This article was published on June 22nd, 2021
Leon Waldo is an out queer artist who releases anthems telling our struggles as part of the queer community. He was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Shortly after birth he moved to Conroe, Texas, just outside of Houston, where he grew up but is now working in LA creating bops that break the mould and push a progressive agenda of justice for all.
He grew up as an outcast and stated in an interview with Voyage LA, “I pint up this part of me inside, only showing the sides to the world that I knew would be appreciated.” His lyrics tell stories about how life was for him growing up. In his song “tell me,” references can be where the lyrics describe how it feels to “lay the weight [down] of the world” on his shoulders. I’m sure this is a sentiment we have all felt, making this song reach our heartstrings through shared experience.
He understands our struggle first-hand, having been outed while at school, which resulted in not celebrating or embracing his queer identity until much later in life. As a kid, he would stay up late to watch LOGO tv with his finger intently on the “last channel” button in the event someone woke up. Leon Waldo draws inspiration from the struggles that many members of our community face on a day-to-day basis, as well as their triumphs in fighting adversity.
He is proud to announce his latest studio album release, Queerwave. This album is produced by Waldo Warehouse, a recording studio run by Leon and his mother born out of support for his musical aspirations. Waldo Warehouse is iconic for our community because it is run by a queer black man making his music his way for us to enjoy. Its purpose serves to be an inspiration for queer artists for generations to come.
The album is upbeat, carefree, and an escape from the harsh world of today. His music is described as distinctly queer R&B. Leon incorporated Queerwave as his album name because he wanted to represent how LGBTQIAP+ people are uniquely different from those who identify as heterosexual or cisgender.
The music on this record has been influenced by the musical styles of gospel, soul, and R&B. He uses these elements in every song he writes for himself and the songs he writes for other artists to stay faithful to his true colors. His alum’s underlying tone and the theme is gay/queer culture, which can be seen through his use of lyrics about love and relationships between two people regardless of their gender identity.
On his track Moses, he outlines struggles faced by all community members when he says, “I was born of a people, scorned as a feeble.” This stays true to the meaning of his music and further exemplifies our necessity for queer artists to share our culture with the prospect of advancing every member of our community as we face the oppression of outsiders daily.
The album release includes premiering songs on LOGO tv, including “I’m “Sundae Sunday,” which is an ode to our culture within itself. The lyrics play true to the characteristics of our culture that have come from needing to create our happiness. This song is an anthem to feeling good and sharing positive experiences with others.
While Leon’s music is mainly focused on those who identify within the queer community, it can be enjoyed by anyone looking for an album that speaks to what it means to be human.
Leon Waldo is an excellent model and Queerwave artist. He has not been pigeonholed into one genre of music. Instead, he creates music for his joy and shares it with the world to serves as an anthem of inclusivity and the gay struggle.