One To Watch: Dan Aura and his joyous, unashamedly queer pop

The pop newcomer chats about his encouraging anthem Straight Boys, and inspiration from the likes of Troye Sivan and Sam Smith.

Dan Aura wants to help you feel seen. Both in his music, and out of it. 

At just 20, the emerging pop artist already seems wise beyond his years. On Straight Boys, the standout track from his new EP Plastic, Dan is open and honest about the advice he would have given his younger self.

"Looking back I wish I’d said it how It was I was young then, those days are gone [...] I don’t really care bout what these straight boys think I’m glittered in pink."

Speaking to OfficialCharts.Com, Dan says that the song came from "thinking of my younger self and how proud he would be of me for putting out this song."

"I got to say everything I was holding on to for years," Dan says, "it was extremely cathartic for me to write."

MORE: The best modern Pride anthems

The song and EP release also comes after a most affirming year for queer pop fans, after seeing Lil Nas X dominate both the charts, radiowaves and conversation with his boundary-pushing releases, from the UK Number 1 single Montero (Call Me By Your Name) or the Kanye West-produced Industry Baby with Jack Harlow. 

"I think artists being open and honest with their sexuality can do wonders for people that don’t feel like they’re represented in the mainstream media," Dan says on the importance for queer artists to be visible, also naming acts like Troye Sivan, Lady Gaga and Sam Smith as specific inspirations. 

"[They] have all had their own experiences with either discovering their sexuality," Dan explains, "or with queer culture, and all of them have been people that I look up to and respect because of the decisions they made as artists."

You can certainly hear the ambition in Plastic to explore bigger and better sounds - which tracks with Dan naming EPs by Troye Sivan (In A Dream) and Gracey (Imposter Syndrome) as some of his favourite works to listen to, and a hint and what might be coming next for him.

"I definitely want to focus on writing with new and exciting people and producers, and get some more incredible songs recorded and ready to go..."

You can stream Dan Aura's Plastic EP now.