LGBTQIA+ art blog #5: Harry Castle

Harry Castle is a composer and singer from Sheffield, via Cambridge and Connecticut. He is into all things vocal and groovy, and is currently figuring out how best to make noise for a living. Website: Instagram/Twitter: @eltsach

When I create, it’s important to me to use my music to say something, whether straightforward or abstract, specific or open-ended. I always try to go either somewhere I love or somewhere I’ve never been, in an attempt to help people to feel something. Sometimes that feeling isn’t necessarily enjoyment!

As a queer artist, I feel a particular responsibility to centre queerness in my work. I write a lot of songs with queer characters and perspectives, because I see it as an opportunity to share a reality of life that rarely gets the attention and respect it deserves. I’m fed up of seeing queer people tokenised and victimised, both in real life and in the art we consume, and this is a way I can make a small difference in a field close to my heart. I’m always searching for better ways to say something here, and especially so when I don’t have the luxury of a text that literally says it! One key realisation is that often the very act of writing as a queer person says enough.

It is of paramount importance to me that as creatives we take an intersectional approach both to our craft, and also to our activism. I am endlessly inspired by my friend Joel Thompson, who in 2015 wrote an incredibly powerful piece called The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed. It humanises seven black men murdered by US police in ways that no media coverage ever could, and brings the reality of police brutality and structural racism home in a way that challenges me time and time again. It is my absolute aim to create work with even half the beauty and impact as Joel has here: then I might have said something!


As part of Pride Month 2020, Crossbeam and Waterloo Festival are presenting a blog, featuring LGBTQIA+ artists and those who hold LGBTQIA+ art dear to them.

Josh Mock, curating the series, writes:

"It is my hope that by sharing the stories of diverse artists, we can appreciate and celebrate all those who strive to use art as a vehicle for LGBTQIA+ inclusion, activism, and advocacy."