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GAY TIMES and Coke Studio are collaborating for the second year running to celebrate upcoming queer talent as part of our Breakthrough partnership; an ongoing campaign that gives unsigned LGBTQIA+ musicians and allies, within the UK and Ireland, the opportunity to break into the industry. We all know it’s not easy to get into a new career without some help. So, we’ve teamed up with Coke Studio to connect hand-selected talented queer acts and allies as part of the campaign, bringing much-needed new unsigned artists to wider audiences.

Last year, we documented the musical journey of Celaviedmai, Callum Crighton, Lleo, and Keanan as our first-time Breakthough acts. Now, we’re ready to introduce you to our class of 2024. Introducing: Chubby Cat (she/her) – the first act of our Breakthrough campaign with Coke Studio and GT. Based in Belfast, Cat is known for her intimate electro-pop tracks and her unique stage name, a playful title that came from a random name generator. With over a 1,000 monthly listeners to her name, the musician has supported Liverpudlian rock band Crawlers in Dublin and landed spots on Spotify’s New Music playlist and radio play with her 2022 single ‘Not A Vibe’. 

So, if you’re looking for a shake-up to your artist faves, keep reading to hear about why Chubby Cat deserves to be on your new music radar. We caught up with the Cork singer to hear more about her queer inspirations, why Ireland inspires her and what she hopes to share with the LGBTQIA+ community. You can catch Cat performing live this year at a handful of Coke Studio events this summer including Brighton & Hove Pride, Boardmasters and Electric Picnic. 

Who inspired you to become an artist?

Watching artists like Lady Gaga and Barbara Streisand really inspired me to want to become a performer and artist myself.

What’s your favourite album (by a queer artist) right now? 

That’s such a tough one but I have Kae Tempest on repeat right now with The Line Is A Curve.

What do you hope to show the LGBTQIA+ community as a musician? 

I really aspire to show the LGBTQIA+ community that there’s a place for queer artists within the mainstream and you don’t need to try and alter your sound/style to fit the norm. There’s room for all of us together. I want to make room for us. 


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How has your city shaped you as a musician?

Living in Dublin and Belfast has shaped me as a musician massively from soaking up the culture of both and mixing them together to create the style that I have made over the last few years. Both cities have shown me amazing plays, poets, art, museums and sounds from which I draw constant inspiration and so I feel as though I’m a product of the combination of both of those worlds.

Who was the first queer artist you saw live and can you tell us about it?

It might have been Kae Tempest (again!) a few years ago. I followed them from Cork to Dublin to watch them perform both shows and my eyes were glued to them the entire time. I was so moved by their presence and inspired by their lyrics and emotion, it was a feeling I can’t describe seeing them live. Incomparable.

What excites you most about the GAY TIMES x Coke Studio Breakthrough campaign?

For me, it’s the chance to have a larger platform to give queer artists like myself alongside the other amazing acts in this year’s campaign an opportunity to really make a stamp on the music industry right now. To make way for other artists like us. It’s thrilling to have this kind of exposure when it’s so hard to break through as an indie act. I couldn’t be more grateful and proud to be part of it.