Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album, Expectations, came out on March 30. It was highly anticipated by the LGBT+ community, particularly queer girls and women. And, while it has been wildly successful and hyped up within the demographic of queer women, the rest of the world has failed to listen to the album and realize just how artistically beautiful it is. Expectations debuted at No. 4 on iTunes and have seen a quick descent from there.
Keep in mind that Kiyoko has released a similar amount of music before the album. Since 2013, she has released three EPs, ten singles, and now one album. In particular, Girls Like Girls was the single that gave her a name in the LGBT+ community, with 86 million views as of March 2018. Even still, she has yet to top the charts in the way that her gay male counterparts have.
I’m not saying Kiyoko has failed. In fact, she has succeeded wildly. She has been dubbed “Lesbian Jesus” and “Queen of the Gays” by her fans in the LGBT+ community. She recently performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Her music is bold, emotional, unconventional pop that is, quite honestly, unlike any other music out there. It should be broadcast on radios around the world. It should be topping charts. It should be recognizable to the general public, like the music of artists like Troye Sivan and Sam Smith. The fact that it doesn’t mean that the music industry and media have failed Kiyoko.
The music industry and mass media allows for gay male artists to be wildly successful across all demographics.
It allows gay male artists to top charts and sell out concerts to thousands of fans. It allows them to have their music broadcast around the world without question. It does not allow lesbian artists to do the same.
Hayley Kiyoko deserves for her debut album to top charts. She is an incredibly talented artist whose music has depth and emotion in it. She spent two and a half years crafting Expectations from personal experience and emotional trauma and pain. It tells the audience a story – a real one that can and does resonate with so many people. For this reason and so many more, it should be topping charts, and it’s a shame that it hasn’t yet.
Kiyoko is equally as talented as the gay male artists who are met with wild fame and success, and she should be treated as such by the music industry and general public. The fact that gay male artists tend to be more successful shows the clear stigma surrounding queer female artists. If you are just as angered by this as I am, or if you’re looking for amazing new music to listen to, you can stream Expectations and Kiyoko’s previous music here.
Cover Image Courtesy of justjaredjr.com