“I just wanted to have a playlist with songs that followed my journey, whether it be songs that I’ve been inspired by or things that are true to me,” MNEK tells Billboard.
MNEK, “Colour” (feat. Hailee Steinfeld)
Sylvester, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”
I really wanted to include this because I feel like it’s one of very, very few representations of black queer femme. I love that. This is an example of how it’s been before and I want to be an example of it’s done now.
Kaytranada, “At All”
Britney Spears, “Boys” (Co-Ed Remix)
For a lot of songs around this era, you have to be specific about what version you’re putting on there. There were so many versions: single versions, studio versions. Pharrell, I look up to him — he’s someone who does it all, and I want to do the same. Britney is a gay icon.
Whitney Houston, “Queen of the Night”
Ryan Ashley, “Chest”
He is one of my best friends. He worked with me on my album. He’s so talented.
Jax Jones, “Instruction” (feat. Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don)
I live for Raye. I think that she is someone that everyone should really pay attention to. She is gonna be the next big thing.
Big Freedia, “Booty-Whop”
I’m always really intrigued to see other expressions of the black, queer experience. I think that, especially with Freedia, when she’s onstage, she’s so strong and empowering.
Troye Sivan, “Bloom”
I’m a fan of his music, I’m a fan of his blossoming, you know. He’s coming out of his shell and I appreciate that.
Spice Girls, “Holler”
I mean, hello, “Holler” deserves credit, right? Honestly, it’s one of their best. And all the gays love the Spice Girls, so why not put on their coolest track, you know?
Leo Kaylan, “Fucked Up”
He’s another friend of mine. I think that he’s so gifted. He’s another voice that deserves to be heard.
My remaining life goals are to smoke a joint with Rihanna and to write a song with Mariah. And after that I could bow out if I wanted to. That’s it. That’s all I need. I’ve worked with so many of my favorite artists, that would be the icing on the cake.
George Michael, “Fastlove”
Yes. I love George Michael. I think he is my main male vocal inspiration. I grew up listening to lot of female artists and I always was inspired by their vocals, but there was just something about George’s voice.
Years & Years, “Sanctify”
Olly’s a good friend of mine. I remember he played “Sanctify” for me before it came out. He wanted some direction. I thought it was great back then and now their fans love it as much as I do.