When Sam Smith and Kim Petras released the song Unholy in September 2022, it took the music world by storm. It was a sexually charged track that spoke to the desire to be uninhibited when it comes to relationships. The pair even performed the track at the Grammy Awards and riled up fans by dressing in devil costumes with whips. It was an act that many considered satanic and a form of Satan worship.
The lyrics in the song tell the story of a cheating husband and his unrepentant promiscuity. Unlike other songs about infidelity, the singers don’t call him out by name. Instead, they refer to him as “dirty boy.” The singers also point out that his wife knows about his infidelity and he is trying to keep her in the dark about his secret.
This is a radical departure from the singer’s usual sad piano ballads about former male lovers. The collaboration is a sensual track with Arabic undertones that is a testament to Smith’s newfound sexual deviance. It is produced by Ilya, Omer Fedi, Blake Slatkin, and Jimmy Napes, marking a break from the usual production style of the two.
When the song was first teased on TikTok, it became a viral trend. The song’s hook quickly got people dancing and singing along with their own renditions of the music video. As a result, it made the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Sam’s highest charting single since his 2014 hit, Stay With Me. It was also the first time a transgender artist reached number one on the charts.