Reaching millions of listeners every week, 6 Music are no strangers to airing a broad range of music and culture beyond the mainstream. The channel is dedicated to music lovers with a curious spirit, combining the cutting-edge music of today with the iconic, ground-breaking sounds of the past 50 years and building a bridge between generations.
Over the last pandemic year, 6 Music has continued to deliver socially distanced live performances on air, including from The Staves, Mogwai, Fontaines D.C., Doves, Blue Note Re:imagined and IDLES. They’ve also supported emerging artists and the independent sector with initiatives such as State of Independents Day (September 2020), which shone a light on the challenges and opportunities facing the independent music industry, the network’s celebration of Independent Venue Week (January 2021) and will also be supporting Record Store Day on Saturday 17th July.
The Loud and Proud Season
From Monday 31st May to Sunday 20th June, 6 Music will broadcast a season called Loud and Proud – three weeks of special shows, guest presenters and mixes, which will celebrate LGBTQ+ voices and kick off Pride season in style.
Camilla Pia (Assistant Commissioner, BBC Radio 6 Music) says: “I’m thrilled that 6 Music is supporting and shining a light on the LGBTQ+ community during the globally recognised month of Pride. Our Loud and Proud season will celebrate alternative voices from a variety of scenes and genres beyond the mainstream. It’s going to be iconic!”
Season highlights include:
- A Deep Dive Into Ballroom – a documentary presented by Jay Jay Revlon, celebrating Ballroom culture, past and present
- Guest presenters and mixes from artists including Ezra Furman, John Grant, Sleater-Kinney, Bimini, Queer House Party and Arca
- A day of LGBTQ+ artists including Elkka, DJ Paulette, Rostam and Skunk Anansie’s Skin, celebrating others who have inspired them, from 5am-7pm on Friday 4th June
- 6 Music Artist Collections (Tuesdays, 12am-5am) dedicated to Courtney Barnett, St. Vincent, Kae Tempest, Janelle Monae and Pet Shop Boys, throughout the month
- A new 6 Music Artist in Residence series, presented by Mykki Blanco
On Sunday 20th June (1pm-2pm), 6 Music will broadcast A Deep Dive Into Ballroom – a documentary telling the story of Ballroom culture, from the past to the present day. Hosted by leading authority of Ballroom in the UK, Jay Jay Revlon and featuring contributions DJ MikeQ – the world’s number one Ballroom DJ, Vinii Revlon – father of the House of Revlon in Paris and Jada Revlon – legend on the US Ballroom scene, the programme will be an empowering hour of music and speech, which proves the importance of music and community through the ages.
Jay Jay will explore the musical anthems that defined the scene and the new generation of producers who are bringing Ballroom into the now, using samples of classic vogue tracks in their music. Listeners will also hear from dancers and artists about what Ballroom means to them.
Originating in the 1920s and becoming heightened in the late 1970s, the Ballroom scene in New York, and particularly Harlem, was founded by the African American and Latin American queer community. It aimed to create a safe space for all manner of self-expression and offered a place of solace and acceptance, where nonconformity was the norm. Black and Latino gay men and trans women, ostracized from the mainstream, found alternative families, forming Houses, which competed on the catwalk. Many will have first heard about Ballroom from Madonna’s song, Vogue, which incorporated dance moves from the culture. However, it has recently had more mainstream exposure with the TV series Pose (recently broadcast on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer), which tells the story of members of the Ballroom Houses around that time in New York.
Jay Jay Revlon says: “Follow me on a journey through the real history of Ballroom, talking to people like MikeQ and Jada Revlon from the U.S. and some more special guests. Follow me, your boy Jay Jay Revlon, on a journey and a deep dive in to Ballroom.”
Later on Sunday 20th June, Tom Robinson will present a special LGBTQ+ edition of Now Playing @6Music.
6 Music’s regular Artist Collection (broadcast on Tuesdays between 12am – 5am also available on BBC Sounds), will spotlight Courtney Barnett (1st June), St. Vincent (8th June), Kae Tempest (15th June), Janelle Monae (22nd June) and Pet Shop Boys (29th June). The collections will feature a selection of archive performances, documentaries and playlists dedicated to these artists.
The network will also welcome guest presenters Ezra Furman and John Grant to broadcast shows from Monday 7th to Thursday 10th June. Ezra will present each day from 7pm-9pm and John Grant from 9pm-midnight.
Ezra Furman says: “6 Music has been a huge supporter of my music over the years, so it’s a true honor to be asked to present this series of shows as part of Loud and Proud, getting the chance to celebrate some of my favorite queer voices.”
John Grant says: “I’m extremely excited 6 Music is letting me share some music with you very soon in celebration of Pride month. See you out there!”
Throughout the daytime schedule on Friday 4th June (5am-7pm), listeners will hear from LGBTQ+ artists including Elkka, DJ Paulette, Rostam and Skunk Anansie’s Skin, who will each nominate another artist who has inspired or influenced them. Presenters will then play a track from that artist.
From 7pm-midnight, the schedule will be dedicated solely to some of 6 Music’s most loved LGBTQ+ musicians and DJs. Listeners can enjoy specially curated shows and mixes from Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein of American rock band Sleater-Kinney (7pm-9pm), Drag Race UK’s Bimini (9pm-10pm), award winning DJ collective Queer House Party (10pm-11pm) and Venezuelan musician, composer and DJ, Arca (11pm-midnight).
Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney say: “Super pumped to be a part of the 6 music celebration of Pride! Music has always felt like a lifeline, this past year more so than ever.”
Bimini says: “I’m very excited to have been asked to present a show for BBC Radio 6 Music. The station in an incredible platform for all styles of musical talent, and I’ve heard some of the best hidden gems on it!“
Harry Gay from Queer House Party says: “We’ve been beaming big queer vibes across the globe since we launched our online parties and we can’t wait to bring some of them to 6 Music. Expect camp classics, queer anthems, rowdy bangers and audacious pop as we play some of our favourite tracks that have not kept our community partying throughout lockdown but helped us get through the past year.“
A 6 Music Loud and Proud playlist, featuring the recordings of LGBTQ+ artists celebrating others, will air on 6 Music on Thursday 3rd June, 4am-5am and will then be available on BBC Sounds.
Also coming soon, rapper, performance artist, poet and activist, Mykki Blanco takes the reins from St. Vincent as 6 Music’s next Artist in Residence. Over their six week residency, they’ll take listeners on a weekly journey into their musical soul, with each programme based around a different theme or mood. Expect sassy, sweet pop jams for feel good nights, art rock classics from across the generations, music from Mykki’s favourite non-binary, trans and gender non-conforming artists and some throwback classics from their youth.
The Blessed Madonna, in her shows throughout June (Saturdays, 9pm-12pm) will celebrate a multitude of LGBTQ+ musicians and DJs and their impact on dance music over the years. She’ll be joined by Chrissy – DJ, producer and resident of San Francisco’s oldest queer club, The Stud and will reflect on the importance of gay bathhouses – exploring how they created the blueprint for New York’s disco and house scenes and helped to launch the careers of legends such as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan. She’ll also broadcast guest mixes from ABSOLUTE. (one of the risings stars of the LGBTQ+ community) and Horse Meat Disco (the DJ collective with residencies across the world). Plus, she’ll pay homage to artists who tragically died during the AIDS crisis, such as Patrick Cowley, Sylvester, Tony De Vit, Arthur Russell, Freddie Mercury and more.
Gurl: It goes without saying that we’re super excited for a fabulous audio festival filled with queer talent, LGBTQ+ history and a discovery of stunning sounds – be sure to tune in.
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