Following her on social media can feel like you’re on a journey together. While Sawayama has reached critical acclaim and made some historical changes, it still needs to break into the mainstream (“If you keep pre-ordering something really bad could happen, Pixels…The graph may be’,” she whispered enthusiastically in an Instagram video posted on Wednesday.)
So far, her only single on the chart in the US is 2022’s “Beg for You”, a collaboration with Charli XCX that reached number ten on the Billboard Dance Chart. But she hopes that will change. “I’m very realistic about the fact that my music is extraordinary,” Sawayama told me. “It’s no ordinary pop music. I also haven’t signed a major. At the same time, my team works really hard, and when their work isn’t rated, I feel sad for them, because I feel like it’s not reflected in the numbers.”
“I feel very fortunate to be able to do this work anyway,” she said. “A lot of what I talk about was out of the question for me two years ago, four years ago. The goalposts are constantly moving, and I have to rein in that. Otherwise I will never be happy.”
Although she refers to herself as a pop girl, Sawayama’s music was so Praised by critics Specifically to embrace metal nu, R&B, Electronica and Rock. She said the task is Make non-cold music cool again. “It’s about authenticity and storytelling,” she said. “I never think about genres in a commercial way like this. It’s a pleasure to play with genres. Which is why my music sounds the same.”
hold the girl It continues to fold all kinds of “not great” music. There are country overtones about “forgiveness,” the home feel of the title track, and epic rock vibes in “Hurricanes” that automatically give you my knees disney. But this makes sense: Swayama Loud and boisterous genres are mixed with lyrics condemning excessive consumption, cultural appropriation, and toxic masculinity. hold the girl She chooses musical genres, such as country melodies and midtempo, that best express the powerful, introspective turn that Swayama takes in this era—reflecting her relationship with her mother, struggling with a fickle sense of forgiveness, and her connection to religion despite blatant anti-Catholicism. LGBTQ bias.
“It’s really cool that we’re in a more honest stage right now with pop music,” Sawayama said. “People know that not everything is brilliant. I feel very fortunate to be in an age where people can honestly talk about their mental struggles or admire how they are feeling on that day.”
Swayama said she wrote this album with live performances in mind, having attended several of them as a teenager. I asked her if she remembered any faces or images in her mind from the IRL performance. “It’s definitely diversity. It’s definitely weird,” she said. “I only see gay people in my audience. I remember thinking at the first show [the Sawayama tour]I believed, The audience is getting bigger, so maybe there will be, say, less weird people. And then I was like, Oh, no, it’s just more gay people. it is very beautiful. I can hear them teasing me between songs, but in a cute way – “Yeah, bitch, slay.”
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