Forever WOWlebrity Peace Bisquit aka Bill Coleman has assembled a superfab group of musicians and nightlife legends for Red Hot + Free, an HIV/AIDS benefit compilation tailor-made for your return to the club this summer.
“I thought, If I’m going to be stuck in my house for a year, I have to figure out something to do. I cannot just Netflix and chill,” says Coleman, the manager, DJ, and music supervisor who has worked with everyone from Beyoncé and Bette Midler to Lady Gaga, Lizzo, and, yes, RuPaul.
He had already enlisted Billy Porter last year to record a cover of Juliet Roberts’ 1990s house anthem “Caught in the Middle” and teamed with Sofi Tukker and Mali duo Amadou & Mariam on “Mon Cheri,” a vibrant, worldly groove sung in Portuguese, Bambara, and French. “I was like, Okay, we have these two songs. Maybe we should do an album,” Coleman says. “I’ve managed people for a living and helped a lot of my artists with production, but being in lockdown made me focus on my own production and remix skills again.”
Coleman has been involved with Red Hot, a nonprofit founded in 1989 dedicated to fighting HIV and AIDS through music and pop culture, since 2018. It has raised more than $15 million for charities and released 20 compilations, starting with 1990’s Red Hot + Blue, a collection of reinterpretations of Cole Porter songs featuring artists like U2, David Byrne, and Sinéad O’Connor.
Coleman considers Red Hot + Free that record’s “cousin,” specifically citing Porter’s remake of “Caught in the Middle,” a track originally released in 1994.
“That, to me, brings it full circle without being overly nostalgic. ‘Caught in the Middle’ is a ’90s house classic, but it hasn’t been played everywhere. It’s my little nod to Red Hot + Dance. We get a bit of that flavor, but freshened up for 2021.”
The compilation’s lead single, “U Try Livin’ (Pressure),” is “a timely gospel-house joint by Black Guy White Guy and 808 BEACH about shaking off political, economic, and ideological woes under the glow of the mirrorball. Like many of the album’s songs, its gravitational pull is undeniable. It is the sound of a hard-won summer, of post-pandemic liberation…”
“I knew we weren’t going to be in lockdown forever, although it felt like it at certain points,” Coleman says. “I just could not be more honored and proud to have gotten this album done and let it have whatever life it’s going to have. I hope people are jumping around their house, in their apartment, on the street, in the park, roller-skating. Whatever is going to release the pressure, release that tension, and make people just be a little bit more in tune with one another. And be happy.”
Red Hot + Free is out July 2. See the full track list below.
Get it here.
1. Sofi Tukker and Amadou & Mariam, “Mon Cheri”
2. Black Guy White Guy x 808 BEACH, “U Try Livin’ (Pressure)”
3. CRICKETS, “Elastic” (808 BEACH Dangerous Power Mix)
4. Body Language, “Start It Up” (Red Hot Extended)
5. Allie X, “Super Duper Party People” (Alan Braxe Extended Mix)
6. Sam Sparro, “Pressure” (RedTop Mix)
7. Ultra Naté, “Free (Live Your Life)” (Felix Da Housecat x Chris Trucher Remix)
8. Billy Porter, “Caught in the Middle”
9. Louis the Child & Foster the People, “Every Color” (Dombresky Remix)
1. The Aces, “Daydream” (Snakehips Remix)
2. Cakes da Killa & Proper Villains, “Don Dada” (Honey Dijon & Luke Solomon Extended Alcazar Remix)
3. Kiwi Dreams, “It’s Ovah”
4. Tituss Burgess ft. Imani Coppola, “Dance M.F.” (Red Hot Extended Mix)
5. Vagabon, “Water Me Down” (Pamcy Remix)
6. Casey Spooner, “I Love My Problems” (Boys’ Shorts Dancefloor Remix)
7. Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive” (Eric Kupper Dub mix)
8. Dubesque ft. Amanda Lepore, “Queen” (Club Mix)
9. Bright Light Bright Light ft. the Illustrious Blacks, “These Dreams” (Red Hot Extended Mix)