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Sam Smith and Kim Petras Play Dirty on “Unholy”

Finally free from “popstar jail,” Kim Petras brings the woo-ah sensation to Sam Smith’s hypnotically dark TikTok-viral single, “Unholy.”

Finally free from "popstar jail," Kim Petras brings the woo-ah sensation to Sam Smith's hypnotically dark TikTok-viral single, "Unholy."
Credit: Instagram

“Unholy” by Sam Smith (feat. Kim Petras)

“Unholy” is the latest single off of Smith’s yet-to-be-announced fourth studio album. The artist told Billboard that their next era marks a change as their “first non-heartbreak album” and a more light-hearted sound. “I think joy for me, and for a lot of queer people, is quite a dangerous place,” they said. “We’re all masters of pain, and I think it’s actually a very courageous act to step into the queer joy of it all.”

After a postponed release, fans were unsure if the track’s TikTok hype could last another week. With many snippets, fans felt the single was already spoiled already, save for some of Smith’s verse. Regardless, social media views went beyond 26 million before its official release on September 22, making its likeability on streaming services inevitable.

The sinister-sounding bass amplifies the industrial club beat, darkening the whole. “Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot/ At the body shop/ Doing something unholy,” Smith belts over the bass-heavy chorus.

Then Petras takes the second chorus in a seductive pout rap. “Mmm, daddy, daddy, if you want it, drop the addy. / Gimme love, gimme Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy. / You gon’ need to bag it up, ’cause I’m spendin’ on Rodeo.”

From a press release, Smith said, “‘Unholy’ was made in Jamaica and was one of the most glorious creative moments I’ve ever had as an artist. I’ve never had so much fun making a record. It was so cathartic and freeing to experiment like this and throw out the rule book. It has also been an honor to work with Kim and get to witness her brilliance.”

The Success of “Unholy”

On the Global Spotify Charts, Smith and Petras’s song remains at the No. 1 spot with 7.06M streams (September 25). The single gained over 3M streams within less than 12 hours of release, while Cardi B‘s collaboration with GloRilla, debuted with 547k streams, despite having 24 hours of tracking.

On Friday, September 23, Petras was the 11th most streamed female artist on Spotify with 10.6M listeners, overshadowing Nicki Minaj by 700k listeners.

Already the pair pre-recorded a BBC1 Radio 1 performance of “Unholy.” And Smith brought out Petras on the iHeart Radio Festival stage to perform in front of a sold-out stadium. If streaming remains consistent, the duo can plan for a top 10 debut on the Billboard Hot 100. Check out our Tracks to get the latest!

What do you think of Sam Smith’s new single, “Unholy,” with Kim Petras? Let us know in the comments!

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