After conquering Broadway and television, Alex Newell is turning his attention back to the dance floor.
The gender-nonconforming actor and singer dropped his first single in four years, “Boy, You Can Keep It,” on Wednesday. Its accompanying music video follows Newell, beloved by audiences as Unique Adams on “Glee,” as he heads out for a night on the town, striking a few poses for paparazzi along the way.
In spite of his blinged-out appearance in the clip, Newell wants the song to serve as a reminder that “material things aren’t everything in a relationship.”
“They aren’t how you measure love,” Newell, who uses the pronouns “he” and “him,” said in an email. “I’m saying, ‘I don’t need everything that you think I do.’ I’m looking for something you can’t monetize. I want something real.”
“Boy, You Can Keep It” is Newell’s first original, pop-oriented effort since 2016, when he released a five-song EP, “Power,” and a follow-up single, “Need Somebody,” via Atlantic Records, one year after “Glee” concluded its six-season run.
Watch the “Boy, You Can Keep It” video below.
Since then, the Massachusetts native has kept busy in various mediums. He opened for Adam Lambert on the “American Idol” alum’s 2016 tour and a year later made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning revival of “Once on This Island.”
Last month, Newell returned to network TV on “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” co-starring Jane Levy and fellow “Glee” alum Skylar Astin. This Friday, he’ll hit New York’s Carnegie Hall for “I’m Every Woman: Divas on Stage,” performing alongside the New York Pops.
The 27-year-old, who cites Beyoncé and Whitney Houston as influences, has said being embraced by Hollywood as a gender-nonconforming artist has been meaningful given the challenges he’s faced as a Black LGBTQ person of faith.
“Nobody else is going to be me,” he told Vice in 2018. “I’m me, and I have to look out for myself. If you don’t like my representation, that’s on you.”