Queer Up Your Playlist With Mid-South Pride

Let Mid-South Pride Fest 2024 Take Over Your Music List!

This story was featured in our print and digital May/June Pride issue.

Queer Up Your Playlist is our series featuring awesome music by LGBTQ artists and allies—many of them local, all of them southern. This round we’ve got an extra special takeover—all four artists will perform at this year’s Mid-South Pride Fest 2024!

So, check out our Spotify playlist or catch them live on stage in downtown Memphis this June 1st!

Brian Falduto  

Nashville, TN/Los Angeles, LA
Song: “Same Old Country Love Song”

You may recognize Brian Falduto from the now iconic cult classic, School of Rock (2003), where he played lovable, aspiring stylist Billy, a.k.a. “Fancy Pants.” 

Now all grown up, Brian has since transformed into a bonafide gay country artist. He got TikTok buzzing last summer with the release of “Same Old Country Love Song,” an LGBTQ+ country music anthem for those previously ignored by the country music scene. The song was greeted with a flood of positive encouragement, numerous viral videos, and love from fans. It’s now the lead single in Gay Country, Brian’s latest album that debuted this past March.

Elevation Memphis

Location: Memphis, TN
Song: “Groovy Little Babe”

Featuring core band members Derrin Lee, La-Shon Henderson, and Melanie Pierce, Elevation Memphis is a unique music experience fusing classic rock, blues, classic soul, R&B, and country. Since the band came together in 2019, they’ve brought joy with exciting covers for audiences in Memphis and beyond, and even recently added a Tina Turner Tribute act. They’ll perform many of their covers at Pride this year, and you can hear Elevation originals like the wonderfully smooth “Groovy Little Babe” on Spotify and other music platforms.

Handsome Girl Pretty Boy

Location: Memphis, TN
Song: “I Don’t Know Her”

Mid-South Pride band handsome girl pretty boy
Handsome Girl Pretty Boy (back image, left to right Giullian (aka Heathen Universe), Joi , Maddy, and Christy), courtesy the band

It all started with a few flyers posted around town calling for some kickass musicians interested in playing, singing and screaming about the grind, queer love, and horror movies. Memphis-based Handsome Girl Pretty Boy consists of Christy on guitar, Maddy and Joi who take turns on both bass and guitar, and drummer Giullian (aka Heathen). Since 2023, HGPB has played local venues and house shows, consistently spreading the spirit of silliness through the power of post/pop punk. Be sure to catch their crowd favorite “I Don’t Know Her” on the Hustle N Glow stage at 12:30pm Mid-South Pride this year.

Mak Ro 

Location: Memphis, TN
Song: “Just We” (ft. Jordan Occasionally)

Mak Ro is a duo of Filipino-American cousins Eric Makapugay (multi-instrumentalist/producer/songwriter) and Kristoffer Ruaro (singer/producer/songwriter). The Memphis duo produces soulful sounds with influences from pop, R&B, and rock, and enjoys fusing a variety of genres. Since 2019, they’ve independently written, produced and released a discography of 18 songs. Mak Ro’s most recent single “Just We” (featuring Jordan Occasionally), is a flirty pop/R&B dance track heavily inspired by conversations around queer romance.

Need More Music Recs? Queer Up Your Playlist With Jordan Occasionally