Ariana Grande’s Fifth Album Is Coming — See The Full Thank U, Next Tracklist

For anyone who was skeptical that Ariana Grande is really, actually planning to release her fifth album less than six months (!) after Sweetener, rest assured it’s definitely happening. The 25-year-old has been steadily dropping new tunes — the latest being last week’s flex anthem “7 rings” — and now she’s generously unveiled her new project’s tracklist.

Ari took to her @Sweetener Instagram account on Tuesday evening (January 22) to spell out thank u, next‘s 12 song titles. Of course, the smash title track is accounted for, as are “7 rings,” “imagine,” and the oft-teased “needy.” Besides those, fans have intriguing cuts like “ghostin,” “fake smile,” and “NASA” to look forward to, as well as the curiously titled closing track, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.”

Instagram

There’s still no confirmed release date for thank u, next, but Grande heavily suggested to a fan on Twitter that it could be coming on February 8. In the same tweet spree on Monday, the singer revealed that “7 rings” is the album’s final single before its release.

The arrival of thank u, next is just one of many exciting things Arianators have to look forward to in 2019. Sweetener is up for Best Pop Vocal Album at next month’s Grammys, and Ari is embarking on a Sweetener World Tour starting in March. She’ll even squeeze in a festival date at Coachella — and possibly one at Lollapalooza — on the way. Until then, study up on her new tracklist below!

1. imagine

2. needy

3. NASA

4. bloodline

5. fake smile

6. bad idea

7. make up

8. ghostin

9. in my head

10. 7 rings

11. thank u, next

12. break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored

Drake’s Newest Tour Is Called ‘Assassination Vacation,’ And He’s Hitting The Road With A Former Rival

Though Drake spent a good portion of late 2018 on the road with Migos for his Aubrey & The Three Migos Tour, the roadshow wasn’t without its own minor controversies. The rapper ended up cancelling seven dates between the tour kickoff in August and its completion in November, including stops in Denver, Miami, and one hometown show in Toronto.

But all that’s in the rearview already. The Scorpion rapper announced a new string of shows — his first in 2019 — hitting Europe this spring. The Assassination Vacation tour kicks off March 10 in Manchester, England and wraps April 26 in Amsterdam.

Oh, and it’s not just Aubrey this time — he’s bringing onetime rival Tory Lanez along with him, too. After squashing that beef at OVO Fest in 2017, the pair are now heading to Europe on the same bill.

Tickets for the Assassination Vacation trek go on sale this Friday (January 25) right here. You can see the full list of dates in Drake’s IG post above.

Beale Street Composer Nicholas Britell Shares The Secrets Behind The Film’s Oscar-Worthy Score

By Ural Garrett

Following his Oscar-winning turn with 2016’s breakout film Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins managed to deliver the perfect follow-up through the cinematic adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Starring KiKi Layne, Stephan James, and Regina King (who recently received a Golden Globe for best supporting actress), the motion picture has garnered praise for several obvious reasons: Beale Street’s beautiful usage of warm colors, chemistry between both Layne and James, and Brian Tyree Henry’s (Atlanta) heartbreaking scene in which his character, Daniel Carty, details his time behind bars. Serving as the glue between the powerful performances and directing was the breathtaking score from composer Nicholas Britell.

For his second time working with Jenkins — Britell handled Moonlight as well — the New York native composed an orchestral score that perfectly complemented the feel of 1970s Harlem alongside licensed music from jazz greats including Miles Davis and Nina Simone. It’s also another opportunity for Britell to stretch his otherworldly grasp of music history, whether he’s chopping and screwing his own compositions for Moonlight or blending his score with John Coltrane classics.

“I think over the years for me, I don’t acknowledge distinctions between genres,” Britell said, also citing legends as diverse as Mozart, The Beatles, Quincy Jones, and Dr. Dre. “I think powerful music is just powerful music.”

Speaking with MTV News, Britell discussed the early process of scoring Beale Street found him experimenting musically with Jenkins, emoting various feelings of love, and the responsibility in bringing Baldwin’s novel to life.

MTV News: Can you recall the initial game plan or conversations that initially took place when discussing your role in bringing the adaptation to life with Barry?

Nicholas Britell: We started really early before he’d shot the movie and started brainstorming some ideas. Barry always has these amazing first instincts for things. One of the exciting things in what we do together is that we know it’s a starting point and not the destination. We start with some feelings and ideas. We actually don’t know where we’re going to wind up.

So with If Beale Street Could Talk, he was feeling this sound of brass and horns. That was the first thing he said. What’s exciting for me is that I get to experiment with ideas. I get to try out trumpets, flugelhorns, French horns, and cornets just to see just to see what happens.

When I started putting the ideas of the music with the motion picture, we would find that the music was missing something. We weren’t exactly sure, but I think the initial brass idea felt almost too overt in a way and direct. We discovered that we were missing the feelings of strings. That opened a whole new door to us where taking the music I had been writing for brass, starting to play it with strings, and then mixing the two together.

It felt like this feeling of love. That was really what we wanted, ‘cause the movie deals with love and injustice. A lot of the focus is on the very different types of love. We named the tracks from the score based on different ancient Greek types of love. There’s the track “Agape,” which is a divine or pure type of unconditional love; “Eros,” which is an erotic type of love; or “Storge,” which is a love parents have for their children. We were really thinking about that idea of love and how that felt. Something that we do is an alchemy of how these abstract sound waves convey specific emotions.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Nicholas Britell (left) and Barry Jenkins (right) at the 19th Annual AFI Awards.

MTV News: Speaking of attempting to convey specific emotions, what went into the process of blending your score with the licensed soundtrack?

Britell: Barry loves music and has a wonderful scope of the music that he likes placed into a movie. There were a couple of scenes in particular where that was really powerful for us in the way we mixed the source music in the world of the characters with the score. The best example is the sequence where Fonny is speaking to Daniel about his previous time in prison. When I first saw the scene, it was Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” playing on their record player. One of the ways me and Barry work is that he’s so open to trying new things and experimenting. So I thought: What if in the middle of Fonny and Daniel’s conversation, we had the score come in to give the feeling of horror of the injustice that Daniel has experienced?

Whenever I come up with a crazy idea, Barry always replies, “Show me.” This is when I asked myself: What, exactly, is the sound of injustice? I took the cellos that are playing earlier in the film, when Tish and Fonny first make love, bended and distorted them before Barry suggested that we just break them. I literally took that sound and made it horrific. As Miles Davis is playing on the record player, you start to hear a rumbling and grinding sound. Both of us were like, oh my god! It felt so hellish and like everything that was beautiful in the world is being harmed or broken by systemic racism.

We were trying to make the music of love reflect what was happening to the characters in a way. Once we tried that out and started feeling powerful, it opened this whole other door for us for other sequences of injustice within a film. Every time there’s a moment of injustice in the score, those are elements of joy are broken into something else.

MTV News: With that said, how much was left on the cutting-room floor once you guys were satisfied with the score?

Britell: When Barry and I are working, you have to think about it like a mold of a sculpture, so it was a lot. There is a lot that gets left by the wayside. On the digital release of the album, we added bonus tracks, which are scored melodies that didn’t make the scored film. In particular, with the brass that served as the inspiration for the string incorporation, was “Harlem Aria.” That composition was the first track I played for Barry, and if you hear it, it’s basically chords and melodies that are in other pieces. It’s just that it isn’t in the film. There are pieces that me and Barry really liked, but it’s always about what is best for the movie and we never forget that.

MTV News: Considering the story takes place in 1970s Harlem, there were unlimited amounts of choices for the licensed music. Where did those decisions come from?

Britell: Our music supervisor is amazing and his name is Gabe Hilfer. Barry worked with Gabe pretty closely on it. I know earlier on that Barry was definitely feeling the Miles Davis “Blue in Green” and I know he wanted the John Coltrane “I Wish I Knew” composition from the Ballads album. As far as others, some of them I believe came over the course of making the film. One difference from Moonlight is that in the Moonlight script, Barry had pieces of music written into the script, like for the “Hello Stranger” track by Barbara Lewis, which plays during the diner scene. That was actually in the script. He was like, “This is going to happen.”

With If Beale Street Could Talk, he’s told me there wasn’t a particular piece of music that he was sure would make it in. For us, one of the exciting things like I mentioned before was making the score interact with the licensed music. It’s almost as if the screen of the film vanishes — the score is in our world with the audience and the music is in their world. They interact and play with each other. For me, it really does a job in bringing you more into the scene. I always love when that feeling takes place.

Watch 5 Seconds Of Summer’s (Literally) Explosive ‘Lie To Me’ Video

It’s been an exciting, love-filled week for 5 Seconds of Summer fans, who celebrated guitarist Michael Clifford’s engagement a few days ago. But the guys are back to business now, and they’re putting fans through the emotional ringer with the release of their new video for “Lie To Me.”

The Youngblood track comes to life inside a foggy raceway, where Luke Hemmings broods on the roof of a stalled car, lamenting, “I wish we never met / ‘Cause you’re too hard to forget.” His bandmates pace around elsewhere, and eventually watch in horror as Hemmings’s car gets rammed by two other vehicles. It’s a jarring image, but it’s only a taste of the destruction that follows. You could say it… ends with a bang.

So what did all that destruction signify? Allow drummer Ashton Irwin to explain. A day before the video’s premiere, he tweeted, “The ‘Lie To Me’ video represents to me when someone closest to you is in a toxic situation, and they take an emotional beating over and over. With no attempt to escape. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

A red-haired Irwin added before the premiere, “It’s one of my favorite videos we’ve made.” That’s a big statement, considering the band’s Youngblood era has been marked by mesmerizing visuals — there was the stark, skeletal “Valentine,” the neon, gravity-defying “Want You Back,” and the vibrant, Tokyo-set “Youngblood.”

None of those other ones had a fiery car explosion, though, so maybe “Lie To Me” really is the coolest of all.

Lizzo Tells Us The Big-Budget Ideas She Didn’t Get To Put In The ‘Juice’ Video

During one segment in Lizzo‘s flashy, old television-mining music video for “Juice,” the artist herself appears in a black dress opposite a late-night host, seemingly not having any of it. It’s just one clip in the video’s mirage of warm, fuzzy TV visions — among home-shopping and exercise informercial sequences — that puts Lizzo herself front and center. As she revealed last week on Twitter, this one channeled one specific moment: Madonna’s infamous 1994 appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.

She stopped by MTV News this week to explain why along with the director, Quinn Wilson, she chose that particular moment. The answer’s pretty simple: “There was something really honest about how not with the shits Madonna was, and I feel like wanted to bring that alive.” She contrasted Madonna’s sedate, uncaring (and cool) energy to that of modern talk-show guests, whose rehearsed answers don’t always make for interesting television.

The “Juice” video, however, is fascinating television. As Lizzo herself makes a half-dozen costume changes, she also celebrates the history of the medium in what’s both a nostalgia trip and a contemporary comment. “There’s such a nostalgia with channel-surfing that I had as a kid, like going through Nickelodeon and going to Cartoon Network,” she said. “And then the late-night, like 3 a.m. when you can’t sleep, where it was like Mama’s House was playing, or Seinfeld.

And what we see in the video isn’t even all of what could’ve been.

“I wanted to be Mrs. Rogers from Mrs. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Lizzo said. “We was gonna do a Good Times scene. Like, we definitely were gonna go for it. We wanted to do a futuristic alien sci-fi show, but, you know, we didn’t have the budget… or the time.”

No matter, “Juice” ended up one of the first truly great music videos (and songs) of 2019. As for what else we can expect from Lizzo this year, she called herself a “song leprechaun” who plans to drop “little songs at the end of little rainbows with a pot of gold for you to enjoy.” Sounds juicy.

Watch the entire MTV News interview with Lizzo in the video above.

Lauren Jauregui Is A Literal Goddess In Her Entrancing ‘More Than That’ Video

Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” wasn’t the only feminist, flex-heavy music video that dropped on Friday (January 18). On the heels of releasing her seductive single “More Than That,” Lauren Jauregui served up some equally compelling visuals, which gives fans a detailed view of that Louvre-worthy cover art.

In the Lauren Dunn-directed video, Jauregui plays a modern version of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who, during her trip to Earth, “stumbles upon an ethereal all-female club, celebrating divine femininity to the fullest,” according to a press release. The place is shrouded in pastel hues and packed with women entranced by the exotic dancers at center stage. Eventually, Jauregui takes the spotlight, dancing in a sheer robe while purring, “I know I ain’t right for tempting you / But I just wanna see what you would do.”

Speaking to BBC about “More Than That,” Jauregui explained that she wanted to make an empowering celebration of womanhood.

“It’s about taking that kind of rap video imagery and empowering the women who do this work,” she said. “They’re stripping, but each woman’s spirit is captured in a way that’s revering her strength and her sensuality.”

“More Than That” is the second taste of Jauregui’s upcoming debut solo album, which also includes lead single “Expectations.” She hasn’t shared a release date yet, but this new vid should distract us until she does.

Future Is The True Night King In Snowy ‘Crushed Up’ Performance

Future‘s seventh proper album, The Wizrd, is out right now, and it’s notable for a few reasons. One, it completes his record-contract requirements with Epic, freeing him up for other pursuits, musical or otherwise. (He told Rolling Stone that his next dream is to open a clothing store: “I wake up, go to my store every day. People come in and shop and I help put they outfits together — and it cost me nothing. They don’t pay me to do it. It’s just a passion of mine.”)

The other reason The Wizrd should be on your radar is that it’s a further refinement of the rapper’s patented icy trap sound. To personify this, he stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform the album cut “Crushed Up” in a literal blizzard. That snow might be added in post, but it looks convincing anyway.

The stage setup here is pretty skeletal: You’ve got Future himself in his trademark sunglasses and a shredding guitar player next to him, as a fake fog creeps around them and digital snow punctuates the mood. He’s like Game of Thrones‘s Night King except in a very expensive jacket. It’s chilly as hell!

The Wizrd boasts guests like Young Thug, Gunna, and Travis Scott, who also pops up on the new release by James Blake, out today. Check out Future’s snowy Colbert performance above, and stream The Wizrd below.

To ‘Alaska’ And Beyond: A Look Back At Maggie Rogers’s Defining Moments

In August 2017, right after Maggie Rogers descended the stage following a bubbly Lollapalooza set in Chicago’s Grant Park, she described what it felt like to first walk out on stage and take in the rush of the fans around her. “It kind of feels like I got electrocuted but in the best way,” she told MTV News, standing in a sparkling red suit adorned with glitter. She was riding the high of her debut EP, Now That the Light Is Fading, which dropped six months before, and the propulsion she felt after a video of Pharrell hearing (and loving) her song “Alaska” went viral. Maggie was already looking forward to what was next.

Now we know what that was. Her first full-length album, Heard It In a Past Life, is out now, and it’s filled with heartfelt examinations of self, wrapped around a number of exploratory musical styles and disciplines. All of them are hers, too, a luxury not often afforded to a young artist searching to define her own beginnings. “From a strict business perspective, the Pharrell video gave me enough leverage to say, ‘These are the terms, who wants to do the deal?'” Maggie recently told Billboard. “I was a 22-year-old woman who got to walk into a boardroom and be the one in control.”

As she unveils Heard It In a Past Life, here’s a look back on the career milestones that brought her this far. It all began, of course, in the studio.

  • March 2016: The Pharrell Video

    What It Is: The clip that started it all.

    What It Means: As a music student at NYU, Rogers attended a masterclass led by Pharrell and played him her song “Alaska,” which she wrote and produced. “I have zero, zero, zero notes for that,” he said, “and I’ll tell you why: It’s because you’re doing your own thing.” The clip went understandably viral, and even if he didn’t actually cry (like so many clicky titles suggested), Pharrell gave Maggie and her warm, naturalistic, folk-inspired pop an explicit co-sign right off the bat. A star was about to be born.

  • October 2016: “Alaska” Music Video

    What It Is: Her first visual artistic statement.

    What It Means: If the Pharrell masterclass was an audition, the “Alaksa” video that dropped later that year was Maggie’s proper unveiling (and on a major label no less). Away from the studio, away from her classmates, and away from civilization, she was free to roam the woods and present the vision she wanted us to see. It’s one that mirrors Maggie’s own model of creation, rustic and bolstered by a supportive crew who just want her to dance like no one is watching — even though as of this writing, over 11 million have.

  • February 2017: Now That the Light Is Fading

    What It Is: Her debut EP.

    What It Means: “Alaska” is just one piece of the puzzle here. The rest of Maggie’s debut EP runs the gamut from similarly earthy indie pop (“On + Off”) to the deeper, more adventurous grooves on “Dog Years” and “Better.” “People heard me speak before they heard my music for the first time,” Rogers told the Village Voice as its cover star in April 2017, “so now the only real responsibility that I have is to be myself.” It led to profile-boosting spots on The Tonight Show and Late Night and even more anticipation for a proper album.

  • September 2017: “Split Stones” And The Close Of One Chapter

    What It Is: A long exhale taken after a dizzying whirlwind.

    What It Means: “My EP told you everything I felt during my last semester of college,” she wrote on Instagram when this tender ode to moving on dropped. “It’s time for me to tell you the story of everything that’s happened since.” The song, which she wrote in college had performed for nine months on the road, isn’t quite that, but Maggie presented it as a “parting gift” before she took some time off. Its terrestrial lushness complements a larger, more assured chorus, mirroring the growth she endured since “Alaska,” something she obliquely nodded to in the note: “Here’s to the end of the beginning and the start of everything else.​”

  • March 2018: Back In My Body And The Beginning Of A New One

    What It Is: The subsequent deep breath in.

    What It Means: Shot by her NYU pals Fraser Jones and Brendan Hall, this slice-of-life doc captures a moment of zen for Maggie, who’s photographed in her natural element among the snow and onstage in front of hundreds. “I think making space to remember who you are can be one of the most important things for music, or for creation,” Maggie says at the start of the doc. That kind of self-reflection is useful for what came next.

  • November 2018: Saturday Night Live

    What It Is: A career milestone, and a redefinition.

    What It Means: No longer “the girl from the Pharrell video,” but conceivably, “the girl from SNL” (and from tours with Mumford & Sons and Haim), Maggie brought two new sides of herself to the show. The first, “Light On,” is an earnest, full-throated examination of her life in the spotlight so far — sample lyrics: “Crying in the bathroom, had to figure it out / With everyone around me saying, ‘You must be so happy now.'” She performed the second, “Fallingwater,” with trusted collaborator Rostam by her side, showcasing a chunkier dive into bold piano chords. It’s a whole new Maggie. And she’s only getting started.

  • December 2018: Covering Taylor Swift

    What It Is: A reminder of where she came from.

    What It Means: In a bit of a wink to her banjo-filled roots in Maryland, Maggie took on Taylor Swift‘s breakout 2006 hit “Tim McGraw” for a Spotify Singles collection. Packaged with a stripped-down rendition of “Light On,” the cover becomes poignant with nostalgia. It also places her firmly in a particular lineage of experimental, acoustic-based young songwriters writing from the heart about their own experiences. That’s why she imbues it with her characteristic electronic-adjacent slickness, a potent symbol of now. “This song is classic songwriting at its finest and has meant so much to me for the last 10 years,” she wrote upon its release — shortly after she played two night at Madison Square Garden.

  • January 2019: Heard It in a Past Life

    What It Is: Her debut album, out Friday (January 18).

    What It Means: “I’ve thrown the most vulnerable part of me up into the air,” she recently told Billboard about the 12 songs here. “I’m waiting for someone to catch it.” With collaborations between Maggie and Greg Kurstin (the elated Haim shuffle-bop “Give a Little”) as well as Rostam and Kid Harpoon, Past Life feels somehow like both a greatest hits (“Alaska,” “On + Off”) and a spring-loaded catapult of bold new statements ready to be unleashed. Past life? Sounds more like future. Listen here.

Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ Video Is Here And It’s Badder Than You’ll Ever Be

After days of pretty-in-pink teaser pics and a whirlwind of tornado and diamond emojis, Ariana Grande‘s “7 Rings” is finally here.

While “thank u next” was all about the men in Ariana’s life, this bop shines a (pink-hued) light on the women in her exclusive inner circle. And man, do they know how to throw a party. Grande reunited with director Hannah Lux Davis for the very luxe vid, which finds Ari draped in diamonds and fur coats, her comically long ponytail dragging on the floor as she flips “My Favorite Things” into a bad-bitch flex anthem. “They say ‘Which one?’ / I say ‘No, I want all of ’em'” Ari sings-raps. “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” Get it, girl.

Naturally, Grande’s BFFs — Victoria Monet, Tayla Parx, Alexa Luria, Courtney Chipolone, Njomza, and Kaydence — are front and center in the video. It only makes sense, considering the song gets its name from their matching rings, which Ari bought at Tiffany & Co. after her breakup with Pete Davidson last year. She told Billboard last month, “You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring.”

Yep, Grande swapped that rock of an engagement ring from Davidson for a simple friendship ring, and she hasn’t looked back. The rom-com-referencing “thank u, next” may have gone viral for its meme-friendly nostalgic references, but you could argue that “7 Rings” has a fantastical movie ending of its own — the kind where the heroine realizes all she needs is herself. (Well… and maybe some “lashes and diamonds, ATM machines.” If you’ve got it, work it.)

Ella Mai Gives You 24 Seconds To Impress Her In New ‘Shot Clock’ Video

Riding high off her “Boo’d Up”-fueled breakout year, Ella Mai is carrying the momentum into 2019 — and she won’t be waiting around for anyone to catch up.

On Thursday (January 17), the British singer released the video for “Shot Clock,” a sleek slow jam produced by Mustard and boasting songwriting credits from Drake and Timbaland. Directed by Colin Tilley, the basketball-themed clip follows Mai as she hits the court, serves looks on the bleachers, and soaks in a cozy bathtub. All the while, she lays down the law for dudes trying to catch her eye: “You got 24 seconds, can you beat the shot clock?” she asks. “You’re gonna miss your opportunity.”

“Shot Clock” is the third single from Mai’s self-titled debut album, following “Trip” and the four-times platinum “Boo’d Up.” The latter smash earned the 24-year-old nominations for Song of the Year and Best R&B Song at next month’s Grammys. Those accolades, along with a slotted Coachella performance and a headlining tour that runs through March, proves Mai isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Guess that’s why she has to keep the shot clock running.