Illustration of a sapphic cherry.
As queer artists are becoming increasingly popular within mainstream media, collaborations between queer artists like Hayley Kiyoko and FLETCHER are more important than ever. (Illustration by Mack Niemietz, Southern New Hampshire University)

‘Cherry’ Is the Lesbian Collaboration We’ve All Been Waiting For

Hayley Kiyoko’s and FLETCHER’s recent single is the gay anthem we wanted it to be — and then some.

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Illustration of a sapphic cherry.

Hayley Kiyoko’s and FLETCHER’s recent single is the gay anthem we wanted it to be — and then some.

It’s been another year of the world metaphorically being on fire, but at least now there’s a gay bop to keep us dancing through the flames. The lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko has finally joined forces with our queer queen, FLETCHER. The two have collaborated to create the cheeky and flirty song that is “Cherry.” Not only have they given fans a song to dance to in their rooms after having a mental breakdown, but they’ve also created a cute ‘80s rom-com music video that captures its vintage quirkiness. “Cherry” is a single for everyone to enjoy, but more importantly the moment all the girls, gays and theys have been waiting for.

Hayley Kiyoko has been a part of many peoples’ queer journeys. Her music has transformed the pop world with Kiyoko just being herself, and having this representation has made so many queer people realize who they are and that it’s okay to be unapologetically themselves. She started as a Disney star, most popularly known for her role as Stella in “Lemonade Mouth.” A few years later, she directed her “Girls Like Girls” music video, which is an iconic video for the LGBTQ+ community. Personally, it was the video that made me start questioning my sexuality in the same way I had liked Shego from “Kim Possible” just a little too much. Kiyoko continues to create inspiring work to remind others that they are not alone.

Cari Fletcher (known professionally as FLETCHER) blew up a few years later, shortly after her appearance on “The X Factor.” FLETCHER influences audiences by normalizing being queer, which is how she identifies. Many people mistake her for being a lesbian (like Kiyoko), but she’s expressed how it never felt right to put a label on her sexuality. She shows that being in love is a shared experience and who you love doesn’t change the way we can all relate to being in love. Her EP “The S(ex) Tapes” is one of her most memorable works and describes raw emotions that FLETCHER experienced after going through a breakup.

While “Cherry” isn’t the longest of songs, it’s one that I will always have on repeat. It’s not an emotional or inspirational song; it’s simply fun and I think that society needs that the most right now. It’s a casual pop song that manages to incorporate a personal touch from its two artists. For instance, they both introduce themselves in the song and engage in back-and-forth banter. I never thought you could include direct flirting in a song, but both women do it so flawlessly. The chorus is “Hello, nice to meet you, my name’s Cari / we should rendezvous sometime mon chéri / I want you on top of me like cherry.” Then, for Kiyoko’s verse, she sings and introduces herself in dulcet tones that are so bubbly that they will always be stuck in your head.

With an addictive beat, the only thing that would make this song better is if it had a music video. Oh wait, it does. Shortly after the release of the single, Kiyoko and FLETCHER were both on TikTok asking fans if they wanted them to collaborate on a music video. Fans went crazy, blowing up their comments. The two finally announced that a video was in the making.

The video is much like the song in the way that it’s short, sweet and to the point. The “Cherry” video is what ‘80s rom-coms would be like if they were gay. Everything from the color scheme to the vintage filters makes it feel so dreamy. Kiyoko and FLETCHER are both talking to a girl named Cherry. Both singers go on cute dates with Cherry, from baking to jamming to music in their cars. Eventually, this leads to the performance of cheesy romantic acts like bringing Cherry flowers and buying her chocolates. However, there’s a moment when both Kiyoko and FLETCHER show up at Cherry’s house to give her gifts and realize they are being played by the same girl. What’s left to unfold isn’t your traditional ending and I think that’s what makes it so fun.

Now that more gay artists are emerging in the pop world, fans would love to see more collaborations. While fans are craving an album with Kiyoko and FLETCHER, they are also hoping that other artists start to step forward. I mean, what’s better than a gay iconic duo? Queer artists that fans are desperately wanting to see in the spotlight include Girl in Red, Halsey, King Princess and Conan Gray. Halsey has already done a few collaborations, most notably her song “Strangers,” which features Lauren Jauregui. Fans of both artists went crazy over this collaboration, and they always seem to. It’s always so fun having collaborations in general, like when Disney Channel used to do crossover episodes of their most popular shows. It’s that same feeling, except that now it’s something that needs and offers so much more representation.

“Cherry” gives the LGBTQ+ community more representation in ways it should have received years ago. It sucks that it’s still something that needs to be talked about along with how important it is to have art that everyone can relate to, but I’m glad it’s finally becoming more mainstream. Once more artists like Hayley Kiyoko and FLETCHER rise to fame, we can become more comfortable with being ourselves. To know that regardless of who we love, we are worthy. We are Loved. We deserve to see people like us in the media.

Writer Profile

Tori Barney

Columbia College Chicago
Creative Writing

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