Billy Porter ushers in a new era with anthemic single ‘Children’

Billy Porter has shared a bombastic new single titled ‘Children’, co-written with Grammy-winning songwriter MNEK (Dua Lipa, H.E.R.) and Little Mix member Jade Thirwell.

Released today (October 15), the track marks Porter’s debut on Island and Republic. It’s an inspiring number evocative of Porter’s background as a Broadway actor, as he opens the disco-influenced track singing: “See I know times are hard, yeah I mean it from the heart / You’re not losing the fight, love will make it alright / ‘Cause I’ve been there, done that, worn that dress, so you know mama knows it best.”

Have a listen to ‘Children’ below:

Porter said in a press release that ‘Children’ was “inspired by [his] life and everything [he’s] gone through to get here”, saying that he’d always had an ambition to release music like it, but was dissuaded by the state of the industry and its lack of understanding towards what he wanted to express.

“Music is my first love,” he expressed. “I grew up singing in the church. When I first put out commercial music in 1997, the industry was not ready for all this Black Boy Joy! But luckily the world has caught up. I could not be more thrilled to entrust this next chapter of my music career to the Island/Republic team. Make way children! Daddy’s back.”

Porter went on to say, “For the first time, my music is what I want it to be [and] what I want it to say, which is hope [and] love.” He continued: “We have to choose it every day so we can fight the evil that is so pervasive. We can only fight it with love and I am so excited for my music for that.”

Today’s press release also noted that Porter is gearing up to release his fifth studio album in the near future, with ‘Children’ serving as its lead single. Though a release date has not yet been locked in, the currently untitled LP is expected to land in 2022.

Speaking to NME at this year’s Brit Awards, Porter said MNEK had given him “a crash course in British pop”, with the pair working on several new tracks together. Porter also has several films in production, including his directorial debut, What If?, and a queer teen comedy titled To Be Real.

Back in May, Porter revealed he’s been living with HIV for 14 years, saying his role as the HIV-positive Pray Tell in Pose gave him an outlet “to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate”.