AN EXCLUSIVE WEEKLY COLUMN BY ITEM MAGAZINE, OFFERING AN ARRAY OF NEWLY SELECTED UNDERGROUND & MAINSTREAM MUSIC, TO BRING MUSE TO YOUR MONDAYS!
BY CONTRIBUTOR TRE FLOREZ
1. Ariana Grande - thank u, next
Smack down, in the middle of her fourth album cycle, Ariana Grande announced a fifth album is on the way and released a first single from it, titled “thank u, next”. While the initial title of it makes it sound sassy and sarcastic, the song is actually a nice expression of her appreciation for her ex boyfriends.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that she recently called off her engagement with one of the SNL comedians, Pete Davidson, after being together for nearly five months. Though, there hasn’t been much public speaking on the matter, fans were very concerned that Grande was not doing well, emotionally. After a few since-deleted tweets and a mere hours prior to the SNL skit from the most recent ex: Grande released the track.
It is clearly a pop smash, where the melody sounds like a ‘thank you note’. It is very airy and packed in front of a thick beat. The lyrics offer some particular shout-outs and give us an insight into how she feels about her exes.
In the first verse she names her most famous exes:
“Thought I'd end up with Sean
Then tells us she’s working on herself for now, in verse two:
Plus, I met someone else
Imagine, if all pop stars could just write us songs about their life tribulations and changes; we wouldn’t have do much (as fans) as to guess on, how they are really feeling about their lives narratives. This was a subtle but sweet directional change for the hype-sensation that embodies around the name, Ariana Grande.
While not much has been said about her upcoming album, we have seen pictures from her social media feeds, that she is working in the studio. We know the new album is coming and also wonder if she will pay tribute to her former boyfriend and late rapper, Mac Miller, in this near-future work. It may be released before the year is up, at the speed Grande seems to be working; not even having started the tour for her latest album, Sweetener. But we are not complaining about it! Because when it comes to Ariana, when she releases anything catchy on the charts, we always say, ”thank u, next”. Not in a completely, ungrateful way; obviously.
2. H.E.R. - Carried Away
The illusive R&B artist H.E.R., dropped part two of her EP: “I Used to Know H.E.R.”. While growing into a much more recognized artist (one that she already has been on her way to becoming), H.E.R. has really pushed past the boundaries of what R&B can become, today. Especially, when it comes to her new groovy-blues and first track, Carried Away. A simple clap and acoustic guitar get it started, and then a deep bass and H.E.R. hit the mic. When her very sultry voice comes in, you’re instantly floating.
The track is so unique to what we have heard previously from H.E.R., as of recent. Admittedly, she confesses that the chosen songs on the EP, were originally demo songs. Fans were surprised by that, because this body of work is exactly that free-form expression, of the real life H.E.R., of which helps the artist to continually and progressively stand out, on the R&B spectrum. H.E.R. offers a sense of vulnerability and connection to what it means to embrace love and emotional loss; even behind the big shades that covers her face. There is so much to relate to, hidden beyond her voice and deep lyrics. Here, she is expressively singing about a possible interest, one that she is nervous to go to the next step with.
And in verse two she touched more on how she feels,
“Ain’t my fault I’m guarded
While an official debut album has yet to be released, the two-part EP does the inner parts of the ear and soul, so much justice. H.E.R., who was brought up in the Bay Area, may just be a young talent, yet really knows how to make an impact on the music scene, like she’s been around for ages. iTEM will be seeing H.E.R. live again, on the last leg of her current tour in San Francisco, this December 2018; where she will undoubtedly, bring all that soul-touching talent back to her native roots!
Other notable tracks from part two include Take You There, Hard Place, Fate and the half spoken poetry of the Lord Is Coming. Take a listen below:
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a poet and freelance fashion writer, photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.