To make music like Medusa’s, you need three things: thick beats, visceral melodies, and an axe to grind. A storyteller at heart, the self-proclaimed “revenge-pop” musician aims to transform tales of queer joy, desperation, and agony into gratifying music “by any means necessary.” And they make good on the promise; their signature production style — described by Soundriv as “a breakthrough collection of LGBTQ hymns,” and by Bucketlist as “the most inventive [expletive] music we’ve heard in a long time” — features unconventional samples like wolf howls and cheerleading chants as often as distorted basslines. By stacking intricate layers of sound design over aggressive beats, Medusa builds formidable symphonies that feel larger than life. The result is a unique blend of synth pop, hip-hop, EDM, and post-hardcore with a cinematic edge.
But Medusa never wanted anyone to know they made music. In 2018, following an ineffective stint at an eating disorder treatment center, the independent artist developed a routine: they’d drop their roommates off at school, “go park the car,” then secretly return to their apartment. There, they recorded their first album Residuals, which has since amassed over 5 million streams. Its most popular track, “Danny Phantom,” became a cult classic in some online circles, lauded for its gritty and unglamorous depiction of anorexia and substance abuse.
Their sophomore album, Rosie, depicted violent fantasies taking aim at those who betray the innocent. This release coincided with the peak of the feminist Me Too movement, which amplified the voices of those affected by sexual violence. In the underground hip-hop scene of Buffalo, NY, survivors flocked to Medusa’s performances in droves. Their first show was also the first real concert they’d ever attended. As their audience grew, so did the artist’s self knowledge; in 2020, they released their “coming-of-gender" LP – just as the United States went into COVID-19 lockdown. Throughout quarantine, Boy of The Yearspoke to many young closeted queer people, who began to grapple with their identities after seeing their own experiences reflected in Medusa’s story.
Since then, Medusa has cemented themselves as an underground bard for fellow outcasts. Playing stages like NYC Pride and SXSW, the artist continues to center advocacy in their career. As a member of RAMPD, Medusa uses their platform to celebrate neurodiversity and promote equity and inclusion across the music industry. Audiofemme awarded Medusa as one of the recipients of their 2022 Agenda Grant, for their project Allegory of The G/rave, which retells Medusa’s story from a queer perspective. In 2023, Keychange selected Medusa to be a member of their inaugural United States cohort. With two Wavy Awards under their belt and a legion of dedicated followers dubbed “The Gorgang” by their side, Medusa looks forward to soundtracking the process of self-actualization and empowering fellow outcasts for years to come.