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. More Than That - Lauren Jauregui
After the large success of her highly anticipated solo debut track Expectations, Lauren Jauregui recently released the second single from her album, More Than That. After short snippets of the song released on her social media platforms, it fueled the anticipation for the release; fans were more than ready to hear the new track play during this new year.
With production by Murda Beatz, More Than That definitely steps into the realm of Hip Hop and R&B, which is pretty different from her first single. The beat is 808 based and is topped off with trap hi-hat. The melody layer is carries a light keyboard, made to sound like a xylophone,yet the arrangement is quite simple. The main ingredient? Lauren’s buttery voice; her deep tone and rasp add dimension to the track, something that only she can produce.
The lyrics are a bit scandalous, yet somewhat relatable. Lauren writes about struggling with entertaining the idea of having a fling with, well, not her boyfriend. In the chorus, she flirts:
“I know I ain't right for tempting you
At least, she’s being honest, in the fact of admitting that she should not be so friendly. Yet, in verse two, she lays it all out on the table:
“If my man know, there's gon' be some issues
Basically: shoot your shot and maybe, I’ll think about it.
While Jauregui’s debut album is highly anticipated, not much has been revealed about the full length project. We do know that Lauren is writing most, if not all, of the album, with help from some of the best producers that the industry has to offer. Aside, from the bare bones of the operation, we have no insight into any features, the artwork, or the overall genre appeal. The mystery surrounding the debut solo album, may make it that much more dynamic when released, but for now, we will keep playing the two songs we have been blessed with.
READ MUZEMONDAZE WEEK 33 FOR LAUREN JAUREGUI'S FIRST SINGLE AND NORMANI'S COLLAB WITH CALVIN HARRIS, HERE.
2. Dancing With a Stranger - Sam Smith & Normani
Into this new year, British pop-soul singer Sam Smith and American rising solo artist Normani released the slow jam breakup song: Dancing With a Stranger. This marks Normani’s 4th single released with another artist, without the release of an official album. Sam Smith released The Thrill of it All in 2017 and has put out a few single since then. The collaboration is a solid one; as both artists begin their next album cycles.
Dancing With a Stranger is fine-tuned and simply, pop magic. The beat of the song is a lightly fluid drum and clap, which is paced at a faster rhythm; fortifying the title. The track also has a synthesized ayer, with distorted vocalization in the back of some parts. There is also a very minimal electric guitar strum laced in-between. Smith, known for his undeniably silky smoothe voice, sings the first verse and Normani, one fifth of the once vocally powerful Fifth Harmony, takes the second.
In the first verse, Sam sings to an ex lover:
“I don't wanna be alone tonight
After a breakup, being alone can get tough. Thank God for the dance club. Normani responds in verse two:
“I wasn't even going out tonight
Dancing the night away with a new guy, just might be the way to forget about the old one. The chorus is sung by both singers individually, after their perspective verses, and then both come together towards the end
“Look what you made me do, I'm with somebody new (Ooh)
While Sam Smith has not had many duets, Normani is quickly and respectively, becoming very good at them. It should be noted that this song has the artist listed as ‘Sam Smith and Normani’ and not one featuring the other, which makes it hard to know who’s next album this song is coming from, if at all. While we look forward to hearing more of Smith’s collaborations, it is Normani’s single work that we are anticipating the most. Much like Lauren Jauregui, Normani has been very quiet about her debut album. Very few details have emerged aside from the fact that an album is indeed, coming.
FIND MUZEMONDAZE WEEK 36, ON NORMANI AND 6LACK SONG, HERE.
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.