When I wrote about Ariana Grande yesterday, I didn’t mention that she’s teasing a new single and video for fans on Twitter. She released both at midnight last night. The single’s called “Boyfriend” and is a collaboration with Social House, consisting of Mikey (Michael) Foster and Scootie (Charles) Anderson. If you’re not familiar with Social House, that’s probably because they’ve only been releasing music under that name since last year. Before that the two have produced songs for several artists including JLo and of course Ari. In fact, Social House and Ariana are pretty tight since they collaborated with her on a bunch of songs from thank u, next. They’re even the opening act for her Sweetener Tour. Just look at how they interact on the Zach Sang Show (28:42). She makes it a point to put them on camera and highlight their work, and I think we can see why.
“Boyfriend” is really catchy and Social House is part of the reason for that. I have no doubt that we’re going to be hearing it on the radio for the rest of the summer. It’s got the usual Ariana sound and vibe, but the addition of Mikey’s and Scootie’s voices add a different flavour that adds to the production.
“Boyfriend” is about two people who are into each other but afraid to be vulnerable enough to take the next steps to commitment. Ari described the song’s inspiration in a Tweet yesterday.
right ?— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 2, 2019
we wanted to make something uplifting that captures that feeling of being afraid to take the leap & trust, being afraid of being hurt or feeling like you won’t be enough for that person ... but also how it feels to have a crippling crush on someone. 🖤 #Boyfriendtonight https://t.co/IHQ3cRC9iy
The chorus goes:
You ain't my boyfriend (Boyfriend)
And I ain't your girlfriend (Girlfriend)
But you don't want me to see nobody else
And I don't want you to see nobody
P.S. Where was this when Ariana was telling everyone to break up with their girlfriend because she was bored?
Ari’s describing a key point in the dating process: DTR (Defining the Relationship). The song focuses on the emotions and the back and forth of what it feels like to be in that situation. The lyrics are a conversation, where both Mikey and Ariana are feeling the same way, but neither are willing to be the first person to admit it. I dig this genre. We have enough songs about falling in love, being in love, and about breaking up. I want more songs that get into the nitty gritty of how palpitation-inducing dating can be. Someone please make me a song about not knowing what to call the person you’re casually dating when you introduce them to other people.
There’s a difference between listening to “Boyfriend” by itself and listening while watching the video. Try it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The video changes the tone of the song a little and is also why I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. What is the aesthetic? Why is everyone and everything draped in bold patterns against the backdrop of a house that looks like it fell out of Downton Abbey? Why are the credits from the 1940s? Why do neon hearts shoot out of Ari’s boobs?
Whatever, obviously I love it and how over the top it is, especially with respect to the violence. I’m usually not a fan of violence, but I can get behind the violence that goes on in your head when you’re jealous. I’m familiar with that. Also, I like that both Ariana and Mikey’s fantasies are equally crazy and aggressive. Women are always painted as the “crazy, jealous” ones, but jealousy is not a gendered emotion. It’s refreshing to see this role shared equally between Ari and Mikey, although let’s not forget the OG queen of imaginary, jealousy-induced, physical attack.