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  • Writer's pictureRawiri James

RāViewz: Music | October 2021

Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...

Givéon - For Tonight

He's quickly becoming the go-to guy for heartbeat and heartbreak R&B balladry, and this latest song from Givéon looks set to continue his ascent to mainstream superstardom.

For Tonight, the lead single from his upcoming debut studio album, once again puts the singer's stark baritone front and centre. A seasoned vocalist, he embellishes little, choosing to convey the song's message with the sort of resonant simplicity you can imagine a crowd of thousands holding their lighters up to.

"For tonight, I'm yours/ we'll stay behind closed doors, cause all I wanna do is lie with you," he sings of his stay-over affair.

Expect this to appear in every romantic playlist and late-night radio show as we head into the holiday season.


Stan Walker - Tua

The release of Stan Walker's sixth studio album Te Arohanui was the perfect way to close out September's te reo Māori celebrations.

A collection of old songs and new, the album's opener, Tua, is the Māori reimagining of Walker's 2020 hit Bigger. With its breezy piano keys and stomping percussion, Bigger was always an anthemic and epic pop song.

In his native tongue, the song is given more reverence as Stan's warm vocal work slides across the notes. It's all backed up with an empowering chorus and chant section that will no doubt have you singing along in no time.


Chlöe - Have Mercy

23 years old and the proud new owner of one of pop music's greatest female empowerment anthems, Chlöe Bailey of Chloe x Halle fame has officially stepped out on her own, and if Have Mercy is any indication, she has quite the career ahead of her.

Riding a slick beat from Canadian super-producer Murda Beatz (Nice For What, Fefe), this energetic R&B/pop track has the singer embracing every curve she has, and admiring stare as a result.

"He say he like that Laffy Taffy, he so goofy, call me daddy..." she purrs in the song's pre-chorus. "All this ass up in my jeans, you can't get up in between..."

The song's ultra-stylistic music video further cements Chlöe's position, and with its Beyonce-esque visual treatment, the title of Ms Bailey's first debut single is a well-warranted warning.


Drake ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Get Along Better

From the certified platinum Certified Lover Boy, Drake's Get Along Better is a downtempo affair that holds up as one of his best ballads in recent years.

Frequent production collaborators 40 and Nineteen85 create the perfect sonic environment for the Canadian superstar's confessional:

"Trust me, this ain't 'bout revenge," the chorus starts ominously, "but now I get along better with your friend, and it's wrong I know."

Ty Dolla $ign jumps on the song's final chorus to add some support to the track, but based on Drake's evidently stronger vocal work, he might have been fine to fly solo on this one.


Hrishi - Like a Ghost

Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Hrishi has released what might be the pinnacle of Gen Z pop music: a glorious ode to social anxiety and existentialism.

Like A Ghost is an effervescent R&B-influenced pop song with a bouncy rhythm and catchy hook, it's only when you start listening to the lyrics that the song's sombre message sink in.

"I say I love everyone but I'm sad and it never really shows/ but I'll take another round just to fake another smile in your photos... I say I love everyone but the truth is I feel like a ghost."

Produced by hrisihi himself (and brilliantly containing subtle hints at the singer's South Indian heritage), the contrast between music and message is one of the song's strongest suits, and it's one that you'll be playing again and again.

Like A Ghost is, in a word (yes, we're gonna say it): haunting.


Alicia Keys ft. Swae Lee - LALA (Unlocked)

It might not have been the most obvious of collaborations, but the unexpected has lead to inspiring meet-ups before, and here R&B songstress Alicia Keys' duet with Swae Lee proves an intoxicating mix.

Even producer Mike Will Make It, who sticks closely to syncopated drum beats and programming leans into the vibe, opting for laid back and live instrumentation.

Cut from R&B's high-and-sexy songbook, Keys and Lee trade lines - comparing skin tones to alcohol, talking about lighting incense, and nebulas and smoking zaza while getting lost in the lala (whatever that is).

Does it make sense? Sure, in the way that *everything* makes sense when you're chilling with bae after a cone or two. But lyrical logic here takes a backseat to cool ambiance, and LALA has *that* to spare.


Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!

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