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INTERVIEW

MEET THE QUEER ARTISTS BEHIND THROUGH THE LENS

Pride month might've just finished, but we’re committed to supporting artists from the LGBTQ+ community all year round! We already invited four queer musicians – Karen KG, iamkyami, Sippin’ T and Shivum Sharma – to take over our socials and express themselves through their own authentic lens 🎶🔍 but now it’s time to get to know these rising stars a lil better. Scroll on for our chat about queer joy, being an artist and loads more!

Karen KG in gold cuff necklace and bracelet | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Karen KG

Karen KG (she/her)

 

Hi Karen KG, tysm for chatting with us! You always look and sound amazing. How would you describe your style?
I'd say musically my style is seductive, it's rhythmically potent and deep. I push Afro-percussive sounds through a global club lens. And fashion-wise, I'm quite fluid – I love toggling between my androgynous and high-femme identity. I love being able to express those dualities through the clothes that I wear.

Love it. Your nickname is The Rhythm Goddess. What outfit makes you feel your most divine? 
I feel this more in photoshoots for my music. I get the chance to tap into that otherworldly persona, the Afro-Futurist Goddess that I am haha! I love African-inspired neckwear, headwear, majestic jewellery and statement pieces that are striking to the eye.

Oh, we see that coming thru! How do you celebrate your queerness in your work?
I try to include as much of my community in my projects – whether that's writing with queer artists, DJs and producers or developing workshops and masterclasses for queer creatives – so I can share resources and opportunities. I'm incredibly intentional with all of the above in some way, shape or form.


Kyami looking at camera in denim top | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Kyami

iamkyami (she/her/they/them)

 

Hi iamkyami! Can you tell us a bit about your music and style?
Sure! My musical style is informed by my identity, just like my fashion sense is, but in different ways. I would call my music glimmer-swirled pop R&B with a hint of punk attitude. Being Japanese, Harajuku fashion has always influenced my visual identity, but I'm also Black American and there's a lot of fashion history and culture that comes with that identity, too. I love both.

We have to know, what's your go-to performance 'fit?
A blend of bold and expressive pieces that reflect my mood. It could include a mix of streetwear-inspired clothing, custom outfits and playful accessories. The goal is to create a visually striking and memorable look that complements the energy and atmosphere of my performances while allowing my personality to shine through.

And what embodies queer joy to you?
Expressing myself authentically and exploring different aspects of my identity through music and art. The process of creating music, connecting with my audience, and being able to share my perspective brings me immense joy. Knowing I have the freedom to be true to myself, celebrate my uniqueness, and embrace the beauty of difference in all aspects of life helps me enjoy life that much more. 

OK, give us the scoop... What LGBTQ+ artists are on your playlist RN?
Jason Kwan, Durand Bernarr, Gen and the Degenerates, Rina Sawayama and Auco. Their artistic expressions, diverse perspectives and fearless approach to their craft inspire and resonate with me. 

Sippin' T in blurred editorial image | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Sippin' T

Sippin’ T (they/them)

 

Hiya, Sippin’ T! What do you love most about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community? 
It would have to be my queer elders and all of the beauty, wisdom and bravery they possess.

 

That's beautiful. What does queer joy look like to you?  
Four things: reparations, rest, nature and... home-cooked food!

 

We hear that! How important is fashion to you?  
I'm recently discovering my inner fashion voice and the confidence to play with different styles, which I love! Fashion's an extension of me, which means it's an extension of my artistry, whether I like it or not.  


Nice. Have you got any festivals coming up?

Yep! You can catch me at Body Movements Festival in Hackney Wick on 29 July 2023.

Shivum hugging himself in dimly lit/blue photoshoot | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Shivum

Shivum Sharma (he/him)

 

Hey Shivum Sharma! It’s festival season, which must be a busy time for you. What’s your approach to festi style?
Well, my wardrobe and overall style are SO much better suited to summer than winter, and I absolutely make the most of this for festival season!

How do you switch up your sets for festivals? 
The energy of a festival set is harder to predict, as so much of that comes from the audience and other varying factors, such as weather and clashes with other artists. The playlists I create for them are quite a bit bigger so I have the space to adjust the set to fit the vibe as I’m playing it. Both live and DJ festival sets can deviate pretty far from what I initially expect them to be. 

 

And we’ve gotta know, what’re your fave festivals or club nights to play at?
Glastonbury Festival for sure, which I'm still reeling from now. I played five sets there and each one of them was very different and so special. There’s truly nowhere like it. Most of my favourite DJ gigs to date have been for Pxssy Palace. Two that come to mind are Honey Dijon’s night at the Beams last year, and b2b with Mya Mehmi closing one of the club rooms of the first-ever Dialled In festival. I get emotional thinking back to both of those.


We need to see this! What can we expect from you next? 
Recently, I brought out one of my fave songs to date, Steel, which you can now listen to anywhere [editor's note: it's going straight on our chilled summer bops playlist ☀️]. It’s the second track of an EP coming out in August, and I'll be announcing a very exciting launch event for it soon, too...

 

Here at ASOS we're proud to be partnering with The Safe Space Alliance, a charity working with more than 300 global LGBTQ+ organisations to identify and verify safe spaces (both digital and physical) around the world. If you'd like to help this amazing organisation, you can visit its directory, add a listing or head to their donation page 🏳️‍🌈

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