As a trans music artist Husk, real name Alfie, flaunts prideful individuality through their music which is drenched in nostalgic ’80s synthpop and disco rhythms.
A musician at heart even from their youth, Husk wrote and performed their first song at just 15. A part-time gig, though currently alongside a marketing job, Alfie says their music has come on in leaps and bounds from all those years ago, performing live across clubs and pride events across the country.
“My songwriting has come a really long way since then, and so has my production. I play a couple of instruments not very well, but my voice is still very much my instrument,” they said.
“It’s also quite unique. It sits somewhere between higher and lower registers and has a kind of soulful timbre, whilst fitting really well with my pop vibes.
“I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, and the balance isn’t always right. But when things are coming together, I’m able to put some new music out or if I get recognised from a show I’ve done, it keeps me going.”
As a trans artist, Husk is able to use their gender as artistic expression throughout their musical catalogue, shaping their approach to music naturally and culminating in groove-driven anthems fit for the festival stage.
“I always add a beat you can dance to and a melody you remember and want to sing out loud. By enjoying trans music, you might see another side to trans people you have not yet seen because of the prejudice against us,” they said.
“There’s a couple of lyrics within my songs that are about my frustration at the lack of progress for trans rights particularly in the UK and the active attempts to remove basic human rights protections from us.
“We are real people. We just want to be free and safe. We can make awesome music.”
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of hurdles for the trans community in the music industry due to its cis-dominated demographic. This means artists like Husk run into issues as a result of their gender all the time, with Alfie saying they can help change the case by not “shying away” from trans music. “It needs to be safer for marginalised groups,” he said.
“I’ve had ‘taste makers’ say they although they like my stuff, do not understand my voice and where it would fit as it’s not ‘male’ or ‘female’,” Alfie said.
“I’ve been told to stop talking about being trans and to hide it. I’ve been told to talk about it more! But I always think about how there was zero representation of people like me when I was growing up, and even now, it’s difficult to think of trans masculine musicians in particular, so I choose to talk about it as much and the way I want to, I choose to be visible.
“The industry can help by not shying away from trans-made music, and addressing the barriers put in place for us. The industry is still very much dominated by cis men.”