Rising R&B artist Sakima demands to be treated with sanctity in his latest single “Holy Water,” out Friday (Sept. 14).
With a reverb-and-trap-heavy fog surrounding him, he treads through self-love as a spiritual exercise, in effect, turning RuPaul’s iconic mantra into a prayer of sorts.
“If you make me love you like I think you are, then boy, I’m fucking sacred, better treat me like I’m holy water,” he sings. By the track’s end, the fuzz on his voice lifts up into a transcendent, pitch-shifted choir, singing the chant of “holy water.”
The British R&B artist confides that “Holy Water” was inspired by the litany of “gaslighters and emotional manipulators” that he found himself enamored with, and the emotional toll that loving someone who takes advantage of his emotional uncertainty.
“It’s only this year — 2018 — where I truly learned to love myself and accept my emotions as something that’s real and valid and that they should never be used against me,” Sakima tells Billboard. “At first loving yourself feels like a forced smile, but after a while you start to see the subtle beauty in the things you’d been conditioned to hate about yourself.”
“There were times where I’d be losing my mind thinking I’m being cheated on and I was made to feel crazy and that I was being over dramatic — of course I was fucking right and I was being cheated on as it turned out. So I wanted to make this song that took the melodrama of those moments but transcend it into a statement of self-love and of self-worth,” he explained.
The track is the first taste from his upcoming debut album Project Peach (due in 2019), which he promised in an interview with Billboard earlier this year to be a “complete celebration of queer art, queer iconography, queer stories.”
Check out “Holy Water” below: