My roommate was watching HBO's ode to the '70s, machismo, and the music industry--Vinyl--the other day and while I was openly ignoring that stylized dick-measuring contest, something struck my ears. The show has great music, a mix of old and original material, but I assumed they had just dug up a long lost disco treasure I'd never heard before until Shazam told me it was none other than Alex Newell belting out "Kill the Lights."
Unsurprisingly, disco god and Daft Punk bff Nile Rodgers of Chic had a hand in the future dancefloor anthem, along with DJ Cassidy. But it's Newell, who I am convinced is the reincarnation of the late great Sylvester, who gives the track its true spark of life.
For someone born in the '90s, he's got an adept understanding of the golden age of disco--when platforms and afros were as high as the people wearing them.
Just listen to any of his dance tunes--"Nobody to Love," "Basically Over You (B.O.Y)" or his cover of four-to-the-floor classic "Show Me Love"--to get everything you could ever need or want from a disco diva. Powerhouse vocals. An unrelenting beat. An occasional toot-toot, maybe even a beep-beep. And the love of statement hair.