This BitchTape, curated by Frankie Simone, explores our personal ghosts and shadows—the parts of ourselves that are hardest to face. These ghosts mask our truest selves—our light—but by doing deep, necessary work, we can experience otherworldly growth. Simone has challenged herself to do that, and this year, she’s fully and unapologetically stepping into the world as a proud queer Puerto Rican pop musician. This BitchTape is full of the queer and allied artists that helped keep her in a positive, self-loving state of mind.
1. Hayley Kiyoko, “Curious”
In her album Expectations, Hayley Kiyoko is shattering just that: society’s expectations of love between women. This song from the album
is just so damn real. In this case, the ghosts are my ex-girlfriends.
2. Jessie J, “Queen”
“Queen” helps us rid our lives of our own shadows and ghosts. Yes, looking at yourself in the mirror and repeating positive words can uplift your spirit and attract more positivity, abundance, and light into your life. “Queen” is three minutes and 23 seconds of exactly that.
3. Kehlani, “CRZY”
Kehlani is one of my favorite queer artists. I listen to this song whenever I experience and/or observe blatant homophobia, sexism, racism, and the like. “CRZY” helps me get any angst, anger, or energy out. It reminds me that we are the future and that our positivity and love for ourselves and all people is going to change this world.
4. Lizzo, “Water Me”
“Water Me” is the perfect song to learn all the words to, bump real loud, and dance to like you don’t give a fuck. Self-love is always the answer.
5. Demi Lovato, “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore”
I covered this song the day after Demi released it. It was during a time when I was so ready to let go of my ghosts, my old self. It was time for me to level up into the more compassionate, self-worshipping, confident, and worthy goddess that I’ve always been.
6. Sevdaliza, “Human”
Whoa, Sevdaliza is a next-level artist. She gets to the fucking point and hits you where you’ll feel it most. I listen to this song when I’m face-to-face with the darkest parts of myself. This song is the best reminder that we’re all just human.
7. Janelle Monáe, “Django Jane”
“We gonna start a motherfucking pussy riot/ Or we gonna have to put ’em on a pussy diet.” Need I say more? Listen to “Django Jane” when you need to remember that your ghosts and shadows (like that negative voice in your head) aren’t real; they’re a product of the patriarchal system in which we’re currently engulfed. Your light and divinity are real.
8. Doja Cat, “Go to Town”
Society teaches us, especially women and queer folks, to be disempowered when it comes to sex. Doja Cat is reclaiming the fuck out of this societal ghost and I’m down with it. I personally like to change pronouns in songs to reflect my own life so that they’re that more relatable, like “If you’re down girl, really down, baby let me watch you go to town.”
9. Troye Sivan, “My My My!”
Read every word in this song and get lost in it. I love love, especially queer love.
10. Frankie Simone, “Love//Warrior”
I was inspired to make a song that would silence that dark voice in my head that said I wasn’t worthy or capable of living my dreams. This song was written for all the Love//Warriors, but most specifically for my LGBTQ Love//Warriors. Our time is now.