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Black trans artists getting breakthrough in music industry

MONTREAL (CITYNEWS) – Black trans musicians are getting the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to a Montreal record label.

Montreal artist Blxck Cxsper has teamed up with a New York recording studio to record, mix and master Black trans musicians. And it’s all free of charge.

“People who don’t have a voice in the mainstream industry, the minute you give them a platform, it’s powerful,” said Blxck Cxsper, who founded the record label Tranz Trenderz. “It’s super powerful because those are stories that’ve never been told.

“It’s starting with wanting to give free beats to Black trans people, and now Grammy-Award winners want to help too.”

Blxck Cxsper says Black trans artists don’t have access to the same opportunities as others.

“We’re tired of hearing about trans people dying all the time and not hearing their success stories,” they said. “So what we want to do is take those narratives that exist in the mainstream industry and burn them to the ground and replace them with empowering stories.”

Apollo Flowerchild is a trans musician from New York and will be the first artist to record a track under this collaboration.

Flowerchild and Blxck Cxsper will begin recording at Studio G in Brooklyn, NY., this week.

“This is going to be the song that begins my career as a musician,” said Flowerchild. “It’s one of the most inspirational songs I’ve ever written.

“My main goal as a musician was just to have 1,000 dedicated fans. To know that the opportunity to have beyond that is happening, is just overwhelming.”

Joel Hamilton, the co-founder of Studio G, is a seven-time Grammy-nominated producer and engineer who has worked with musicians like Norah Jones and Talib Kweli.

Hamilton says the goal is to create high-quality tracks with Black trans artists signed with Tranz Trenderz.

“It helps to show that there’s diversity even within the trans people of colour music community, something that specific,” said Hamilton. “Apollo is refreshing, unexpected. It’s not what people are going to expect.

“Let’s amplify the voice of someone that doesn’t normally have professional infrastructure to help get the word out.”

All production decisions will be made by a team of Black trans artists. Blxck Cxsper says that’s what makes this a historic deal.

“Yes, we’ve seen trans people in the entertainment industry but it’s always cis people that are in the back pulling the strings,” they said. “This time, it’s us pulling the strings on the cis people.”

Blxck Cxsper is hoping other studios in Montreal and across Canada will also sign onto the collaboration.