Antea Birchett is one half of the singer/songwriter duo APlus. She is a rock steady musician and songwriter, having written for artists from Beyoncé and Justin Bieber to Mary J. Blige and Vanessa Bell Armstrong,
Born and raised in Detroit, Birchett makes music and performs with her sister Anesha. Identifying as a queer woman, it took her time to come to terms with her identity.
“I knew very young that I had an attraction to women, at 10 years old. But, I grew up with strict Christian that heavily condemned, and even mocked, anything outside of hetero love,” she said. “Essentially, I was socialized to choose a hetero way of living with no exploration conversation or further thought of anything outside of that.”
Taking over 20 years to come to terms and come out as a queer woman, Birchett decided to disclose her sexuality in the summer of 2016. Singing with her sister, her music isn’t very affected by her identity.
“I sing in a duo, with my sister Anesha, and she is straight,” she said. “When we wrote all of the songs on the album and recorded them, I had not fully embraced and accepted myself so the album is ‘hetero’.”
While her music isn’t directly influenced, music does help her to connect with her queerness.
“In the process of coming into who I was, my soundtrack was Janelle Monáe, The Internet, Ravyn Lenae, Tiffany Gouche, and other openly queer artists,” said Birchett. “The energy their songs were written in, spoke of, elevated, celebrated and applauded gay love. It anchored and affirmed me while I was processing my identity!”
In this stage of her life, being queer is everything and a part of redefining her perspective on many things from humanity to religion and government. She connects with LGBTQ fans even though many may not know she is queer.
Influenced by Motown sounds and icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday as well as rock icon Hayley Williams of Paramore, Birchett’s number 1 dream collaboration is Stevie Wonder followed closely by John Legend and Sia.
The other half of APlus, Birchett’s sister, is fully on-board with her sexuality.
“Anesha is amazing. She has always fully supported me as a business partner, friend and sister,” she said. “As APLUS and as siblings, she rocks with me, ALWAYS!!”
The soulful singer, describes her sounds as “classic but relatable.”
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25, according to their website. Click here to make a donation.