A3 Book chapter

“Everyone is a little bit gay”: LGBTIQ Activism in Finnish Pop Music of the 21st Century

List of Authors: Susanna Välimäki

Place: London

Publication year: 2020

Book title *: Popular Musicology and Identity

ISBN: 978-1-13-832288-2


In the 21stcentury, the development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual and queer (LGBTIQ) rights have been remarkable in the Nordic countries, including Finland. Manifold cultural phenomena have emerged in the wake of this development of LGBTIQ rights. Though gender play and queering have always been central aspects of pop music, music that deals explicitly with LGBTIQ issues has reached a new phase in societal development in the 21st century, at least in those parts of the world that embrace queer people. Recently, several songs dealing explicitly with queer life, written by queer-identified artists and allies, have made the Finnish mainstream pop music charts.

In the present article, I will explore four examples of Finnish contemporary mainstream pop that deal specifically with the experiences of LGBTIQ people and that can be seen as LGBTIQ activist music: (1) “Ihmisten edessä” [In front of everyone] by Jenni Vartiainen (2007); (2) “Kavereita” [Friends] by Sini Yasemin (2016); (3) “Jokainen on vähän homo”[Everyone’s a little bit gay] by Jukka Takalo (2010); and (4) “Lätkäjätkä-Ville” [Hockey guy Ville] by Tuure Boelius (2018).By combining queer musicology with societally activist music research that considers music as politics, my aim is to analyse how these songs and music videos communicate LGBTIQ activist messages.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 09:12