• Val Flynn's new song 'Lover' is out now. (Instagram, Val Flynn)Source: Instagram, Val Flynn
Val Flynn is ready to take on the "bro fest" of Australia's music scene.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

27 Jun 2019 - 2:10 PM  UPDATED 27 Jun 2019 - 2:39 PM

He's not yet a household name, but Val Flynn is on a mission to push the scope of music embraced by the Australian music scene - a scene which, he says, has become a bit of a "bro fest".

The emerging Brisbane-based electronic artist, whose music has been described as "part 00s hip-hop, part euro-dance banger", is gaining momentum after releasing his first two tracks Candy and Werq 4 It (a collaboration with Miss Blanks) last year - performing with Charli XCX on her 1999 tour and booking a slot at Brisbane's Quandamooka Festival alongside artists including Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan.

"Life has been truly exciting and fun-filled," Flynn reflects of the past twelve months.

"I’ve been dreaming of having people listen to my music since I was a little kid performing in the mirror with a hair brush, so to be playing to crowds who are singing my music back has been wild."

His new song, Lover, sees Flynn lean into his genre-pushing sound.

"The song came to fruition after a night out in New York with my mate Jesswar (who produced the track)," Flynn tells SBS Pride. "We got lit, found a home studio in Brooklyn and started recording - it was so much fun."

In the music video for Lover, which was filmed on location in Melbourne, Flynn is seen enjoying a night of fun and frivolity with a male partner - his queerness, after all, is something the singer has always been intent on putting front and centre.

"It's always a choice I make," he says.

"I grew up seeing nobody I could relate to in the media. I want to open the door for kids who are like me so they have someone visible to connect to."

However, it's not just Flynn's overt queerness that makes him stand out as a performer, but the zest with which he so proudly expresses it alongside his Indigenous culture. And while these are the very distinctions which make his music a much-needed burst of colour on the oft-folksy and US-centric Australian music charts, they're also what makes his success that much harder.

"I’m always gonna be fighting an uphill battle being queer and Indigenous," Flynn concedes.

"The community in Australia isn’t as open as other places, like New York City, so we have a massive disconnect on what people see as talent," he says, adding that he and other Indigenous performers are often painted with the same brush.

"We are not all the same and we don’t tell the same stories."

"The media choose to pigeon-hole Indigenous performers and artists as all being the same Barefoot Contessa with a guitar. We are not all the same and we don’t tell the same stories."

While Australia's media might struggle to celebrate the individuality of queer and Indigenous performers, the recent success of acts including Flynn and Eurovision: Australia Decides front-runners Electric Fields suggests change might not be too far on the horizon.

"It’s time to open up the mainstream doors to the Indigenous queer community," Flynn says.

"I’m the next Troye Sivan, so support me, help get there. Let’s all thrive and win together as one.


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