Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with Sam Smith – unless, of course, the Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter decides to turn them into a smash pop hit. On their latest single “Unholy,” set to appear on their forthcoming fourth studio album, Smith teams up with pop juggernaut Kim Petras to shed light on some hidden escapades they’ve seen go down in the dark.
“Dirty, dirty boy, you know everyone is talking on the scene / I hear them whispering ‘bout the places that you been / And how you don’t know how to keep your business clean,” Smith teases over pulsing production that skitters with the tense anxiety of someone who’s been caught red handed.
“Unholy” bursts at the seams as Smith and Petras detail a case of infidelity inspired by the infamous Los Angeles Sunset Strip club The Body Shop. When the pair previewed the single on TikTok, the snippet exploded, racking up over 12 million views on Smith’s profile alone, in addition to its use in over 333,000 videos before its official release. The driving force behind the craze was the hook’s perfect call out: “Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot / At the body shop / Doing something unholy.”
When Petras slips in, after Smith has chastened their subject for leaving his kids at home while he gets into trouble, it’s to bask in the amusing freedom of not being tied down, singing: “And he, he get me Prada, get me Miu Miu like Rihanna / He always call me ‘cause I never cause no drama / And when you want it, baby, I know I got you covered / And when you need it, baby, just jump under the covers.”
Smith brought “Unholy” to life during a recording session in Jamaica, one which they describe as one of their most striking creative moments. “I’ve never had so much fun making a record,” they shared in a statement. “It was so cathartic and freeing to experiment like this and throw out the rule book.”
Unlike many of Smith’s past hits – mostly made up of multi-platinum selling ballads about love, yearning, and heartbreak – “Unholy” feels free from the burden of adhering to anything audiences may have come to expect from them. In the freedom of the club-ready production, Smith soars with confidence and theatrical flare.
“It is cool to meet another artist who is a really good writer and has a vision that’s their own,” Petras shared. “I had the best time in the studio with them. They really believed in me and encouraged me to be totally myself. I feel so honored that they chose me to be on this song.”
As they embark on a new era, Smith has broken free. “This song is about liberating oneself from the clutches of others’ secrets,” they added. And there’s only more liberation to come.