THE ISSUE OF LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION IN MAINSTREAM POP: ALEK SANDAR'S MUSIC VIDEO REJECTED BY LABELS
Last month, the world’s LGBTQ+ communities came together and celebrated the freedom to be themselves. This month, as the rainbow capitalism lies dormant for another year, issues of LGBTQ+ representation, censorship, and acceptance in the music industry begin to surface.
From recent movements like Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate, the world is waking up to segregation and discrimination that still exists within the human collective. What many of us aren’t aware of is the inequality still being experienced within the music industry. The inequality amongst artists who identify as LGBTQ+.
Recently, Alek Sandar, a singer-songwriter and producer from Bulgaria experienced this prejudice first hand when he released his latest music video, “Me, You, and the Moon” on Tuesday, July 20th.
The concept behind the “Me, You and the Moon” video was to showcase the LGBTQ+ community specifically, bi-sexuality. The video shows scenes of beautiful men and women in bathing suits hanging out around a luxurious pool and home. It is to be noted that at no point in the video is there any nudity or explicit sexual content -- PG-13 even. However, Sandar began to notice that the feedback he was receiving from labels he had worked with for the past 10 years reacted to the video in a less than amicable manner.
Almost at all times when Alek Sandar releases a music video and song release, he is shown full support from many platforms. Unexpectedly and surprisingly, “Me You, and the Moon'' was denied that very same support. The same support from the labels, platforms, and channels that have always supported Alek in the past. Why is now a different story? Why this video? What makes it different for Alek to be denied support for this single and video? The visibility of LGBTQ+ artists is growing by the day, from artists like Kim Petras, Kehlani, and Lil Nas X. Being bisexual himself, Sandar wanted to create a video that reflected every aspect of himself, all while normalizing it in the mainstream pop area of the industry as a whole;
“I submitted the video to major labels who have supported me over the years with every single release I have done. When I submitted it to them like I always do, all of a sudden we receive messages saying it [the video] “doesn’t fit their portfolio & is not ok for their audience” said Sandar. I’ve been the TV and the radio in Bulgaria for 10 years and I thought it was time to come out with a video that shows open bisexuality. That was the point of this video and those major labels are blocking it.”
Sandar is now calling on his fans to share the video regardless of what labels are saying to show that he will not be shut down and will continue to create his art in the way that he wants to express himself.
“We need to show them that they cannot shut us up. Bulgaria is a country that still needs a lot of work on LGBTQ+ issues and discrimination. The idea behind this video was to promote a more peaceful LGBTQ+ friendly environment, to promote the free choice of love regardless of gender for my young fans. Getting rejected by the same major labels who release & promote my music normally for this particular video because ‘it doesn’t Fit their portfolio’ was unexpected and very hurtful to me. It’s a major blow to the bi community, the LGBTQ+ community, and everyone who supports free love”. - Alek Sandar
One would think that any artist would be welcomed with open arms. Compared to the thousands of other videos shown on these platforms containing more explicit visuals, “Me, You and the Moon” could be considered conservative. One can't help to think that this is purely sexual orientation discrimination. This is why we are sharing this story to bring awareness to this issue so events like this no longer happen.
Equality is our birthright as human beings. Equality needs to be across the board. When we live in a world of inequality people suffer. When we live in a world of equality all of us are then allowed to be our full complete uninhibited selves. Our true selves, our most and highest potential of self-expression. Because that was what every single person on this planet is owed. So we urge you to share our story for the lives of the suppressed and discriminated against.
Alek Sandar Online: