Musician Dyan Tai, the self-described “Gaysian Empress of Sydney,” is releasing a new single on October 5, an electronic anthem called, “Hantu”.
Hantu is the Malay and Indonesian word for spirit or ghost.
Written To ‘Honour LGBTQI+ People In Malaysia/Indonesia Who Are Still Facing Persecution’
Tai, a trilingual Malaysian-born classically trained musician, singer, performer, cabaret artist, and DJ explained why the single is so important to him.
“’Hantu’ is particularly important for me as a Queer artist and musician,” Tai said. “I had to dig really deep to find sounds and lyrics that reflect my experience and upbringing as a queer person who grew up in Malaysia. I wasn’t able to fully express my queerness until I moved to Sydney and through this song, I’ve been able to fully confront and liberate myself.”
He continued, “I grew up in Malaysia, however my background is Chinese which is why I know more about Malay culture and music. It was interesting to be part of a diasporic migrant experience in Malaysia and now I have the same experience here in Australia. I consider it a blessing musically and being able bring Malay and Indonesian sounds into my music is healing.”
In a post to Instagram, Tai wrote, “I wrote ‘Hantu’ to honour the LGBTQI+ people in Malaysia/Indonesia who are still facing persecution for their sexuality and gender identity; and also to pay tribute to a late family member who passed away due to HIV/AIDS.
“This is a very important song that I’ve been waiting to release and I’m finally ready for the world to hear it.”
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The Founder Of Worship Queer Collective
Tai is also the founder of Worship Queer Collective, a community initiative led by Queer Asian creatives to champion local Queer Asian excellence.
Started in 2021, Worship Queer Collective aims to highlight the unique vision and talent within Australia’s Queer Asian community.
“We have a lot of really talented LGBTQI+ Asian artists in Sydney, but we don’t see a lot of them on stage,” Tai said.
“So it’s part of our mission to diversify the arts and cultural landscape in Sydney, as well as providing these really talented artists with a nurturing space where they can perform, and they can create shows that speak about their Queerness.”