How is it already August? Why is it already August? We don't know, but that's the situation at hand.
To cope with the fast-moving summer, we're proud to present to you the first edition of Queer Necessities, a new monthly LGBTQ-driven playlist from Billboard Pride where we catch you up on the latest and greatest bops by queer musicians and fierce allies. Each month's selections will be curated by NYC-based DJ and tastemaker Jon ALi, who is the founder of pop music entertainment destination Jon ALi’s Blog.
Enjoy this first serving of pop gems, and don't forget to follow the Spotify playlist to keep up-to-date on each month's offering. Have a most #blessed August.
Those looking for another healthy dose of "Let's Have A Kiki" realness, look no further. Grammy-nominated, New York City-based duo Sofi Tukker's new single, "F--- They" is an uninhibited, f--ks-free empowerment anthem co-written with Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and Evermore's Jon Hume. It's got that Shears' signature all over it.
2. Leikeli47, “Miss Me”
Brooklyn native Leikeli47 comes through with her first output of 2017 titled "Miss Me." The confident hip-hop stomper appropriately uses a sample of The Honey Drippers' "Impeach the President" and finds the talented raptress spitting slick rhymes about not having any patience for "the bullshit" -- a relatable sentiment we all can practice.
3. Charli XCX, “Boys”
Underrated pop princess Charli XCX mixtape Number 1 Angel is the best collection the world has been sleeping on this year. Picking up where it left off, her latest "Boys" is an alluring serving of chilled-out, mid-tempo pop full of silky, melodic vocals and Nintendo-like dance beats. If the song itself wasn't enough, the accompanying video is treat within itself featuring appearances from a veritable who’s who of high-profile gay boys: Tom Daley, Connor Franta, Rostam, MNEK, MS MR's Max Hershenow and Shaun Ross.
4. Julia Michaels, “Pink”
"Pink," a clear standout from Julia Michaels' debut mini-album Nervous System, showcases the cheeky side of Julia's personality above punchy stabs of guitar and a wicked electro-pop pulse. The chorus alone is a total shock to the system, as she sarcastically whispers "There’s no innuendos/ It’s exactly what you think/ Believe me when I tell you/ He loves the color pink."
5. Leland, “Mattress”
Out-and-proud singer-songwriter, whose penned a bunch of tracks for our favorite pop stars (Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan, Daya), has dropped his new single "Mattress" and it's a total earworm. Don't sleep on this one.
6. Jaira Burns, “Ugly”
Speaking of Leland, the pop master-crafter had a hand in writing "Ugly," the dancehall-driven debut from Interscope signee Jaira Burns. It's really all about that infectious chorus, which is repeated endlessly -- and it's a damn good one.
7. Superfruit, "Vacation"
Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying of a capella supergroup Pentatonix -- who are also known as comedic duo Superfruit -- take us on a breezy stroll into summertime with this irresistible '80's-influenced bop. "Vacation," just one of the many highlights off their breakout Superfruit EP Future Friends.
8. Adam Lambert, “Two Fux”
Adam Lambert is throwing his middle fingers up with an empowering new single called "Two Fux." This melodic kiss-off is equal parts grown and gritty as Adam lays down his simple truth: "I only trust my tarot cards/ Pink flamingos in my yard/ People think that I'm from Mars/ whatever," he declares over the intricate, electro-pop production. A real winner to add to his already impressive discography.
9. Kesha, “Learn To Let Go”
Kesha's forthcoming album Rainbow is shaping up to be every bit as good as we all hoped it would, and her latest "Learn To Let Go," is a blissful and joyful rush that comes equipped with a positive life mantra we all could use.
10. Beth Ditto, “In and Out”
Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto's debut full-length album as a solo artist, Fake Sugar, is a true joy from start to finish. One of the many highlights is unquestionably "In and Out," a twangy gem all about the ups and downs of being in a relationship.
11. MNEK, “Paradise”
Wunderkind MNEK delivers powerhouse vocals above an enticing, shape-shifting R&B production that samples the iconic guitar riff from Ultra Nate's 1997 dance hit, "Free." It's just another stellar display of what MNEK has to offer.
12. Purity Ring, “Asido”
In celebration of the five year anniversary of their debut album Shrines, Megan James and Corin Roddick of Purity Ring have released "Asido," a shimmering dream-pop production that compliments Megan's superb melancholy lyricism.
13. Grace Mitchell “Come Back For You”
Genre-bending Portland native Grace Mitchell has gone and ditched the gritty guitars and high-energy sonics of her previous singles “NOW” and “Cali God,” instead providing a soothing, lush slice of dream pop.
14. Oscar and the Wolf, “Breathing”
Belgian singer-songwriter Max Colombie, also known as Oscar and the Wolf, supplies majestic greatness wrapped in airy synth-pop and sweeping Daft Punk-esque guitar lines. The song feels fiercely romantic, nostalgic and melancholy all at once -- a spectacular feat the he calls "a celebration of sadness for creatures of the night."
15. Hook N Sling, Parson James and Betty Who, “If You're Hearing This”
"Stole the Show" singer Parson James and Aussie darling Betty Who join forces with Australian DJ/producer Hook N Sling on this gorgeous summer-ready jam that sees the talented singers combining their infectious vocals around the producer's intricate atmospherics, delicate synth lines and tropical-tinged dance beats. It's a beautifully written and produced song about the importance of love and finding that special someone.
16. Mura Masa, “Second 2 None” (feat. Christine and the Queens)
Electronic up-and-comer Mura Masa's long-awaited self-titled debut features a slew of high-profile collaborations, but it's his team up with French sensation Christine and the Queens -- who identifies as pansexual -- that truly steals the show with its subtle yet winsome danceability.
17. Wrabel, “The Village”
Wrabel's reminds his listeners that there is nothing wrong with them on his latest "The Village." A beautifully devastating tune that focuses on issues of isolation that arise with the exploration of one's sexuality and identity -- resulting in some rather comforting musical medicine for all members of the LGBTQ family.
Jon ALi is a NYC-based DJ and founder of pop music entertainment destination Jon ALi’s Blog, which celebrates its 11-year anniversary this year. He spends his weekends spinning tunes at gay spots in Manhattan.