“Tongue,” the latest from out U.K. sensation MNEK, is a catchy electronic slice of pop/R&B heaven. In it, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter struts and sways at the head of an illuminated dining room table, as glamorous guests look on—including the man he’s confessing his love to.

“It’s very up-tempo, it’s fun, it’s sexy,” he says of the track, the lead single off his upcoming debut album. “It’s sassy, it’s gay as hell.”

 


The 23-year-old Brit, whose real name is Uzo Eminike, has been making music since he was 13. Since then, he’s produced songs for Beyoncé (“Hold Up”) and Kylie Minogue (“Feels So Good”), and provided backup vocals on Madonna’s “Living For Love.”

He was also nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy for co-writing the 2013 Duke Dumont track “Need U” and his 2016 team-up with Zara Larsson, “Never Forget You,” reached Number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. (That same year, his cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” garnered more than 38,000 views.)

Jo Hale/Redferns

“I am a musician who has done very well for himself in making his own music,” he told Attitude. “I get to be the pop star that kids never saw on TV. When you’re a kid, you always look at TV and you watch and wait for the next video to come on and you hope to see someone you can relate to or who represents you and I never quite had that.”

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.

@LawrenceFerber