JUBAHLEE on Section 8’s Hella Queen: ‘When any queer artist makes it, we all do’

Get the latest from Beat


JUBAHLEE on Section 8’s Hella Queen: ‘When any queer artist makes it, we all do’

Words by Coco Veldkamp

On Monday, November 6, Section 8 is back with their biggest and juiciest edition of Hella Queen – a free event celebrating LGBTQIA+ artistry and culture with live music, voguing, cocktails, and more – all for a meaningful cause.

One particular artist on the line-up encapsulates all that Hella Queen stands for – Australian rapper and singer JUBAHLEE.

JUBAHLEE is a bold, determined, and proud advocate for POC and Trans awareness. With deep roots in the LGBTQIA+ community, she has become a symbol of self-expression, empowerment, and vivacity.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

JUBAHLEE’s journey into the music industry is a testament to her unwavering passion. Her upbringing in a family that breathed music and rhythm laid the foundation for her future in the spotlight.

“I’ve always been surrounded by rappers and singers growing up. My brothers’ rap, and when I was younger, we always heard them jamming. My sisters were singers in church, and they always had the voice. I’d truly say I was born into it; my family is my roots to music!” she explained.

JUBAHLEE’s rise to prominence as an LGBTQIA+ artist is not only a personal success but also a source of pride for the broader community. Her journey, she hopes, represents the power of representation in the music and art world.

“I feel blessed always. When I was a little kid, I dreamed of being here. To know that I’m in the rooms I dreamed of even standing in, my dreams have gotten bigger. My community means a lot to me, and honestly, when any queer artist makes it, we all do,” she explains.

Hella Queen is more than just an extravagant party – it’s filled with heart. There will be giveaways and raffle prizes from Szade Sunglasses and Impala Skates, with the proceeds going towards Black Rainbow and The Victorian Pride Centre. These non-profit organizations focus on emboldening LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities – an issue that JUBAHLEE is deeply passionate about.

“As queer people, I don’t think people realize how hard our lives are. They could never understand a queer person’s struggle, and that’s fine – but these organizations do. That’s why it’s important. We have people and organizations, and honestly, I’ll call them family. It’s so important we make sure our brown and black sisters, brothers, and gender non-conforming siblings feel safe and celebrated,” she said.

According to JUBAHLEE, what is special about the queer community is its propensity to foster a rich culture despite hardships. In reflecting on her experiences within the expressive ballroom scene, she reveals how it has profoundly influenced her music and style, propelling her to find her distinctive voice.

“Ballroom was created by black and Latinx trans women in Harlem, New York, and it has only grown from there. Now it’s a mainstream moment. It feels like forever in gay culture and pop culture. Words like ‘slay,’ ‘boots,’ ‘cunt,’ and ‘no shade’ – these words that rappers and the community use on a daily were born in ballroom culture. Ballroom culture is the true root behind pop culture, and we use voguing for celebration,” she described.

“The scene to me is trans-Hollywood, where we are celebrated – we are the stars of the room. At the same time, the scene is not for the weak; you gotta work hard on yourself, on your education, on the scene”.

JUBAHLEE’s energy-charged live performances are not to be missed. Her commitment to delivering a memorable experience that unites her fans and the LGBTQIA+ community is something to behold.

“I’m one of those artists that take my performances seriously. My message, without saying too much, would be to expect a lot,” she said.

“Hella Queen stands for everything I do as a queer person. We have so much happening in the world sometimes the best thing to do is get dressed up, put on your thigh highs, get cute and go out and celebrate yourself”.

JUBAHLEE’s journey is far from over with numerous projects and collaborations in the pipeline.

“There are so many projects coming soon, just be ready when they do,” she said.

This year’s edition of Hella Queen promises an insane line-up. New to this year’s event will be a Kiki Cats showdown, featuring some of Melbourne’s most legendary dancers in the ballroom community, and stunning visual mapping from local artist Lava Brain. The event will also feature a deliciously curated drink menu from Absolut Vodka, Heaps Normal, and Headline Acts.

For more information on Hella Queen, head to the Facebook event here. To listen to JUBAHLEE, check out her Spotify here.