Queer music fans can thrill to the sounds of three new releases; from South Africa’s very own Jamie-Lee Sexton and the UK’s Years & Years, to America’s Joy Oladokun.
Jamie-Lee Sexton – Medicine Woman
After two consecutive radio hits, super-talented South African Jamie-Lee Sexton returns with yet another powerful single, Medicine Woman. It’s the third off her anticipated EP of the same title which released last month.
It’s a summer pop anthem with a deep empowering message and a dancefloor-worthy beat that will introduce fans to the eccentric and mystical side of Jamie-Lee. Medicine Woman is bursting with moving organic rhythms and undeniable hooks set throughout an electro-pop backdrop that carries a distinctive retro feel.
Jamie-Lee’s signature raspy vocals and smooth tones come through in this track, which is written with powerful and poignant lyrics that hold a lot of depth.
“Making this song was a spiritual and mystical experience for me, with all the stories from my dreams and life,” Jamie-Lee says. “Many don’t refer to women with unique gifts, special skills, artistic abilities or spiritual connections as ‘medicine women’. But through my own journey and personal experiences, I have come to realise that every woman is a medicine woman in her own right. I discovered that I am one too – and my music is the medicine I prescribe.”
The song was produced by multi-platinum selling producer Daniel Baron. The track is accompanied by an official music video bringing to light the power of women from different cultures and backgrounds.
This message inspired the title of Jamie-Lee’s new EP, which debuted at number one on the South African iTunes chart and includes her previous singles It’s True and We Need To Talk. On the five-track project, Jamie-Lee continues creating pop hits inspired by her experiences in a current, catchy and sincere way.
“Every song is a part of my life. Part of the hard times, dark times and ends with me ultimately finding the light,” Jamie explains. “It’s hasn’t been easy, but it’s very necessary to speak my truth and share it with the world.”
The Medicine Woman single and EP are now available on all major digital music platforms now. Download or stream them here.
Years & Years – Night Call
Night Call is the new album from Years & Years and features the singles Starstruck, Sweet Talker (with Galantis) and more future-favourites from British queer pop star and actor Olly Alexander.
Night Call has the immediate feel of the most essential Years & Years album to date. An 11-track dance record with an almost psychosexual energy coursing through it.
This is a fairground ride of a record about embracing submission, and twisting power play to reclaim your strength. The clues, for Olly, are all there in the album’s iconic artwork, featuring a mermaid of a muse.
“I wanted to identify with this beautiful creature luring men to their death; searching for a love, or a lover, that’s out of reach” Olly says. “A lot of the songs are patchworks inspired by random memories and hook-ups, or men that I’ve met.”
Written over the course of six months, Night Call is inspired by pioneering figures like Sylvester and the club-ready world of French House. Playing the character of Ritchie in the acclaimed series It’s A Sin also deeply influenced Olly’s songwriting in its wider exploration of queer life.
Night Call blurs the boundaries between hedonistic fantasy and locked down reality precisely because, says Olly, “I was stuck in the same four walls. I wanted to have as much pleasure as possible in the music.”
Across two hugely successful albums to date, the singer, actor, fashion icon and cultural vanguard has earned 5 Brit Award nominations, surpassed 4.4 billion global streams, and played triumphant shows ranging from Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage to The O2.
Joy Oladokun – Keeping The Light On
Acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician Joy Oladokun has released her new song, Keeping the Light On.
Reflecting on the song, Oladokun says, “My next body of work is about the human will to keep trying in the midst of all the tragedy that we’ve seen and perpetrated. Keeping the Light On is my little musical way of saying it’s really hard to keep trying but I think part of life is doing so anyway and seeing what magic comes out of it.”
Written by Oladokun, Mike Elizondo and Ian Fitchuk, Keeping the Light On is Oladokun’s first new music since her breakthrough major label debut, in defense of my own happiness.
Widely acclaimed, the album landed on numerous “Best of 2021” lists including at NPR Music, Billboard, Variety and American Songwriter. Most recently, Oladokun was nominated for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards, was featured on the acclaimed podcast, Song Exploder, and made her debut on both ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and PBS’ Austin City Limits.
Vogue described Oladokun as “a rare talent who manages to dissect Christianity, queerness, race and mental wellness with a delicate yet determined touch.” If you haven’t heard her music yet, now’s the time to start!