Photo by Kevin Atwater
Queer Next Up is a series originally posted to our Instagram. We will be featuring smaller queer artists who we think deserve your love, support, and dedication.
Kevin Atwater (he/him) is a singer-songwriter from a small town in Illinois called Downers Grove. He gained a significant following on TikTok, and is known for sharing his personal and confessional songwriting with the world. The music that Kevin makes is innately queer, intimately vulnerable, and, above all, unashamed.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to embrace his differences. The parts of you that you struggle with won’t torture you forever, in fact, they will soon turn into something beautiful and necessary. You will learn how to turn your pain into art and release it into the world to help other people, it’ll all be worth it!
What does your work mean to you?
My work is incredibly personal and specific to my experience navigating the world as a young queer person. Every song I write is a sort of emotional evacuation, I spill my thoughts out (the good, the bad, and the ugly) in a way to process and feel and experience in different ways. My hope is that people can see a part of themselves in the music and that it leaves them feeling less alone.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s to come?
My new single, “star tripping” is out October 5th. This track means a ton to me, as it is about an experience I had with a boy who was struggling with his identity in regards to religion and sexuality. I find that it’s important to be truthful and specific in music, and I know a ton of queer people who have been through both sides of this struggle. I hope that the song examines (rather than romanticizes) the ups and downs of trying to give yourself to someone who is unable to reciprocate.