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Bruin Beats: Bridge Builders President Hope Gipson

The Vision has teamed up with leaders from organizations across campus to bring you weekly Spotify playlists from students and staff.

For this installment, Bridge Builders President Hope Gipson shared 10 songs she is listening to right now. Gibson explains her playlist below. 

1. “Freedom” – Beyonce

I chose “Freedom” because I think it’s such a fantastic activist anthem that really has a powerful message about institutionalized racism and the lack of freedoms that racism and patriarchal values impose on those who aren’t white or, more specifically, white males. Powerful eye-opening tracks like this are why music was created in my opinion.

2. “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey

I mostly chose this because I love uplifting songs, and this was the song I always used to jam to with my mom on the way to Nashville, school or wherever we went together. Always a good memory song!

3. “Diamond Heart” – Lady Gaga

It’s really inspiring to hear sexual assault survivors share their stories and live as strong images of those who didn’t let something horrible break them. Lady Gaga references that in this song and really provides such an uplifting message that makes my heart beat easier most days.

4. “Pretty Little Monster” – Carverton

A local pick, I chose this one because they’re one of the few local bands that I would listen to on repeat even if I didn’t know the fantastic human beings in the band. Their music is fantastic, and is probably going to be on all the mainstream radio stations one day. Besides their talent, the frontman is a really huge supporter of LGBTQIA+ people and LGBTQIA+ people on Belmont’s campus, and I think it’s inspiring to see people use their influence and platform to really lift up other voices and protect people.

5. “Girls Like Girls” – Hayley Kiyoko

I’m always so inspired by mainstream LGBTQIA+ songs that really remind us that all love is love and can be beautiful with all sexualities. This song doesn’t really struggle with the controversy that can come with someone revealing their sexuality, but rather just celebrates it in a really fun way and really is just a relaxing feel-good song.

6. “How Great” – Chance the Rapper

I grew up listening to Christian music and Kirk Franklin and will always have a deep love and connection for that type of music. So it has been inspiring to hear Chance use both powerful lyricism and Christian themes in his music lately!

7. “80’s Films” – Jon Bellion

I chose this one simply because I love Bellion and his production quality, and I find it so inspiring as an aspiring audio engineer to hear the fantastic quality of his production and work.

8. “Avalanche” – Break and Enter

Another local band pick, I chose this one because Break and Enter usually makes a point at their concerts to declare it a space safe for anyone. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, diverse factors, etc., everyone can enjoy their music and feel safe and supported in who they are. They’re a great band, and I recommend seeing them to anyone who gets a chance, because, though many bands do advocate for diversity of fans, not all bands go out of their way to really protect and make that diverse fan population feel welcome at their shows.

9. “True Trans Soul Rebel” – Against Me!

When I used to mentor homeless LGBTQIA+ students, there was a trans-girl there named Laura, named after the lead singer of this band, Laura Jane Grace. That name and inspirational figure gave that girl the confidence to really live authentically as herself, and it really reminded me of the power of music. So I’ll always love that singer, that band and this song.

10. “The Greatest” – Sia

This song sorta became an LGBTQIA+ anthem and source of comfort after the Pulse tragedy and the music video Sia later released. It’s sad because it has an association with an extremely traumatic event for my community, and yet it’s one of my favorite songs, because the message is so hopeful and speaks of potential for movements and individuals.

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