Need Music Recs? Queer Up Your Playlist With Jordan Occasionally

Queer Up Your Playlist with music recommendations from artist Jordan Occasionally

Queer Up Your Playlist is our new series featuring cleverly curated music by LGBTQ artists—many of them local, all of them southern. Get ready for our very first installment with handpicked music recs from Jordan Occasionally—featured in our MARCH/APRIL issue.

Jordan Occasionally (they/he) is a Memphis-based independent dance pop/R&B artist and activist with over 1.5 million streams. The recent Memphis Flyer 20 under 30 recipient serves as Artist Advisor on the Music Export Memphis Board, were featured in Genius Open Mic Stage, and were nominated for the Trailblazer Award in our 8th annual Focus Midsouth Award ceremony. While you’re listening to their top 8, be sure to check out Jordan’s new single, “Say Less.” It’s a vibe.

Queer Up Your Playlist, first installment.
Queer Up Your Playlist, first installment.

Casual by Chappell Roan 

First of all, “knee deep in the passenger’s seat and you’re eating me out, is it casual now,” is a lyric I wish I could’ve written. When I found out Chappell Roan was also from Tennessee, I was instantly obsessed. The music video for this song features a black siren who lures men to their death but makes out with women. It’s just so sapphic. How could I not enjoy it?! There’s a reason why they call her a princess.

G.A.Y. by Chris Pierce

First of all, the title of this song was enough to get me to press “Repeat.” I found Chris Pierce on TikTok and met him in Toronto at last year’s NXNE Festival when we were both headliners. Watching him perform “G.A.Y.,” which stands for “Gay and Young,” was a blast. His high-heeled boots and crop top shirt made me fall in love with the pride that this song brings. Such a hit.

Glow 88 by Ariel J 

I’m always here for a feel-good rap anthem, and “Glow 88” by Ariel J is just that. It’s about three minutes of confidence, and every lyric could be a caption. I love Queer rappers that know their worth, and Ariel J is definitely not one to be messed with. This song is perfect for any feel-good playlist because it’s about self-worth and knowing what you deserve. I love when lesbians talk their ish. 

Green Ribbon by Louise Page 

“I wanna see you dance the way you dance in your kitchen!” Louise Page is full of feminist anthems. One thing Louise always does best is keep the spirit of live instrumentation on recordings alive. So many songs these days have fake instruments, but not Louise Page’s. You’ll hear a fiddle, a trumpet, and a live piano all on the same track. The music video features gorgeous drag queens, too, so you know I had to stan.

Just We by Mak Ro ft. Jordan Occasionally

Maybe I’m a little biased, but I had to add a verse to this song once I heard the Afrobeat feel. This song feels like drinking mimosas with your bae under umbrellas on the Miami beach. I’m a sucker for Mak Ro’s breezy vocals layered over string instruments. It just screams “sex-y”! Definitely add this to your spring playlist.

Papa Please by Talibah Safiya ft. MadameFraankie

The Talibah Safiya and Madame Fraankie combo has yet to be topped. I got a chance to watch them perform this song before it was released at Talibah’s album release party, and I was instantly hooked. Listening to this duo is always a spiritual experience, and the constant time changes in the song show so much skill that can’t be put into words. They are single-handedly bringing blues back to the mainstream.

Tiptoe by Celest

There’s something so sultry about sweet singers like Celest. She just leaves me hanging on every word with this song. Knowing that she produced and wrote this all by herself is enough to make me a stan. Celest is bringing romance back to R&B. No shade to hook-up culture, but this song makes you want to fall in love and embrace cuddle season with matching pajamas and promise tattoos. Anyone else feel like falling in love? 

Warm by Tangela  

I first met Tangela when she was my roommate for the NXNE Festival. Moreover, when I first heard this song, my entire soul was warm. Tangela is a boss on the stage, mixing her vocals live and hitting notes that are out of this world. Her range is insane, and did I mention she’s a rapper? Honestly, what can’t she do? This whole E.P. is underrated, and I think everyone should give it a listen.

Queer Up Your Playlist Spotify Code
Queer Up Your Playlist Spotify Code

Don’t forget to follow Focus Magazine’s Queer Up Your Playlist on Spotify to listen to these awesome songs, plus future additions! Follow @focusmidsouth for more.

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