For new series to acknowledge Pride celebrations taking place across the UK in September, we’ve asked LGBTQ+ musicians and figures to write a love letter to either the community or a queer person who has inspired them, along with an Apple Music playlist to pay tribute.

Here, rising star Ashnikko pays homage to the songs and artists that soundtracked her formative years, and the queer community who has helped her during her ongoing journey in music.


What a talented, and adaptable collective the queer community is, and it is a space that I feel overwhelmingly delighted to be a part of, and writing a love letter to the community as a whole feels like a daunting, but necessary task.

There is no question that queerness and pop music are inherently linked. I have the queer community within pop to thank for a lot of my queer journey! I have it to thank for soundtracking my younger years and emotions, and providing a family and safe space when I left home and moved to a new country by myself. And I have it to thank for being so regularly surrounded by the inspiring queer people, art and music which in turn made me realise my queerness and grow in my own art.

This is a love letter to the early-mid 00s bops that I had glued to my ears as a teenager, to the club anthems that made me dance, and the refreshing artists that are shaking up the game.

Music’s role in self-expression and celebration of one another is unrivalled. ‘Queer music’ as a concept is just as versatile as the community itself and is simply too fabulous to be boxed in by a genre. Heavily powered by emotion, there is something euphoric about how equally clandestine and camp pop music can be. It can make you ugly cry into your pillow, dwell on a past queer romance or, on the other end of the spectrum it can make you want to take all your clothes off and dance on tables! We are multi-faceted, and this is a playlist that reflects just that.

Each member of the LGBTQI+ community has their own experience, but it is the mutually shared moments, skill-sharing and love that make us unstoppable. My role within the queer community is not something that is fixed but rather, ever-changing and evolving and pop music will continue to act as both a comfort blanket and a vessel for my self-expression.

You can listen to Ashnikko’s brilliant debut album DEMIDEVIL on Apple Music here