Not afraid to go deep, not afraid to do the work: Brittney Chantele (they) is a dynamic pop/hip-hop artist, visual artist, and activist. Chantele works as a multi-faceted creator using visual art, song writer, and community driven action to inspire individuals and make positive change. With their upcoming album, Speaking with Swords, Chantele hopes to celebrate and uplift Black Queer love while staying true to their origin of history.
From a very young age, Chantele had a personal understanding of injustice. After serving in the Army National Guard and growing up in a rural town, they witnessed and were subjected to a number of obstructive experiences. Their life as a Queer, bi-racial, and non-binary individual meant that they had two options: say nothing or do something. Chantele has continuously chosen the latter and has challenged racism, colorism, sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and xenophobia throughout their work and in their everyday life.
With their past releases, The Golden Opportunity (2020) and A Fire on Venus (2019), Chantele began to explore their personal identity to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future. The Golden Opportunity explores their military experience from joining Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in high school, to the emotional and sexual abuse they faced while serving in the Army National Guard, and their “golden opportunity” out, several years later. With A Fire on Venus, Chantele explores early ideas of Queer love and revelations while reconciling with the experiences they has had. Both of these past albums highlight the culmination of what Chantele will be exploring with Speaking with Swords (Upcoming).
Throughout Speaking with Swords, Chantele hopes that Black Queer people can find comfort and familiarity within the lyrics and the stories. They believe that songs about Queer love are an act of rebellion. Chantele writes about queer sex, fights, disagreements, and love predicaments as an act that champions visibility and as the first step in revolution. They says: “As a teen and young adult, I have had to switch out the pronouns to popular love songs so that they resonate with me. My hope with this project is to give Black Queer young adults music they can relate to.”
Outside of their art, Brittney has shown commitment to social justice initiatives including speaking at schools to tell students the truth about military enlistment, participating in the Pittsburgh organization 1Hood Media which builds liberated communities through art, education, and social justice.
In alignment with Chantele’s principles, they are not afraid to do something and is not afraid to do the work. Their music showcases their commitment to these practices and the commitment to creating a better world.