Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
When Glee was a big hit in its first few seasons, many of the stars got record deals, but none had any notable success in the music industry. In a surprise twist, one of the cast members who joined later could outdo them all. Alex Newell won his place on Glee via reality show The Glee Project, and played transgender character Wade “Unique” Adams. Alex himself is gay, and although he isn’t transgender, he has a flamboyant, androgynous look. This makes him an exciting potential pop star, which I’d like to believe there is room for in 2016. 23-year-old Alex signed to Atlantic in 2013, and two years later his talent for providing strong vocals for house-pop songs was discovered. In 2015, he featured on two UK hits, Stronger by Clean Bandit and All Cried Out by Blonde. Following this success, it seems his label leapt into action, and he has an EP on the way with impressive collaborators Diane Warren and Nile Rodgers. Lead single This Ain’t Over is a poppier take on his past club hits, with a brilliantly catchy chorus and feisty, self-assured lyrics. It fits with the current sound of UK radio and also has the makings of a gay anthem. The task now is to appeal to both the house scene and the gay audience, and avoid falling through the gap in the middle.