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First Out: New Music From Victoria Monét, Jozzy, Lauren Ruth Ward & More

As Pride Month continues around the world, LGBTQ people everywhere are looking for uplifting anthems to help them tap into this season’s spirit of activism. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new weekly music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Jozzy’s repeat-worthy new track, to Victoria Monét’s disco-infused Khalid collaboration, here are some of our favorite new releases this week:

Victoria Monét ft. Khalid, “Experience”

When you hear the names Victoria Monét and Khalid, you’d be forgiven if “disco” isn’t the first genre you thought of. But on their brand new single “Experience,” that is exactly what the pair are serving — with a constantly-grooving bassline, combined with the pair’s smooth as silk vocals, the new track sees Monét and Khalid not only nailing the disco revival sound, but giving fans an uplifting moment of fun during these dark times.

Jozzy, “Pleasantville”

On this soothing new single, rapper and songwriter Jozzy delivers her usual rapid-fire flow over a beat and melody that will transport you to a dreamier landscape. “Pleasantville” sees Jozzy at her best, from production all the way down to lyrics like “We started a trend like it’s a new dance/ But this s–t ain’t seasonal.”

Lauren Ruth Ward, “Must Be Nice”

In the brand new animated video for her song “Must Be Nice,” Lauren Ruth Ward has a bone to pick with the patriarchy. As she structurally lists out (and illustrates) all of the advantages that “straight, white men” get to have, the singer’s voice gets progressively angrier as she puts the powerful in their place. In a statement to Billboard, the singer elaborated even further on the lyrics to her song, making clear who exactly she was talking to. “”Sexism, racism, injustice, oppression, hierarchy, corruption, privilege, power, rhetoric, manipulation, lack of empathy, tyranny. Must be nice,” she said. “Uprising, revolution, unity, power, change, democracy, honesty, compassion, equality. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, man, you are the problem.”

Jada Michael, “Freak (Acoustic)”

Even when stuck in quarantine, singer-songwriter Jada Michael is making sure that her lover knows she’s thinking about them. So, with her brand new acoustic video for her song “Freak,” Michael turns the heat up to 11 as she oozes pure sexuality on the sultry new version of the song, practically purring each of the lyrics. Accompanied by a few twinkling synths and a stripped-down drumbeat, the singer relies on her impeccable vocals to bring this sexy new version of her song over the finish line.

Joy Oladokun ft. Tim Gent, “Mercy”

With the ongoing social unrest over the continued injustices enacted by police on Black Americans, along with the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to see why many are simply seeking some form of respite. Joy Oladokun certainly is as she lays out in her new single “Mercy” — the singer-songwriter sings through the pain of living in this current moment, before simply stating “I need a little mercy.” She explained the meaning of the song on her Twitter, saying it’s not just about relief, but about “the end of me saying sorry for who I am and the choices I’ve made.”

Fab the Duo, “Our Love Is Resistance”

In the current social climate, many in the LGBTQ community are reminding the world that Pride Month is meant to be a protest. The latest to do so are Fab the Duo, with their new video for their latest single “Our Love Is Resistance.” Throughout the black and white clip, Greg Driscoll and Brendan Eprile walk through the streets of New York, declaring their love as an act of revolution, while joining a set of protests outside the Stonewall Inn to make their message crystal clear:
“We’ve endured so far and we ain’t gonna stop/ They’ll find out soon enough/ Our love is resistance.”

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