Indie pop artist Emma Witmer doesn't like to be pinned down. She says she prefers the term "demisexual," but she identifies somewhere along the asexual spectrum.
Coming out "helped to relate to people that I would like to be listening to my music more," Witmer tells Out. "I think that identifying as demisexual helps me to get to an audience that I think is more genuine and understands the music a lot better."
Known by her stage name gobbinjr (her Facebook page tells you to "leave your caps at home"), Witmer embodies the next step in musicians more openly discussing obscure queer identities.
Witmer's new album, vom night, marries extreme vulnerability with a new frontier for queer music. In the standout single, "firefly," lines like, "I feel creepy all the time/ Because I like everybody more than they like me" are eerily resonant. Although it's her darkest track, she also thinks it's the most powerful.
LGBTQ artists no longer confine themselves to one genre like pop or dance music; queer rap is one of the quickest growing genres in the recent years. A key source of Witmer's inspiration is rap music--particularly that of Earl Sweatshirt.
"I think that a lot of the things [Earl Sweatshirt] raps about are very serious and come from a really big place of hurt. And I think it's inspiring to make that into something that other people can enjoy," she says.
But her music doesn't feel quite so dark--she's a part of the Brooklyn lo-fi indie scene, making music along the same vein as Beach House or Mitski. It's "bedroom pop"--after all, she started her music career in her NYU freshman dorm room.
She's since dropped out of school to focus on her music. Besides her solo project, Witmer is in a band called FITS with the bassist in PWR BTTM's stage band, which she confidently calls "what everyone should be listening to right now."
"Nicolas [Cummins] just writes the best, shortest, popiest glock [glam rock] songs and it's just so much fun. And I think once their full-length [album] comes out it's gonna rule the world," says Emma.
For her, one of the best parts of making music is how it brings people together.
"The connections I make with other people through this is definitely the coolest part. When I get to go on tour and go into different cities I get to connect with different people right away through music and it's really beautiful. It's a really beautiful thing."
You can preorder gobbinjr's new album, released with JMC Aggregate, on her Bandcamp.