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Hope Tala is the latest and greatest artist to be a part to our Elevate campaign; a collaboration between GAY TIMES and Apple Music to support and platform LGBTQ+ music talent as they break through into the mainstream.

The 23-year-old rising star is undoubtedly one to watch with her homegrown narratives and heartfelt lyrics. In the run-up to Pride Month, we asked Hope to name some of her favourite tracks by LGBTQ+ artists for the ultimate Pride playlist. So, get ready to indulge yourself as Hope Tala breaks down her go-to Pride bangers.

Touch Me (Victoria Monét ft. Kehlani)
My two idols on one song! I love how Victoria is able to write about specific moments in time, make us feel like we’re there, and then zoom out from them and give them broader meaning. She’s a real storyteller. This song feels like the soundtrack to every crush I’ve ever had.

Bonnie (Young M.A.)
This is one of my favourite summer songs. It’s fun and it’s cool and when I first discovered it I didn’t listen to anything else for a week. Queer rap love songs are hard to find, and Young M.A. is so important and brilliant. You can’t go wrong with a Bonnie and Clyde reference either.

Hold On (The Internet)
This song is almost 7 minutes long, yet it feels like it goes by in a flash. I could listen to it forever, it’s so beautiful. The restraint and softness in Syd’s voice is so powerful. I love the whole Hive Mind album but this is probably my number one favourite.

Softly (Clairo)
Softly is one of those songs I could put on in any setting and it would just work. The melodies are so pretty, and the chorus is such a proper chorus – really catchy and easy and fun, which is something that is becoming harder and harder to find these days.

Steeeam (Shelly)
I love how nostalgic this song is. It makes me feel so content and carefree whenever I put it on – ‘Steeeam’ feels like the type of song that would be played in a 90s teen rom-com, which are my favourite type of movies. Its lyrics are so simple yet so evocative, as all the best lyrics are in my opinion. It’s a really difficult thing to achieve.

Kyoto (Phoebe Bridgers)
Like the rest of the entire world, I’m obsessed with Phoebe Bridgers, and this is my favourite song of hers. The fact that she can make ‘I wanna kill you’ sound whimsical! It’s just addictive.

Limbo (Joesef)
I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I first heard this song – it’s hard to put into words but basically it feels like it was made for me. It just perfectly embodies my musical taste. The melodies, the chord progression; and the writing is brilliant as well. It reminds me of a lot of the stuff on Frank by Amy Winehouse, which is one of my favourite albums – ‘In My Bed’ particularly.

Did You Come? (girl in red)
I’m so obsessed with the whole album. This song is urgent and intense but simultaneously so beautiful to me. Marie’s writing is so diaristic and confessional; I love how unafraid she is to talk about her feelings, and how the production often matches exactly to the sentiment of both what she’s saying and her vocal delivery.

Cuff Your Jeans (Claud)
This is another song that makes me feel like I’m living in a 90s teen rom-com. The lyrics are so nostalgic and the production feels like summertime.

Honey (Kehlani)
One of the most beautiful songs ever written, for sure. Kehlani is so incredibly important to me – as a mixed-race queer teenager, seeing someone I admired who was mixed race and part of the LGBTQIA+ community write love songs about girls was groundbreaking. This song is also a good example of how Kehlani can explore so many different sounds and areas of music yet always, always sound just like herself.

Related: Meet Hope Tala: the culture-blending creative ready to take off