in the public debate with President Obama's plan to repeal 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' and gay marriage winning the slow and steady war around the globe - most recently in our nation's capitol. “Music and revolutions go hand in hand, and I'm proud to be apart of this revolution!” - Nhojj explains.

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Ronald San Marchi
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