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Queer Necessities: Jon Ali’s June 2021 Playlist, Featuring Kelechi & More!

Happy Pride Month, everyone!

Even though Pride is celebrated every day in this house, it’s never a wrong time to remind you all that Pride was founded on radical protest against violent state repression. So no, there is never a wrong time to be proud and stand up for what is rightfully ours.

The way I celebrate Pride every month is via Queer Necessities, my monthly LGBTQ-focused playlist where I catch you up on the latest releases by rising queer talent and fierce allies.

The cover star for the coveted month of June is Los Angeles-based talent Kelechi in celebration of his comeback. It’s been well over a year since we last heard from the rising star, but he’s back in full force with new single “Dance In the Mirror,” — penned and produced by Kelechi, Jesse St. John and Socialchair — a dreamy and romantic ’80s-tinged pop groove that puts Kelechi‘s powerhouse vocals in the forefront.

“I was scared to release ‘Dance In the Mirror.’ It’s an incredibly personal song about a time in my life that wasn’t the most… uplifting,” Kelechi told Jon Ali in a statement. “I can’t say I was the protagonist in the matter either – but I wrote it because I feel like so many people go through the motions of a break up, AND get over the break up. While there are so many sad songs about break ups, I wanted to write a song about the triumphs of getting over that sad period.”

As far as his time away during the pandemic, Kelechi says that it he “had so many thoughts running around” that he needed someplace to escape: “So I put pen to paper and wrote so many incredible songs. I’ve partnered with an incredible group of musicians and producers to create an arsenal of music releases to last throughout the end of the year. Some songs are chill mid-tempo reflective pieces, while others are uptempo bops ready to take you from Summer into Fall. I even have a couple sexy moments for the children. I’m so excited to show my musical range and bring more listeners into my world. It’s a sexy, complicated, magnificent world. I hope you’re ready!”

On what Pride 2021 means to him: “Pride means so many things to me. But this year, I’m focusing on being thankful in my Pride, if that makes any sense. I’m thankful to have blood relatives and a chosen family who loves me for who I am. I’m thankful for being a queer black man who is able to use my small platform to give hope and lend a voice to those who are like me who feel they have no voice at all. I’m thankful for the gift of music. I started out in a boyband, where I was told that if I came out it would ruin my chances at any semblance of a music career. Fast forward a few years, and here we are: three releases in as my authentic self, spreading unabashed joy (and bops), and sitting firmly in my Pride.”

There’s plenty more around the corner from where “Dance In the Mirror” came from so get caught up now if you haven’t already! This month’s selections also include new singles from Hayley Kiyoko, Rebecca Black, VINCINT, Darin, Todrick Hall, Michaela Jaé, Delia Dane, Bronze Avery, Saro, Bimini and much more!

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