First Out: New Music From Sigala & MNEK, RuPaul, Joesef & More

Happy New Year! Celebrate everything 2023 with some new releases from some of your favorite queer artists this week. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Sigala & MNEK’s thumping new single, to a whole new album from the Queen of Queens RuPaul, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:

Sigala & MNEK, “Radio”

It may be the dead of winter, but British DJ Sigala and singer-songwriter extraordinaire MNEK are ready to give you pure summer vibes on their new track. “Radio,” the latest single to come off of Sigala’s upcoming album, bounces with a French disco flair and a deep house beat, while MNEK’s signature silky vocals glide over the beats, singing about wanting to be with someone based the the song they’re jamming out to. Sure, it’s cold outside, but that’s no reason to not dance like it’s the summertime to this absolute banger.

RuPaul, Black Butta

Whenever RuPaul debuts a new album, she tends to lean into one flavor of her ever-changing style. On Black Butta, the flavor-of-the-year is pure R&B ecstasy — Ru largely doesn’t aim for the burn-the-club-down highs of past hits like “Sissy That Walk” or “Supermodel (You Better Work),” but instead goes for a more tender, sensual vibe. That manifests itself well, as Ru lets her voice croon on standouts like “A.S.M.R. Lover,” while occasionally going for bigger moments, like with the titular rap track.

Joesef, Borderline

Simply put, singer-songwriter Joesef is at his career-best with his latest EP. Borderline serves largely as a quiet collection of separate heartbreaks, as Joesef’s incredibly fine-tuned vocal gives you a first-person tour of his broken heart. That’s particularly true on the project’s title track, in which the crisp clear vocal contrasts perfectly with a blurrier guitar line, Joesef is at peak performance, as he sings, “Baby hold me close cause I don’t want to fight/ Cause I want you all the time.”

Kamaiyah, “Thru the Week”

Looking for a thesis statement for your 2023? Rapper Kamaiyah is here to offer you some assistance on “Thru the Week,” a bouncing rap track dedicated to chasing dollar bills and putting toxic people behind you. The rapper’s vocals and flow remain as sharp as ever, while the grooving production keeps you bouncing in your seat as you bob along to this declaration of unfiltered confidence.

Hyphen Hyphen, “Own God”

French electro-pop trio Hyphen Hyphen are ready to lean into their pop-rock roots on their newest single. With a shimmering guitar hook and delicious bassline, “Own God” is the perfect spark for those in need of a mood boost as we face down the New Year — why wait around for good things, the song asks, when you can make the change you want to see yourself? Of course, the trio phrases it in a much catchier turn of phrase: “I’ll be my own god/ I’m a believer.”

Stephen Daw