BTS And Halsey’s ‘Boy With Luv’ Is The Future Of Artist Collaborations

On Wednesday (April 17), BTS scored another major accomplishment when the Korean group made Time‘s list of the 100 most influential people of 2019. Singer Halsey — who is featured on the group’s latest single, “Boy With Love” — penned a heartfelt note for the septet in honor of their latest career milestone. In it, she captures BTS and their global appeal in one simple sentence: “Behind those three letters are seven astounding young men who believe that music is stronger than the barriers of language.”

It’s a statement that was furthered echoed by the sheer enormity of the group’s global press conference the night before. Over 150 media outlets from around the world submitted over 500 questions for the press conference — including MTV News — which was both attended by Korean media and live streamed on YouTube for international press and fans. Topics included their most recent album (Map of the Soul: Persona), collaborating with Ed Sheeran on “Make It Right,” whether they find their unprecedented success to be invigorating or intimidating, and, of course, Halsey.

According to rapper Suga, in conceptualizing Persona around the themes of “love and interest about you [the fans], joy of the small things,” it was important for them to collaborate with “an artist who was able to express a variety of emotions, and we believed Halsey was appropriate for this.”

“We first met two years ago, and we felt that our passion in music connected,” he added for the group.

And it was a mutual thing. In a separate video screened for press, Halsey noted how BTS’ passion for their music and their fans made her want to work with them, crossing oceans and timezones to film the music video in Korea alongside the group. (She even learned part of the choreography — a first for the pop star.) “They are an absolutely amazing group who put so much love and so much dedication into everything they do,” she said. And that admiration extended behind the scenes when BTS, specifically dancers Jimin and J-Hope, helped Halsey work through the choreography on set. “They were so nice and encouraging and they made me feel like I could really do it if I put my mind to it.”

There’s also the fact that Halsey and BTS both have a unique relationship with their dedicated fans, who have seen them rise from industry underdogs to reigning pop royalty without losing the parts of them — their candor, humor, passion for social issues, and ability to speak to the anxieties of their generation through music — that make them special. Or, as Halsey said of the key to BTS’ success: “When an artist loves their art, it makes it last forever.”

That respect for one another and their art is what makes a collaboration like “Boy With Luv” so effortlessly seamless. A feature is a transaction between artists — a play for more radio spins and a higher chance at chart success. For BTS, collaborating with a Western artist like Halsey — who has two No. 1 singles under her belt — makes a lot of sense as they try to break into the only thing that has eluded them on their journey thus far: U.S. radio. For a self-described BTS fan like Halsey, the opportunity to collaborate with the biggest group in the world is a no-brainer. (Just ask Troye Sivan.) Still, I’d hardly call Halsey’s contribution to “Boy With Luv” a feature; it’s a collaboration in the truest sense of the word — a rich cultural exchange between artists that finds Halsey harmonizing in Korean on the hook and BTS adapting her fizzy pop to their own fluid style.

Big Hit Entertainment

A lot of that has to do with how they approached the song as a collaborative effort. Halsey brings her own perspective to the track — which finds the seven young men of BTS waxing poetic over minutiae of someone’s day — with her signature airy vocals and punchy ad-libs like “I want it!”

“Working with BTS was really special because it’s a lot different that what it’s like when I’m making music alone,” Halsey described. “There are so many individuals in a group, and you have to take each of their personal styles into account.

It was really cool to come together and do something that reflects all of us. It’s a really special marriage of music in America and music in Korea that’s now music for the world.”

As the musical landscape becomes more culturally diverse, a song like “Boy With Luv” sets a precedent for the future of artist collaborations — a future in which hearing BTS and Halsey sing in Korean or Bad Bunny and Drake croon in Spanish won’t seem so novel. Because music is its own universal language, a mellifluous form of communication. To truly understand it one needs only to open up their mind.

Jonas Brothers Are Returning To SNL 10 Years After Their Adorable Debut

The JoBros comeback is coming full circle! Just days after BTS rocked Saturday Night Live, our other fave boy band, Jonas Brothers, will hit the famed late-night stage. The recently rebooted trio will play the May 11 show, hosted by Emma Thompson, who’s making her SNL debut. For Kevin, Joe, and Nick, though, it’ll mark a return to Studio 8H that’s over a decade in the making. And given today’s exciting news, that’s a memory we simply must revisit.

Rewind with us, if you will, back to ’09…

When the brothers made their SNL debut in February 2009, it was at the peak of JoBros mania. They were fresh off a breakout year that was marked by their chart-topping third album, A Little Bit Longer, and their smash DCOM, Camp Rock. Their appearance also came a week after their first Grammys, where they were nominated for Best New Artist and performed alongside Stevie Wonder. In short, they were the kings of the teen pop world; no contest.

So when they appeared on SNL‘s Valentine’s Day episode with host Alec Baldwin, the show wisely milked JB as much as possible; along with the mandated two-song performance, the trio also flexed their acting chops by appearing in not one, but two sketches. The first was an SNL Digital Short in which Andy Samberg uncovered their “past career” as a hair metal band. And the second, titled “Fourth Jonas,” featured Baldwin playing their saxophone-playing older brother, Gary, who was unanimously voted out of the band (but not before sneaking jabs about purity rings and Joe’s eyebrows).

Getty Images

As for JB’s two performances, I’m just going to say it: they were… OK. First up was “Tonight,” the fourth and final single off A Little Bit Longer. Joe handled lead vocals, flanked on either side by his curly-headed, guitar-playing brothers, each wearing a then-stylish scarf. (Remember: this was before Swole Nick Jonas came into our lives. Surely, if he tried to wear the same scarf now, his neck veins would split the fabric into thin little threads.)

Meanwhile, drummer Jack Lawless — who, for all intents and purposes, is the fourth Jonas Brother, since he still plays with the band today — is the only one who seems to have not aged at all. And while “Tonight” isn’t the guys’ most remarkable song, they still gave an energetic performance.

For reasons unclear, the group’s next song wasn’t a single, nor a particularly memorable track from A Little Bit Longer. It was “Video Girl,” an uncharacteristically nasty swipe at fame-seeking groupies that includes the total burn, “get some class and kiss the past!”

The first notable part about this performance is that it was introduced by Baldwin and his niece Hailey — as in, Hailey Bieber! — who was probably 12 at the time, and was equal parts excited and adorably awkward. As for the song itself, Nick manned the drums, Joe gave plenty of ‘tude, and Kevin was low-key cringeworthy every time he sang “video girl” during the chorus. Sorry, but it’s true.

Ten years later, Jonas Brothers will return to SNL older, wiser, and (hopefully) without a single scarf in sight. It seems likely that they’ll perform their new singles, “Sucker” and “Cool,” though the possibility of new music is also on the horizon. And here’s hoping Gary Jonas doesn’t try to weasel himself back into the band for the guys’ big comeback. We’ll find out on May 11!

Kehlani’s New Video With 6LACK Was Inspired By Her Favorite Netflix Show

If you read this headline and expected to see a video where Kehlani and 6LACK play two out of the five Queer Eye guys, I regret to inform you that that’s not the case. Instead, we get the next best thing: a sleek, stylish, and emotionally charged video for “RPG” that’s inspired by Netflix’s hit sci-fi series The OA.

“RPG” — which stands for “role playing game” — is a song all about putting your relationship under a microscope and fighting to reconnect with your significant other. “Now it’s up to the point where my love is up for debate,” 6LACK laments, while Kehlani repeatedly pleads for him to “show me your love, show me your love.” In the Trey Lyons-directed vid, they illustrate that concept by singing inside glass boxes that represent the invisible barriers separating them.

Kehlani, who gave birth to daughter Adeya Nomi last month, revealed on her Instagram Story that she was nearly nine months pregnant at the time of the “RPG” shoot, joking that she “hid it so well.” The song follows “Butterfly,” “Nunya,” and “Nights Like This” as the latest single from her While We Wait mixtape, intended as a bridge to hold fans over until her next album — the follow-up to 2017’s SweetSexySavage — arrives.

6LACK, meanwhile, is already having a crazy-busy 2019, having already released collaborations with Jessie Reyez, Bea Miller, Rita Ora, and Boogie. The man is clearly in high demand.

Madonna’s First Song In 4 Years Is Here — And Maluma Lends An Assist

Medellin, Colombia is a rosy city with mountains watching in the distance and vast rolling hills of green stretching as far as the eyes can see. On the streets, you’ll find carts of fresh fruit and smiling patrons and beautiful graffiti bursting with all manners of neon colors. It’s a conflicting paradise that brings the new and old together; five-star hotels like the Diez Hotel Categoría has a beautiful view of the city’s anthills of yellow lights that crop up at nighttime, illuminating the greyer, older architecture interspersed throughout the narrow roads. It’s a beautiful place, a South American oasis, and a place visited in the dreams of Madonna in “Medellín, her new collaboration with reggaeton singer Maluma.

Madonna, or, Madame X in the context of her new album where she’s a secret agent of many identities, is sedated, somewhere between waking and sleeping. In her haze, she journeys within her mind to when she was a teenager in Medellín. A smile on her face, she relaxes into the cloth and plastic of a beach chair. “The sun was caressing my skin/Another me could now begin,” she sings softly. The production eases in like a gentle tide and never threatens to overwhelm. It’s distinctly of reggaeton origin, with the snap and bounce of a hip-gyrating anthem, only calmer, older, and a little laxer. The track’s energy comes from Maluma whose lively verse brings the sun’s sharpest rays of the afternoon. But similarly, he keeps it slower and sexier, matching his output to Madonna’s. They’re just basking in the smell of fresh water and the warm embrace of sun-warmed sand. This is paradise.

“Medellín” is the lead single from Madame X. In addition to releasing this new record, she’s also revealed a tracklist of thirteen songs. In addition to Maluma (who’s also featured on “Bitch I’m Loca”), Quavo, Swae Lee, and Anitta also appear. Madonna released the 007-esque trailer for Madame X earlier this week. Her first album in four years makes its way to streaming services and stores on June 14.

Check out the beachy “Medellín” up above.

070 Shake Talks Kill Bill, Kanye, And Coming Into Her Own Vision For 2019

By Kat Bein

If you like your hip-hop with a side of the dark and mysterious, or lyrics delivered with heavy poetic emotion, G.O.O.D. Music protege 070 Shake is the up-and-comer you need to hear. Last year, she stole the spotlight with her haunting wail on Kanye West’s “Ghost Town.” “I put my hand on a stove to see if I still bleed,” she sings, and as she sat smoking joints backstage at Coachella 2019 just before her cohort Kid Cudi‘s set, she felt freer than ever.

As if to signal her confidence, she began her Sunday Coachella debut with “Ghost Town” and let her solo work carry the rest of the hour. There were fan favorites from her 2018 EP, Glitter, but there was a lot of new stuff from her forthcoming LP, Modus Vivendi, too. She played lead singles “Morrow” and “Nice to Have,” as well as quite a few unreleased tunes, including set closer “Under the Moon.” Shake swears the stuff to come will “blow your mind.”

From syncing her tunes to fight scenes in Kill Bill: Volume 2 to the roots of her LP’s mysterious Latin name, here’s all the light 070 Shake shed on her next chapter.

MTV News: Welcome to Coachella. How are you feeling about the performance?

070 Shake: Good. I’m performing with Mike Dean and stuff. I’m performing new songs off my album.

MTV News: You just dropped “Morrow” and “Good To Have.”

070 Shake: Yeah, I’m performing those and unreleased ones. It’s going to be more of a vibe where they’re just listening. That’s really what I’m expecting. I’m not expecting no fucking ragers.

MTV News: Your music is a bit dark for it to be a full-on rager. I was listening to the new music, and my immediate take was “Morrow” is so cinematic and epic in the production.

070 Shake: Oh, it’s nothing, bro. Those are just the songs for me to give a taste. The album is very cinematic. I’ve literally watched movies while recording it. Kill Bill was on the screen as I was recording the music. There’s a song on it called “Terminal B,” and if you watch it from a certain part in Kill Bill, it matches. You know the fight where she takes out her eyeballs in [Volume 2]? It’s that scene. Once she kicks in the door, from the beginning of the fight, you play the song. We literally went by the seconds. The squad, we’re very into film, very heavily influenced by different directors. Especially this album. We’re like, fuck the basic shit. There’s some weird-ass shit in there. Very cinematic and theatrical. It’s very fun.

MTV News: Well, you had such a huge breakout moment with that “Ghost Town” feature on Kanye’s Ye album. You have a beautiful place set up where you can be really experimental out the gate because you caught people off guard.

070 Shake: Exactly. I already came out weird, so keep it weird.

MTV News: What was it like in the weeks and months following that media press storm?

070 Shake: I went to work. On “Ghost Town,” I reached a level in myself that I knew I had, but I just didn’t really go there. I think Kanye was a heavy influence for me. When I was writing out there in Wyoming, it was like, oh shit, I’ve got to write on a whole different level. I’m writing for Kanye West. Doing that, I took myself to a level. I started thinking like “Damn, let me write on this level for myself.” That’s what this album sounds like, putting together my sound. I feel like everything I did before this, I was trying to find the sound, but now, I really put it together. It’s worth the wait.

MTV News: What’s the story behind “Morrow” and “Nice to Have?”

070 Shake: “Morrow” is really just realizing that I could just be gone tomorrow. Literally. I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow, so when I’m gone, listen to this. Take my words as a tool to how you should live your daily life. Live it like it’s your last one. Do the things that you’re afraid to do. This place is already weird to begin with. What are you scared of? We’re already here.

MTV News: “Nice to Have,” it’s dark, but it’s almost clubby.

070 Shake: That’s funny, because my friend told me she could twerk to it. I was like, how? It’s the drums. [Lyrically] it’s more of appreciating people and having people in the worst times and the best times.

MTV News: The name of the album, Modus Vivendi, is Latin for a “practical compromise.”

070 Shake: It’s an agreement allowing conflicting parties to coexist peacefully. That to me is what my music represents. I can speak to someone that just listens to hip-hop and someone that just listens to pop. That’s what Modus Vivendi is. And I think that’s, further than music, what the whole world needs: to put their own opinions aside, their beliefs and say OK, I can believe this, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t bond with you or understand you.

MTV News: I feel that so much. When did we stop being able to hear other people’s opinions? The answer is not to block yourself from different feelings.

070 Shake: And appreciate everybody’s story. You don’t read books or watch movies and want it to pertain to your life. You watch movies and it’s something completely different from your life, but you accept it. That’s what everybody’s opinions and mindsets are. They’re all different movies and stories.

MTV News: I appreciate that you use your voice on social media to speak about ecological sustainability.

070 Shake: The Earth is us. We are one thing. Just like we need water, the Earth needs water. A lot of the things we need is also relatable with the Earth. I just feel like it’s important. We’re hitting a point where it’s almost no turning back. The more people that speak out about it, the better. Jaden Smith, I love what he’s doing [in Flint, Michigan]. A lot of times when I use social media, I try to only use it for positive stuff and things people really need to see. I love what Jaden is doing with water because water is a necessity. We need clean water and it should not be denied to anybody.

MTV News: Is there anything else you want to speak on while we have you?

070 Shake: I never thought of music as my end goal. Through each check point in my life and career, I have to remind myself of that. There’s a bigger picture. This is literally just a stepping stool that I’m using to do bigger things. The more important thing in life is actually changing something, and that’s the only way you’re going to get remembered. Moments pass; this Coachella shit, this interview is going to pass. The only thing that matters is the imprint that I leave on you, on this festival. It’s that feeling, those words that stick with you. You have to make sure you leave that feeling for the Earth, for people. Music is gonna pass, too. It goes through trends. The music that lasts forever has that feeling.

Shawn Mendes Praised Taylor Swift’s ‘Belief In Magic And Love’ In Heartfelt Write-Up

The Time 100 Most Influential People list for 2019 has been released as of Wednesday (April 17), and naturally, some of the biggest names across entertainment and politics are included. Explaining why they deserve the spot are celebrity friends with personal stories of admiration. Taylor Swift makes the cover for the “Icon” section and has her reason why written by fellow singer (and pal) Shawn Mendes. It’s an emotional snapshot that takes a look back at an early leg of his career.

Mendes’s blurb is short and sweet, discussing what he thinks makes Swift so special. “It all comes from her – her belief in magic and love, and her ability to be as honest and raw as possible,” he writes. He then reflects on opening up for her for a few stadium shows during the 1989 World Tour: “I quickly learned that the magic of Taylor Swift doesn’t come from the lights, dancers, or fireworks (although all of that is incredible) but from the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her.”

Elsewhere, a number of musicians received blurbs from other famous friends. Khalid was written about by Alicia Keys (“He’s a beautiful writer with the ability to take human concepts and make you understand and feel them”). Halsey, meanwhile, shouted out K-pop sensations/her collaborators BTS: “With positive messages of self-confidence, intricacies of philosophy hidden in their sparkly songs, true synergy and brotherhood in every step of their elaborate choreography, and countless charitable and anthropological endeavors, BTS have put their 14 best feet forward as role models to millions of adoring fans and anyone else who finds themselves drawn to BTS’s undeniable allure.” Ariana Grande, Ozuna, and Lady Gaga received glowing statements by Troye Sivan, Daddy Yankee, and Celine Dion respectively.

Beyoncé — whose new Homecoming live album and Netflix doc also hit today — took the time to pen an amazing ode to former First Lady Michelle Obama, who was also revealed to be in the “Icon” section. The singer’s statement ended on a beaming note: “I am so grateful that my daughters and my son live in a world where Michelle Obama shines as a beacon of hope who inspires all of us to do better and to be better.”

Check out the full list of the Time 100 honorees right here.

Cardi B And Offset’s Wild ‘Clout’ Video Is A World Of Gold Chainsaws And Twerking Dominatrixes

Of all the colors in the visual spectrum that closest aligns with the personalities of Cardi B and Offset, yellow would, undoubtedly, be the best choice. The color is bright and unflinching and often used to signify boldness and warmth, and what other words best describe these to charismatic polarizing figures in hip-hop? Offset and Cardi B’s new video for “Clout” showers the viewers in grotesque amounts of yellow to link the color to them. It bleeds over chainsaws, pianos, and lemons. You might want to turn your brightness down.

Offset’s credited as partly responsible for the creative direction of this perplexing film. He dons a polka-dot, creme-colored mask and moves like a monster without arms, two braids in his hair that, combined with circular shades, give him a Lovecraftian air. He’s lurking in another dimension, ready to terrorize visitors. In this realm of black backdrops and yellow walls, Cardi B is his counterpart, equally as mysterious with a Dominatrix sheen. Her skin is gripped tight by shiny leather pads and fishnets and as the pair rap about their disgust for attention seeking fans and media members, she beckons for your attention with her sensual movements.  When she bathes in a pile of lemons, it’s blinding.

“Clout” appears on Offset’s debut solo album Father of 4 that came out in February. The LP also features the previously shared lead single, “Red Room.” In the accompanying visual, Offset traversed his memories, culminating in a vivid recreation of his serious 2018 car crash.

Beyoncé Releases Surprise HOMECOMING Album With Netflix Documentary

Beyoncé‘s historic headlining performance at last year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to Netflix today (April 17) in the form of a documentary, HOMECOMING, that covers the magic behind the moment and the larger-than-life show. As if one Beyoncé release isn’t enough to send the internet into a frenzy, the legendary singer has decided to gift the world another –a live album of the experience, HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM. Prepare to hyperventilate.

The surprise LP runs for 40 tracks and covers the massive setlist that saw her prancing across the stage in majestic outfits as she belted out her biggest hits. 38 of the cuts here are from the live show. The remaining two are new recordings; the first is Beyoncé’s cover of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s 1981 hit “Before I Let Go.” She brings a calming, contemporary energy to the summer-signifying record. The second of the two is a recording of her daughter Blue Ivy singing “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” the poem written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 that Beyoncé sung at Coachella last year.

When Netflix released the trailer for HOMECOMING on April 8the world was astounded. Prior to that, the streaming service released a graphic with the title on the front with no context; Beyoncé’s calling card is having little to no explanations to surprise announcements so fans immediately speculated that she had something in the works. The trailer was a work of art, showcasing how Beyoncé herself wouldn’t be the only focus of the documentary. It would be the smiling faces of the awestruck performers, the process to create the magical moment, and the thrilling HBCU-inspired performance itself.

Aly & AJ Take You To ‘Church’ In Their Immaculate New Video

Since rebooting their music career in 2017 with the excellent Ten Years EP, Aly & AJ have been on a reintroduction tour of sorts. They’ve been charming old and new fans alike with a fresh, synth-pop sound and a dreamlike aesthetic that makes their videos must-see viewing. The latest example is “Church,” released on Tuesday (April 16) and helmed by Her Smell director Alex Ross Perry, who also worked with the sisters for the vampiric “Take Me.”

For “Church,” Perry shot the duo on 16mm film at the stunning Samuel-Novarro House in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood. The result is a neo-noir daydream in which Aly & AJ dance around in search of “redemption for sins [they] can’t mention” while wearing everything from latex to sleek suits to, well, nothing at all.

“For all the times I can’t reverse / For all the places where it hurts / I need a little church,” they sing, acknowledging their selfishness and recklessness, but reveling in the truth that they’re not too far gone to be saved.

“Church” is the lead single from Aly & AJ’s Sanctuary project, which arrives on May 10, a week after they kick off a headlining tour. And in more exciting video news, it sounds like they’ll be reuniting with Perry soon for a third time — according to a press release, he’ll also direct the video for their next Sanctuary single. Judging by his track record with Aly & AJ, expect another dreamy visual feast.

Samm Henshaw Found His Voice In Church — Now He’s Bringing It To The World

In the music video for South London singer Samm Henshaw‘s ecstatic, radiant “Church,” the first time we see him, he’s floating down the street aboard a cloud. Before long, he glides his way to an actual church, proclaiming the exultant chorus en route (“Wake up and get yourself to church!”) and continuing in front of a lively choir once he arrives. As the former Chance the Rapper tourmate told MTV News recently, the scene recalls his own story finding his voice inside places of worship.

“It all kind of happened in church,” Henshaw, 25, said over the phone. As a preacher’s son, he unleashed his voice in front of people for the first time ever at church youth camp as a kid at a friend’s urging. “He said, ‘You should go up and sing,’ and I was like, nah, I don’t want to do it. But I found the courage.”

His courage extends beyond just his voice, a raspy, elegant wail that anchors his soul- and hip-hop-inspired confections. A typical Samm Henshaw track sounds like a gospel-tinged pop tune — “Church” and 2018’s “Broke” boast a lively, loose slickness with plenty of sky-scraping vocal moments — but he’s not a fan of the “gospel pop” label. “You’ll know when I make a gospel joint!” he tweeted in March. Still, a gospel energy flows through Henshaw’s catalog, a collection that snagged him a spot as one of the inaugural artists to perform at The Shed, New York City’s latest cultural performance center, for its Soundtrack of America series in early April. (Its official description labels it “a five-night concert series celebrating the influence of African American music with a new generation of groundbreaking artists.”)

As much as Henshaw’s textured voice is his moneymaker (indeed, he can deploy it for both aching Usher covers and smoky R&B originals), he’s a songwriter at heart. He commands piano and guitar. His process involves hammering out a solid chord progression, then singing on top to find the melody. Working on “Church” specifically, he found some resistance to what became the song’s actual subject matter. “I remember being in some sessions… and people would be like, ‘Oh, don’t do that; it’s too gospel-y or too church-y,'” he told Noisey.

“‘Church’ as a word can instantly make [people]… be put off by that,” he elaborated during our conversation. “[But] when it comes to mainstream music, it’s going out to everyone, not just one specific audience. With ‘Church,’ there’s no agenda. I’m not trying to promote anything. I’m just telling a story.”

That story involves a sweet memory with his mother. “My mum became like my personal alarm clock on Sundays waking me up [to go to church]!” he wrote in a Genius annotation of the song. “I wanted to try and replicate that feeling in the lyric, without actually shouting or screaming over the song.” The end result is a recreation of pure elation, the same kind he still gets from his trips to weekly service. “It’s still very much a part of my life at the moment,” he revealed over the phone.

Even as his songs and videos rack up millions of streams and as his crowds grow larger, Henshaw knows it could all disappear in a moment. He likens himself to an athlete one injury away from early retirement. That’s why he made sure to finish school before committing to music full time a few years ago, a decision he also attributes to the prodding of his diligent, hardworking Nigerian parents. “I always have to think about the fact that this is everything going according to plan, and that one day, God forbid, my voice could turn on me,” he said. “I could’ve dropped out of university and ended up not getting a deal, and things could’ve not gone the way I wanted them to.”

Such an outlook places Henshaw in an enviable position. He’s an honest songwriter with a luminescent stage presence and brawny vocal cords — and he’s got a plan B, should his situation ever require it. What that is, though, isn’t important to his immediate plans, which are to keep pumping out music throughout 2019 in anticipation of an eventual album. The release plans, he said, are “strategic” and, as of now, undefined; he doesn’t want a collection of new material to get “lost in the rubble.”

Based on his Twitter presence, Henshaw could always pivot from art to arts criticism if he needed to. His unvarnished quips on Captain Marvel (“meh“), The CW’s Arrow (“it lost the sauce“), and Green Book (“fantastic movie“) prompted me to put forth a few queries about 2019’s upcoming blockbusters, beginning with the Todd Phillips-directed Joker. “I think it’s gonna be really good ’cause Joaquin Phoenix is a genius, but I just don’t really know how I feel about DC [Comics] at the moment,” he said. Back in the MCU, meanwhile, he’s even less optimistic about his emotional state after Avengers: Endgame wraps: “Something’s gonna happen and we’re not gonna see Captain America in any more films, and that’s gonna suck.”

As for the epic conclusion of Game of Thrones, his “favorite show ever” that’s he’s “gutted” about? “I think it could go either way,” he said a few weeks ago. Since then, he’s declared for House Stark (or is it technically House Stargaryen?). “Jon Snow for the Throne…” he tweeted Sunday night after the Season 8 premiere. “Or [Tyrion]… either way I think Khaleesi has lost it.”