Zolita: The Rising Queer Icon You Need to Know
- Published: 06 July 2018
- Some argue that the whole concept of coming out in 2018 is moot, but the reality is that it still happens everyday, whether you intentionally seek out to do it or not. Although there is still much room for improvement, visibility for the gay community has undoubtedly been growing. Openly queer artists such as Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko – who has been dubbed as Lesbian Jesus by her intensely loyal legion of fans – are now regarded alongside some of today’s most revered pop icons. It’s not just starting an open dialogue on the topic of LGBTQ+ presence that is important, though – these artists are actively normalizing what it means to be gay. Thanks to these loud and proud artists, a music video that shows two young women in love can garner over 93 million views on YouTube.
Making her own mark in this significant movement is Zolita. Real name Zoë Hoetzel, the LA-based artist (who was previously based in NYC) has become a powerful voice for not only queer music, but independent music in general. As a singer-songwriter who creates and releases music without the support – or more importantly, the influence – of a record label, Zolita’s music is completely unfiltered and is confidently her own. First blowing up (pun unintended) the Internet with her first single, “Explosion,” you would be hard-pressed to find a listener, gay or straight, who was not able to relate to the heartbreakingly honest lyrics. As an homage to her very real experience of falling in love with her best friend, only to find that that love is unrequited, the Internet’s response to the song was overwhelming. Recognizing the potential that her music has on an audience, the singer has become committed to telling stories for women who love other women. When asked whether she thinks the term “queer music” pigeonholes her into a genre, she responds, “I definitely don’t find it restrictive. I think it’s necessary right now…Queer people are still a minority and we still don’t have all the rights that we need. Music is a universal language. You can’t deny if something is making you feel some type of way. So I think anyone can relate to my music, whether you’re gay or straight.”
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