Cam’s The Otherside Synthesizes Sci-Fi, Harry Styles, And Backseat Quickies

By Ilana Kaplan

When it comes to the release of Cam’s sophomore studio album, nothing has really gone as planned. For one, it’s taken five years for the record to come to fruition — thanks to a label change right after her 2018 heartbreaking single “Diane” dropped. Then, there was the fact that the country-pop singer-songwriter wanted to spend her time tinkering to get the music right. When she got pregnant in 2019, the timing for the record’s release didn’t quite work out. Add in a pandemic, and well, the timeline was complicated further.

But Cam, 35, has found benefits to the way that her album rollout has happened. “I’ve had the extended maternity leave that I didn’t think I would ever get, so now I get extra time with the little one [daughter Lucy], which is amazing, and normally I’d be gone three days out of the week, at least,” Cam tells MTV News over Zoom from her home in Nashville. However, finally, today (October 30), her new LP The Otherside — which boasts songwriting collaborations with Harry Styles, Jack Antonoff, and the late Avicii, among others — sees the light of day. “At this point I’m like, let’s get it out. I want people to hear this,” she says.

Born Camaron Ochs, the “Classic” artist started her career as a songwriter, penning tracks for everyone from Miley Cyrus to Sam Smith. In 2010, she struck out on her own with the independent release of her LP Heartforward. After signing with Sony Nashville, Cam dropped her breakout debut, Untamed, in 2015. The next year, she earned herself a Grammy nod for Best Country Solo Performance for “Burning House,” her flip on the man-who-wronged-a-woman narrative. While her second record was supposed to come out in 2018, label issues prompted a move to RCA, where she is now set to share The Otherside.

In the time between records, Cam stayed busy, becoming a master storyteller and continuing to hone her craft. Most significantly, she’s strengthened her voice. “I think touring for five years internationally, you just use that muscle so much more. Now, I feel like my voice can do a lot more, which is so fun.” And she’s used that to her benefit: With The Otherside, Cam set out to make “a vocal record.” While she’s still exploring dark themes enveloped in storytelling as a way to heal, she ensured her vocals were front and center.

But Cam isn’t the kind of artist who makes an album full of one sound, so when it came to making The Otherside, she made a boundary-pushing collection of tracks, so as not to create the same types of songs over and over. What helped her do that? Thinking about movie soundtracks. They created a backdrop for several songs on the LP. “I loved movie soundtracks as a kid where you have scenes that deserve a suspenseful song, and you have scenes that need a dreamy song, so when I make an album, I try and make sure I hit all those points,” she says.

Her wistful single “Redwood Tree,” for instance, was inspired by the 2016 sci-fi movie Arrival. She was captivated by the idea “that you can’t be in two places at once and [that] you spending the limited time you have the way you want to spend it.” Furthermore, when it came to “Like a Movie,” Cam asked arranger and conductor David Campbell, who’s also worked with Carole King, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé, to envision a 1950s or 1960s movie set with “fake clouds, a fake sunset, and the wind blowing in your hair” in mind. With “‘Till There’s Nothing Left,” a sultry, uptempo power ballad that meditates on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of love, Cam found herself obsessed with the Drive soundtrack and unashamed to pay tribute to quickies in the backseat.

That song is an important one for Cam, who grew up believing sexuality was something that was private. “For a lot of time, one way that women were allowed to have power over men was through sexuality, [and] then it was also demonized as that wasn’t the correct way to do it,” Cam says. “There’s this power in it, but you’re not supposed to use that power.”

In making “Till There’s Nothing Left,” Cam debated being openly sexual on the track and the double standards women face about expressing their love of sex. But she thought back to her grandma who gave her the sex talk and said, “Sex is like a milkshake. Once you have it, you’re always going to want it.” And if her grandma could embrace that? She didn’t understand why she couldn’t: “I get to have [sexuality] be a part of me, and I get to express it however I want to express it.”

Essential to the making of The Otherside was the cohort of star-studded songwriters and producers she enlisted to help craft the record. Styles, for whom Cam was able to open at the Ryman in 2018, penned “Changes.” “I normally don’t take songs that are written by other people, I think because, for me, songwriting is such a personal process,” Cam says. “It feels like I’m cheating if I don’t do all the work myself.” But because she already had a connection through their show together — and because her producer Tyler writes and produces for him — she was OK with taking on the track. Styles’s whistle from the demo even made it onto the track: “I heard it and I was like, ‘Oh, I know what this means, this ache, you don’t want to outgrow places and people, but you kind of feel it happening. And I just recognized that.’”

Another striking name on Cam’s LP was the late dance icon Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii, who co-wrote The Otherside’s title track. When Bergling went to Nashville to work on his albums, Cam joined him and songwriter Hillary Lindsey for a writing session. “I really wish I had his help at the very end there to get it to what he really wanted and what I wanted,” Cam says of working with Bergling. “But what a really cool legacy to have somebody that then pushes me to raise my bar that much higher, to try and meet something that I needed to make it fit into my record and also make him, his family and his fans proud too.”

Then, there was an assist from songwriter and producer Antonoff on “Classic.” Because Antonoff has worked with everyone from Taylor Swift to St. Vincent, the pairing was ideal — Cam has never wanted to fit into a box. “I’m just trying to get the production right for the song, not necessarily what’s important to make it prove that it’s country enough,” Cam says of their collaboration. “That seems more like a normal way to do things to me. I think Jack’s in that boat, too.”

“A lot of times, for creatives and writers, you’re trying to meet your own expectations, and it can be intense. It’s not always an enjoyable process, but it was a really enjoyable time sitting there with Jack because he’s just like, ‘What do you think about this? Strum, strum, strum, strum, and throwing out lyrics,’” she says.

While it might have taken longer than expected to arrive, Cam is proud of the journey that it took to make The Otherside. During that time, Cam found herself healing and sorting through the highs and lows of the last five years. What she hopes is that it will also be a balm for listeners, as well. “People need healing tools and connection right now, and that is why music has existed in every single culture since the beginning of culture, because it is a part of us, it is a necessary thing. It’s not just how many records sales you have.”

Ariana Grande’s Positions Has A Song For Every Mood

By Ashley Oken

Ariana Grande’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Positions, dropped today (October 30) and is full of the empowering and relatable bops we expect from the pop princess. An R&B-influenced follow-up to her February 2019 album Thank U, Next, Positions finds Grande confidently and happily singing of healing through new love. Second song “34+35,” for example, finds her candidly embracing her sexuality with her partner in a way she hadn’t in previous songs, while “Obvious” is a celebration of how newfound, unexpected love can be both freeing and comforting.

She first announced the new era of music via Twitter on October 14 by telling fans of an album release at the end of the month, and she teased the LP until release day by posting the tracklist, where collaborations with Doja Cat, The Weeknd, and Ty Dolla Sign could be spotted. Grande also dropped the fierce feminist video for “Positions,” featuring outfits inspired by Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Kennedy, each of them standing as a reminder that women can be smart, powerful, and sexy. Now that it’s here, it’s clear that Positions is a personal album and that Ariana’s music is suited to soundtrack every moment of life.

If you’re wondering which track you should listen to based on your current mood, we broke it all down for you. You can thank us later.

  1. “Shut Up”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like a boss

    Key lyric: “How you be using your time / You be so worried about mine”

    Writing this for her haters, Ariana shows us all how to gracefully tell our haters to quit it. This song can be played for anyone who speaks to you before your morning coffee.

  2. “34+35”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: amorous

    Key lyric: “Can you stay up all night / Fuck me ‘til the daylight”

    Her most sexually explicit song to date, Ariana makes no bones about wanting sex with her beau all the time over a frisky backbeat. This song is a great bedroom tune for that Netflix and chill time with your own partner — something she nods to by singing, “Watching movies, but we ain’t seeing a thing tonight.”

  3. “Motive” (ft. Doja Cat)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: thoughtful

    Key lyric: “Before I lead you on / Tell me what’s your motive”

    In this ‘90s-inspired collaboration, Grande wonders whether she’s moving too fast with someone while Doja Cat wonders what this new love’s motivations are, confidently asserting that she needs a “real bona fide” and asking whether they “want a trophy or want to sport me, baby.” This song will have you checking out that virtual date twice more, reminding you to think before rushing a new relationship.

  4. “Just Like Magic”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: confident

    Key lyric: “I get everything I want ‘cause I attract it”

    Grande manifests positivity and self confidence in this sweet song, which will fill you with confidence before nerve-wracking big life events.

  5. “Off the Table” (ft. The Weeknd)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: heartbroken

    Key lyric: “Never thought you’d be so hard to replace”

    With a “Love Me Harder” reference from The Weekend and the reliability of Grande’s crooning about going through a breakup that she’s had to heal from, all the right notes are hit here. This song speaks to feeling like you’ll never find love again after losing it.

  6. “Six Thirty”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: unsure

    Key lyric: “When I’m old and stuck, will you still have a crush?”

    Over an ethereal beat complete with string flourishes, Grande wants her partner to stay by her side because she may “lose it” later on. This song reminds all of us that we deserve love regardless of our flaws.

  7. “Safety Net” (ft. Ty Dolla Sign)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: unprepared

    Key lyric: “I came to peace with my past / Now you got me off track”

    This collaboration finds Grande tripping over her new love and reminds us that love can be unexpected and healing. To that end, Ty Dolla Sign delivers a potent recipe for reconciliation: “Wе hit that jewelry store and wе gon’ ball out / Sometimes we have some fallouts / Put some ice on you, girl, let it thaw out.”

  8. “My Hair”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: generous

    Key lyric: “Usually don’t let people touch it, but tonight you get a pass”

    Singing about letting her man touch her very famous hair, Grande relaxes the rules around her beau. This slinky, nocturnal, and slightly jazzy song reinforces the need for others to ask permission to touch any part — and the exhilaration that comes with giving consent.

  9. “Nasty”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: spicy

    Key lyric: “Boy, you know the vibes / Take what’s on your mind, make it real life”

    Sounding like a nastier version of “The Way,” Grande doesn’t shy away from wanting to get freaky with her partner. Complete with some ghostly whistle notes up front, this song reminds you that your relationship can be spicy, even in quarantine.

  10. “West Side”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: irresistible

    Key lyric: “I’m gonna be your new favorite”

    Grande sings of being all her love could want and giving him things to look forward to: “Tell ‘em you closing the door, I’m the only for sure” and “Let me keep it real. Just let me be in your life like that.” This song reminds us that there are always things to look forward to in life.

  11. “Love Language”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: loved

    Key lyric: “Been a minute since I had something so sweet”

    In this more mature version of “Honeymoon Avenue,” Grande sings of feeling loved physically and emotionally. As this peppy and retro song recognizes real love, Ari lets us all in on how to speak directly to her heart.

  12. “Positions”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: empowered

    Key lyric: “Cooking in the kitchen and I’m in the bedroom / I’m in the Olympics, way I’m runnin’ through hoops”

    Grande has never been shy about her feminism, and this song (and its accompanying video, where she spends plenty of time in the Oval Office) is an ode to women occupying any position powerfully. Fierce and strong, this song reminds us that women can shatter expectations and handle any role with grace.

  13. “Obvious”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: blissfully in love

    Key lyric: “Never thought I’d believe in love again”

    A reminder of how priceless love is, this happy track is definitely a song that can be played at weddings. Grande shows that unexpected love can feel scary, but it can prove to be just what we needed.

  14. “POV”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: vulnerable

    Key lyric: “I wanna love me / The way you love me”

    In the stunning closer, Grande sings of wanting to see herself as her partner does. Singing, “All my baggage fading safely,” Grande shows us that she’s healing, growing, and trying to love herself along the way.

Ariana Grande’s Fluttering Strings, Julien Baker’s Misplaced Faith, And More Songs We Love

Halloween is kind of a bummer this year. Costume parties? Canceled. Trick-or-treating? Canceled. Even It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on television has been effectively canceled. But if there’s one thing we can count on, even in 2020, it’s resident spooky-season pop queen Kim Petras. The aptly titled “Party Till I Die” was quietly added to her Halloween EP Turn Off the Light, further building on her reputation as the pop’s finest purveyor of bloodthirsty bops, ghostly glitches, and hellishly fabulous lyrics. She’s serving us death on the dance floor, sex in a coffin, and partying in a graveyard all in one. Thank goodness, because we’ve never needed it more. —Carson Mlnarik

Jonas Brothers Are Wistful And Ready For Snow On ‘I Need You Christmas’

It’s not quite Halloween, but the Jonas Brothers are already all set up for Christmas.

On “I Need You Christmas,” a loungy and longing new cut from Kevin, Joe, and Nick, it’s all about the power of the holiday and how it can lift anyone out of the doldrums of loneliness. It’s also about missing childhood and realizing that at the end of a long, tiring year full of coldness and isolation, maybe the one thing that might help is to gather around the tree. How nice.

Nick sings the first half, evoking scenes of “angels on treetops and angels in the snow,” pining for them amid feeling lonely and blue. By the time Joe takes over halfway through this “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”-type ode, he’s singing of carolers and mistletoes, all the things you need to specifically mention in order for your melody to count as a Christmas jam. That nostalgia is at the center of the song’s message, as the band revealed on social media.

“For us this song stirs up memories of childhood snowball fights & finding the nearest hill to sled,” the group’s Twitter stated ahead of the drop. “It brings us back to spending time with family setting up the Christmas tree. Hopefully it can bring you guys the same feelings of warmth & happiness that creating it brought us.”

The memories are aplenty on social media — Kevin, Joe, and Nick in front of the Christmas tree clutching plush animals and posing in a sleigh, the bro quad (Frankie included!) as adults rocking their best steely faces in front of a glimmering tree, and the entire extended family gathering at a twinkly round dining table. A cooked goose for everyone!

“With having such a crazy year, we all really need something to look forward to,” the group’s Twitter read. “The Holidays is a time that brings us together and is something that brings us joy in the darkest of times.”

The JoBros are far from the first pop stars to begin mining the yuletide cheer well before the season actually begins. Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest, “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries,” perhaps the most realistic representation of a December family gathering ever committed to tape, is out today (October 30), too. Carrie Underwood’s Christmas album My Gift dropped three days after September’s autumnal equinox, while Dolly Parton released her latest earlier this month.

And it gets better: Today sees at least four new holiday collections dropping: JoJo’s December Baby; Meghan Trainor’s A Very Trainor Christmas; A Tori Kelly Christmas from, yep, Tori Kelly; and It’s Christmas All Over, from the Goo Goo Dolls. There’s also, of course, the inevitable return of Mariah Carey — along with mystery guests “AG” and “JH” — as teased by her Christmas tree emoji tweet earlier in October.

Until then, though, you’ve got “I Need You Christmas” to keep you warm. Check out the rosy-cheeked goodness above.

Twice’s Eyes Wide Open Is A Journey Through Time And Space

By Lai Frances

During 2017’s Twicetober, the annual month-long tribute when fans celebrate Twice’s debut, the idols released their first studio album, Twicetagram, and celebrated their second anniversary. A plethora of accomplishments later — including seven Korean chart-topping EPs, handfuls of hits in Japan, a world tour with arenas and domes sold out across Asia and North America, all while breaking their own records in the Korean and Japanese markets and dominating the Hallyu wave — Asia’s best-selling girl group welcomes their fifth Twicetober with new clarity and a sparkling second album, Eyes Wide Open, out today (October 26).

It all began in October 2015 when Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu were officially introduced as Twice on the reality competition show Sixteen; the group under JYP Entertainment was named to make an impact “once through the ears, and once through the eyes,” to capture fans — named “Once” — with their catchy hits and lethal beauty. Their debut single, “Like Ooh-Ahh,” was a melodic pop song with hints of percussion, perfectly matching the nonet’s wild and edgy visual concept, which was marked by smoky eye makeup and camo-printed looks. Six months later, the group flipped the switch, sporting jerseys and varsity jackets for their contagious dance hit “Cheer Up,” which skyrocketed them to fame. Its lyrics (“Shy, shy, shy”) became a viral meme, and the release earned the group the coveted award for Song of the Year at Mnet’s Asian Music Awards (MAMA).

Hit after hit after hit, from “TT” to “Signal” (2017 MAMA Song of the Year) to “What Is Love?” (2018 MAMA Song of the Year), Twice have matured through their music. With bubbly songs about having crushes and grooving on a beach (“Likey,” “Dance the Night Away”), Twice began to explore a more intimate, sensual side with “More & More,” released earlier this year in partnership with Republic Records. It showcased a refreshing range in sound as they tackled Latin-inspired rhythms (“Firework”), new jack swing (“Sweet Summer Day”), bass-heavy beats (“Make Me Go”), and tropical pop all in one project. Meanwhile, they projected to fans positive messages about the importance of caring for one’s mental health when they supported Mina, and recently Jeongyeon, in taking hiatuses. This was encapsulated in the 2019 track “Feel Special.”

Eyes Wide Open comes through with a burst of energy as the bigger, bolder sister of More & More. Releasing with three distinct album covers, in one case taking inspiration from ’90s fashion magazines, it embodies Twice all grown up. The 13 tracks take listeners on a sonic journey through space and time, spanning ’80s American retro, Japanese city pop (“Say Something“), and contemporary R&B while brazenly plunging into the depths of love and lust (“Hell in Heaven”), breakups (“Handle It”), and finding one’s confidence (“Go Hard,” “Queen”). The collection proves Twice to be a force to be reckoned with, showcasing each members’ abilities to vocally and visually adapt to challenge genres and concepts. The group (minus Jeongyeon, who assures fans she is doing well while on a break), speaks to MTV News about blossoming into Eyes Wide Open.

MTV News: First off, congratulations on your fifth anniversary and your second album. It’s been three years since Twicetagram followed by a handful of EPs. What can we expect with this comeback and the second album? 

Nayeon: This is the second full album which is coming out after three years since Twicetagram, and we participated in this album more than before, like more than previous albums. So I’m really looking forward to Once liking this album as we invested lots of time and also the content involved.

Sana: The team reflected on our ideas, especially when we put in our opinions on the visual mood. So we also had a say in the outfits added in this music video.

Jihyo: With this album, many of the members have joined in writing the lyrics. We always joined as lyricists, but this time there are lots of tracks, meaning more members have joined to write the lyrics for other tracks, too. Our title track, “I Can’t Stop Me,” has a retro-synth sound with the message of trying to find the balance between the good and the bad of our uncontrollable desires.

MTV News: Is there a song Once should look out for in the new album? 

Dahyun: There’s a song I wrote called “Queen” that includes the lyrics to just show yourself as you are. The second is the track called “Bring It Back,” and this captures the feeling of going after what you want. That includes a very strong mood.

Chaeyoung: There’s a track called “Handle It” that contains the message of trying not to acknowledge being apart from each other or breaking up. It contains the rage about breaking up. I don’t think we’ve ever done a song that carried this kind of vibe before.

MTV News: How was it like receiving a song written by R&B songstress Heize and a song composed by Dua Lipa?

Chaeyoung: It was great to work on songs with them! We have continued to be blown away by both the artists’ careers and music, and agree that their songs are amazing. It is great to have their names on our new songs, and we are looking forward to fans hearing them. The songs are awesome.

JYP Entertainment

MTV News: You’ve also typically included fan songs for Once, as well. Are there any of those like “One in a Million” and “21:29”?

Nayeon: Similar to “21:29,” there’s a song called “Depend on You.” So that could be considered this new album’s fan song.

MTV News: For personal reasons and science, any plans on releasing an English version of “Feel Special”?

Nayeon: Ah, sorry! We didn’t include an English version of “Feel Special.” But, if we wait a bit longer, we still have an upcoming English version of our song coming out later.

MTV News: You made your debut with a wild and edgy concept in “Like Ooh-Ahh” and have since transformed. What changes have you seen with your music? And what would you like to see more of?

Jihyo: I would say, for us, our goal would be to become a team that is not limited in one concept and can embody a variety of concepts. I want to be an artist who wants to conquer all the concepts we try. Sort of like renaissance women?

Momo: We are open to all concepts that we both haven’t and have tried before! We have fun asking fans what they want to see from us and enjoy discussing their answers.

Nayeon:  I remember when we surprised Once at a Twicelights concert with our red concept of “Heart Shaker.” The song is very energetic, so we added some fun and sexy choreography to it. It was very cute to watch their reactions! And since we have been active for five years, as a team, we do portray a certain image and concept, but we enjoy finding new things and challenging ourselves. From those challenges we find new things that match us more, and we find passion and joy in that. We hope everyone can enjoy that without a bias. So we would like to find things that match us more to make it more exciting. But we are also asking whether there is any concept that you or Once would like to see?

MTV News: Jihyo mentioned earlier that Twice wants to be a renaissance girl group. I believe you can pull it off, but I think a completely hip-hop concept would be nice as fans are asking for Nayeon’s rapper alter-ego, MC Rail.

All: (laughs) Oooooooooh!

Tzuyu: I’ll do my best trying to challenge more diverse concepts then.

MTV News: Was there a specific era you felt like you’ve grown or have started to grow?

Jihyo: When we started to get recognized from our singles “Cheer Up” and “TT.” We all wanted to give fans our love and continue to be great role models for them, and we continue to feel this way and appreciate Once for loving us.

Dahyun: Personally, I think our lead single “I Can’t Stop Me” shows our musical growth the most. Starting from “More & More,” we have focused on showing the desire of wanting someone. I think our overall themes of the songs have matured over time, and that has been a great challenge for us on the new concepts.

MTV News: With the amount of chart-topping releases you’ve done, crossovers in the Japanese market and now in the U.S., do you think you’ve reached a peak in your career? 

Dahyun: I really don’t think we’re in the top position of our careers because we were able to make it this far due to our team and staff members, alongside the members, and, most importantly, the fans together. I think Twice was able to come at this point due the support of everyone. But I still think there’s still a way to go to the top.

Nayeon: More than thinking, we’ve reached the top, there’s a long way to go, we give our best to things that are given to us right now. From that, we are faced with great opportunities and more occasions to meet Once. So we work hard in the moment, and I am satisfied.

MTV News: Are there any regrets or things you wished happened differently thus far?

Momo: There aren’t any regrettable memories, but I mostly don’t regret anything. But if there were, it must be my embarrassing moments [onstage] that I dwell upon for a very long time.

Mina: Because of any embarrassing moments we go through, we could now look back at it as a really good memory. And since we can’t go back to that time trying to fix that moment, we’d try to accept it as it is.

Jihyo: (to Momo) Try to love yourself during those times.

MTV News: Any moments where you couldn’t believe things were too good to be true?

Chaeyoung: Always. All of the good memories, always.

Momo: I remember when fans were doing surprise events during our concert, we were touched when Once sang a song for us. I was really, really touched at the time.

Sana: While going on our world tour, we were able to meet so many Once in America and other places that we were able to see the different energy from each country. I remember meeting the fans after the concerts, and their faces lighting up seeing all members during hi-touch. I cannot forget their faces, and that’s why I always want to prepare something new since they’re the motivation when Twice does their best.

MTV News: Nayeon, you’re known to be the spoiler queen of Twice to the point where you even teased Momo’s new hair for the comeback. Out of all the comebacks you’ve spoiled, what’s the biggest spoiler you’ve given?

All: (to Nayeon spoiling Momo’s hair) Ah! Oh no!

Nayeon: (in English) My mistake! [But it’s definitely] Momo’s hair.

MTV News: Most memorable and greatest prank Jeongyeon has ever pulled?

All: There’s too much! There’s really too much!

MTV News: Momo, you rap, you sing, you write, you dance, you vlog, and now you’re a dog mother to Boo. What’s something you cannot do that you wish you could?

Momo: I’d like to go home to Japan, but because of the coronavirus, I can’t go now.

MTV News: Sana, on livestreams and video call events, you tend to give a lot of advice and support to Once, but what’s the greatest advice you’ve given yourself?

Nayeon: (to Sana) You should think less and go to sleep early.

Sana: In the past, if we had a day off, I would focus my day on sleep and maybe plan to do other things on the second day. But since now I have more time due to coronavirus, it came to my mind that I should search for hobbies in hopes that I can use those hobbies and utilize it to enjoy my personal time.

MTV News: Jihyo, what was your greatest moment as Twice’s leader?

Jihyo: I’m always happy. There aren’t many moments to pick, but I’m always happy to be with members.

JYP Entertainment

MTV News: Mina, if you could describe the last five years of Twice as a game, what game would it be and why?

Mina: Minecraft. Because all of Twice’s creations and achievements are built like it is in Minecraft.

MTV News: Dahyun, you’re known to be the rapper, the energy booster, the Eagle dance creator, the camera catcher, but you’re quite the mystery. What’s something you want the world to know about Dahyun?

Dahyun: Other than the image I have, I’m a very serious person and really quiet and calm. I also think a lot about many things. But I’m energy booster, you know?

MTV News: Chaeyoung, what other mediums would you like to express yourself in?

Chaeyoung: I’d like to express myself more through outfit styling, but I’d still like to express myself through art and other musical ways.

MTV News: Tzuyu, in one of your past radio interviews, you said that you like to share your funny impressions of your group members. What are some things you’d like to call out on your members?

Tzuyu: I’ve been with the team for five years and there are moments when I think I couldn’t do this alone. I’ve grown more with the help of my members.

MTV News: The greatest part about being Twice?

Sana: All of the members being together on my side and freely expressing myself. But also, having to help each other and support one another.

Harry Styles Is A One-Man Italian Vacation In Dazzling ‘Golden’ Video

Harry Styles is on the run.

In the dazzling new visual for “Golden,” the cruising-through-the-hills lead track from his 2019 sophomore album, Fine Line, Styles runs and drives away from… something. But it doesn’t quite matter what’s after Harry, does it? The mere vision of him in a billowing white blouse, pumping legs, and lip-synching to the tune is enough to inspire dozens of mood boards. Summer is gone, and it’s quite cold now. But “Golden” can keep us warm.

With one gloved white hand gripping the steering wheel of a luxury auto and the other running through his windblown mane as he cruises through Italian hills, Styles owns the frame. It’s funny how little it requires for a Harry Styles music video — if you have the star himself, you’re 90 percent there.

Indeed, Styles’s second era has had no shortage of blockbuster music videos. Previously, he went shirtless for “Lights Up,” starred in a fishing town parable for “Adore You,” got swallowed by the sea for “Falling,” and threw a (much-needed) beachy fruit orgy for “Watermelon Sugar.” If these visuals map out a journey, “Golden” puts us squarely on holiday. And we deserve it!

The early tease for this video included a shot of Styles in a yellow fishing hat, standing shirtless in front of water. It’s one of the key images of the full clip, though there’s plenty of underwater swimming shots as well — get your screenshot fingers ready!

Watch the heavenly “Golden” video above.

Whoa, Nelly! Turns 20: How Nelly Furtado Took Flight

By Alex Gonzalez

Twenty years ago, a 21-year-old singer from Canada stepped onto the scene with her debut single, “I’m Like a Bird.” At the time of its release, Nelly Furtado didn’t know the song would be a big radio hit. Her folky, coffee house style and sound was different from that of the Britneys and the Christinas of the time, but she knew “I’m Like a Bird” was something special.

“I’m Like a Bird” led Furtado’s debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, released October 24, 2000. Like the majority of the album, it was produced by songwriting pair Brian West and Gerald Eaton of Canadian band The Philosopher Kings. When Furtado first wrote the song, Eaton and West weren’t sure if it would fit in with the rest of the record.

“She just had it on guitar, and it was sort of a simple, folky song,” Eaton tells MTV News. “I think Brian and I wrote a bridge with her, but it wasn’t until the production of that song that we knew we had something special. We all found it a little bit too ‘happy’ for this cool, fresh album we were trying to make, so we were a little bit skeptical of it at first. But when the production came together, and we got that sort of hip-hop bounce groove, that’s when we started getting really excited.”

The song went on to peak at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and win the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award at the 44th Grammy Awards in 2002. It also caught the attention of Timbaland, who eventually worked with Furtado on her 2006 album, Loose. “I knew she was different,” Timbaland tells MTV News. “That video was different at the time. I just thought she had a unique style and always thought that me and her could mesh.”

Back in Toronto, Furtado, Eaton, and West weren’t expecting such a grand reception. “We didn’t really imagine that it would be a pop success,” West tells MTV News. “We hoped that things would go well, but we were kind of thinking it would be this tastemaker album that would be played in, like, Urban Outfitters. We thought we were way more hipster than we were.”

West and Eaton first encountered Furtado circa 1997 at a Toronto nightclub showcase called Honey Jam, an all-female musical showcase also known for launching the careers of Melanie Fiona and Jully Black. At the time, Eaton and West had released three albums with The Philosopher Kings, but were wanting to get more into the production side of music.

When they first saw Furtado perform, West remembers Eaton being blown away by the sincerity of Furtado’s delivery. “The girls [onstage] would have sing-offs and rap-offs,” West says, “and she was the only one that had her own material.” West and Eaton’s manager insisted that they talk to Furtado, who then signed a production deal with them.

In the early stages of recording Whoa, Nelly!, West, Eaton and Furtado cut tracks in West’s small attic apartment, set up with a sampler, a keyboard, a computer, and a guitar. The trio made three demo tracks before Furtado caught the attention of the now-defunct Dreamworks Records.

West estimates that the album took “close to two years, from beginning to end” to record, and that they recorded “half of the album in Toronto, and the other half in L.A.” Eaton recalls working on the album’s opening track “Hey, Man!,” which samples Kronos Quartet’s “White Man Sleeps,” over the course of a month.

“We had that string sample, and there was a lot of blending of genres,” Eaton says. “We mixed it all together and it tried to make it sound contemporary and fresh. It just took a lot of time to get that balance right.”

Another cut, “Shit on the Radio (Remember the Days),” alludes to Furtado’s early days as an underground artist. Lyrically, the song is about the disapproval she received from her friends in the Toronto underground music scene as she began to receive more mainstream attention.

“We had a process where we would make one song for the masses,” Eaton says. “We would try to make it a little more commercially accessible. And then we would respond to that one song with another song that we would make for ourselves. We would try to push the envelope of edginess and freshness and just stuff that we’ve never heard before. We didn’t necessarily like the stuff that was playing on the radio. We just thought there was a lot of crap on the radio and we were like, let’s try to get something on the radio that’s really cool. We always set out to get our stuff on the radio. [The album] wasn’t like an artsy project, where we just wanted to make it for ourselves and for a small group of people.”

The song “Baby Girl” showcases Furtado’s ability and affinity for improvisation. While it was never officially released as a single, nor did it chart in the U.S., “Baby Girl” became famous for Furtado’s “ba-da-ba-pa ching ching ching” ad-lib in the chorus. Two years later, Timbaland sampled her vocalization for the chorus of rapper Ms. Jade’s “Ching Ching” and produced a remix of Whoa, Nelly!’s second single, “Turn Off the Light,” along with Ms. Jade. Timbaland also enlisted Furtado for a remix of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On,” which appears on the soundtrack to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

“Nelly had a style that was different from Missy’s, but had similarities at the same time,” Timbaland says. “They both were risk takers, and I think my production is risk-taking in itself. I put crickets in songs and I put crazy things in records.”

Timbaland, West, and Eaton all note that Furtado is an exceptional songwriter. West says that before he, Eaton, and Furtado recorded Whoa, Nelly!, Furtado planned to return to school to study to become a writer.

“She has this lyricism that I think is a lot deeper than other songwriters’,” West says.

Today, Furtado is a very private person. She makes very rare posts on Twitter and Instagram and she hasn’t released an album in almost four years. A new extended edition of Whoa, Nelly! (released October 23) contains dance remixes of some of her album cuts, as well as live performances and tracks left over from the recording sessions.

Timbaland, West, and Eaton all say that if there were an opportunity to work with her again, they would be on board.

Furtado has much experimented with her sound since the days of “I’m Like a Bird.” Her most recent album, the John Congleton-produced The Ride, shows a more minimalistic, stripped-back side, as heard on icy tunes like “Pipe Dreams.” Ever since rocking her Adidas shell toes and her big hoop earrings in the “I’m Like a Bird” video 20 years ago, she’s never been afraid to take risks, even as her sound has evolved.

“Nelly knows what she wants to say, when it comes to artistry,” Timbaland says. “She’s one of the best to ever do it, especially when it comes to studio sessions. She really gives it her all. She’s very poised in the studio and plays no games.”

Keke Palmer Is Everybody’s Dream Girl Come To Life In Seductive ‘Dreamcatcher’ Video

What if you went to sleep with Keke Palmer posters on your wall and woke up to her singing directly to you and you alone? That’s the fantasy at the heart of her latest video for “Dreamcatcher,” a Weird Science-inspired trip through desire and wish fulfillment.

The premise is simple: A young dude who loves to crush Surge and mess around on his computer ends up designing the Keke he wants in his life — and thanks to a freak electronics accident, he actually gets her. When she appears, glittering and glam and backlit by heavenly white heat, she’s already delivering the heart of the song’s message: “Make love to your dream girl / Really turns me on that you think of me.”

You can guess where it goes from there. Our hero doesn’t know if he’s really dreaming or if his visions of Keke are happening IRL, when they sing karaoke and play ’80s video games and, um, work up a sweat. By the time he wakes up, though, it’s clear that it was a good night, even if it was all in his head.

“Dreamcatcher” is Palmer’s latest single from her EP Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1, which dropped in August, right before she anchored the 2020 VMAs as host. “Keep working hard, because hard work does pay off,” she told us a few months ago.

Watch Palmer’s hard work pay off in the “Dreamcatcher” video above.

Anna Of The North Was Stuck Far From Home, So She Made Her Own

By Caitlin Wolper

Anna Lotterud played her last headlining show on March 6 in San Francisco — just a week before coronavirus shutdowns rocked the United States. Lotterud, who performs bouncy, upbeat electro-pop as Anna of the North, was wracked with indecision — she was working on music in Los Angeles and wasn’t sure if she should go home to Norway. For quite some time, flights were full and booked; she’s back home now, but spent a while stuck in California.

The period of coronavirus-imposed uncertainty contributed to the dream-pop musician’s new EP, Believe. Out today (October 23), the release finds Lotterud pulling back on her usually upbeat production to offer something a bit slower. On Believe, she reimagines two of her own tracks — “Lovers” and “Dream Girl” — and offers up a new song, “Someone Special,” as well as two covers.

“[In my other work,] even though the lyrics are melancholic, the production is quite happy,” Lotterud tells MTV News. “[Believe is] a chance to show myself in a different way, more of who I am.”

Known for everything from her song “Lovers” in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to her features on Tyler, the Creator’s “Boredom” and “911 / Mr. Lonely” — where she provides clean and jazzy backing vocals that smoothly counter Tyler’s verses — Lotterud’s already stacked up a number of hits, but Believe is a refreshing new entry.

The slower daily pace she’s experienced during the pandemic has resulted in a period of reflection: That’s how the eerie cover of Cher’s “Believe” came to be, as well as her take on jazz musician Bendik Baksaas’s “Lover Ghost.” The organ-led “Believe” is dramatically slowed to a ballad, and while the production relies on similar Auto-Tune, Lotterud’s voice doesn’t carry any affectation — it comes through clearly and cleanly above the noise. Her “Lover Ghost” cover strips the song of some of its jazzier overtones, opting instead for a slowed, sparer production relying on slow beats and her more electronic inclinations.

With their new production, the tracks are more vulnerable, intimate, and immediate. Cher’s “Believe” becomes a tender ballad; “Dream Girl” is nearly morose.

“All of the songs I’ve done, they all have their special meaning to me — ‘Believe’ and ‘Lover Ghost’ are songs I listened to when I moved to Melbourne, my anthems in 2014,” Lotterud says. “All these songs have special meanings to me and now is that time to think about that sort of stuff.”

And as she reflected on her favorite songs, she reflected on her own work as well. As she reworked “Lovers” and “Dream Girl,” Lotterud found herself reminded of her beginning, when she recorded in her bedroom. The two tracks, in their original states, are effervescent, bounding with a Lily Allen-esque twinkle that often obscures quite downbeat lyrics. Lotterud describes herself as a “happy-sad” person; the reimagined tracks on Believe err toward revealing the melancholy her lyrics have held all along.

“A different production can give a song an entire new meaning,” Lotterud says. “That is the cool part of covering your own songs, but it’s also the really hard part, because you have the song that’s done, you said you like it, then you start to write a new version of it. That’s really hard — everything sounds wrong, because you’re so used to hearing it [as the original].”

While Lotterud doesn’t see Believe as a tonal shift in her work — she currently has a new album in the works that aligns with the upbeat production of her previous albums — she does see it as something she’ll pursue more in the future.

But for now, in this world, making a slow, stripped-down EP “just made sense.” And “Someone Special,” the EP’s new track, fits perfectly: a mournful, piano-led song about wanting to be with a person who’s far away. Though she first wrote the song in the U.S., her dad plays piano on the track, a callback to when she was young and they would perform together.

In many ways, Believe takes Lotterud back to her roots: low-key, less-produced bedroom-pop that pulses with yearning. “I’ve never been home for so long, I think now it’s been half a year almost,” Lotterud says. “I think maybe I needed it.”

Bea Miller Wants You To ‘Feel Something Different’ With Her New EP

The visual spell cast by Euphoria still has a hold over fans even a year after its HBO debut, inspiring a trend that took TikTok by storm just last summer. Fans shared makeup transformations that showcased their unique spins on the wild, couture-level glam concocted by makeup artist Donni Davy — Rue’s glittering teardrops; Jules’s dramatic eyelash spikes — in short clips set to a mashup of Labrinth’s “Still Don’t Know My Name” and Bea Miller’s lyrically numb breakout “Feel Something.”

“Clearly, I can’t do my makeup at all,” Miller tells MTV News over Zoom, her hair pulled into a ponytail. “I was like, fuck, I want to make one of these, but I don’t know how.” It’s a surprising, even bashful, statement coming from the rising 21-year-old pop singer: Miller made her first major performance in 2012 when she performed on The X Factor at the age of 13. Since then, her silky voice has been filtered through two full-length albums, including collaborations with the rapper 6lack and the British electronic twosome Snakehips. For her latest project, Elated!, she plans to release a music video for every track on the EP, each shot from her living room. Her close creative partner, Gina Gizella Manning, set up the shots, while Miller handled all the hair and makeup herself.

“We tried to find light in darkness as much as we could,” she says. “And we’re like, well, this pandemic is kind of ruining our lives, but at least we can kind of use this as a way to get more creative.” In spite of its sugary sound, Elated! strikes a serious tone, plunging into politics both personal and national. On “Hallelujah,” she points out the disconnect of the rhetoric of self-care while taking aim directly at the president, singing: “How am I supposed to work on myself / When there are Nazis in a big White House? Uh / It seems ridiculous to live in Hell.” Joined by the Oregon-born rapper Aminé, the collection also features a groovy update to her breakout hit, “Feel Something Different.”

Miller admits that staying positive during quarantine has been a constant challenge, but the impact of her music on its listeners is not lost on her. “I’m glad I created something to make people feel a little bit better, at least a little bit more understood,“ she says. With Elated! out today (October 23), Miller spoke to MTV News about watching Lizzo take on the Euphoria challenge, creating music videos from home, and what costume her dog, Ollie, will be wearing this Halloween.

MTV News: “Feel Something,” of course, blew up on TikTok. What’s it like getting to actually see everyone listening to and having fun to your song?

Miller: Watching everybody make TikToks with the “Feel Something” mashup with the Euphoria song has been really wild. For a while, I was kind of jealous in a way… I felt like I was watching from the sidelines.

Lizzo made one with the song, which I thought was pretty cool. It’s weird when, as an artist, you’re also a fan — when you recognize and realize that certain artists you love may have actually heard some of your music before. It’s a very weird, startling feeling. I just remember thinking, like, Lizzo probably doesn’t know who I am. But she knows my song, she’s heard me sing before, and that really blew my mind.

MTV News: Are you a fan of Euphoria?

Miller: Oh yeah, I’m a huge fan. The first day of my first tour last year, we had an Airbnb in Texas where we all piled onto the couch and watched the entirety of Season 1. Me and three or four people in my crew and band sat on the couch for the entire day.

MTV News: You wrote and released that song in 2019, so why do you think it’s resonating with people now?

Miller: I had assumed that it had already plateaued. That’s just typically what happens with a song: You release it, within the first couple months it climbs, and eventually it reaches a point where people have found something new, and then it falls back down. Then earlier this year, it started spiking again.

I remember finding out about the TikTok challenges, and seeing how that was translating into streams, and feeling kind of guilty at first. Of course, I’m grateful, [but] at the same time, I felt discouraged by the fact that the only reason that the song was suddenly doing so well again, was because people relate to it now more than they did when I released it. We’re all alone inside of our houses, we can’t really go anywhere, we can’t even go out to restaurants, go see our friends or our families, or take a walk in a park without wearing a mask. It’s really awful and really alienating. It creates this lack of connection and lack of emotion because you’re not experiencing anything to have emotions about.

I think that’s probably why the song suddenly started doing so well and why it moved from just being on TikTok to resonating with people on streaming platforms. I don’t know; I have mixed feelings about that. I’m glad I created something to make people feel a little bit better, at least a little bit more understood, during this horrible time. I also hate thinking that I’m, in some way, benefiting from something so awful. I’m torn.

Gina Gizella Manning

MTV News: Speaking of TikTok, I was looking at yours and saw these very sweet videos where you were just hanging out with your fans. In one, it looked like you were just having a staring contest. What have been the best interactions you’ve had with fans?

Miller: It’s hard for me to choose! A lot of my fans have been following since I was 14 and they were also 13 or 14. The ones that have stayed since then, we’ve grown up together. It almost feels like we’re friends, sometimes. They literally came up with me and I would not be where I am without them having stayed here for this long. I think that they recognize the huge part that they have played in getting me to the point that I’m at now. Every time I accomplish even the smallest of things, they get really excited. That makes me feel more excited.

Even when my song was on TikTok, they were the ones who were, every day, tweeting me like, “Bea, get a TikTok.” “Bea, look what’s happening.” They’re like my PR team. They’re always cheering me on and sometimes they yell at me. You have to do something, because they’re looking out for me. I really appreciate that. I don’t know if every other fan base is like that. I think they probably are? But I think I do have a pretty cool group of fans.

MTV News: You recently released the video for “Wisdom Teeth,” which is on the EP. What was the inspiration for the song and the video?

Miller: I wrote “Wisdom Teeth” two weeks after I got my actual wisdom teeth pulled. I got all four at once. Only two of them were ready to go, but they said the next two would be ready in like a year. I was like, nah, all of them gotta go right now. I wasn’t able to write or sing for a couple of weeks after I got my teeth pulled ‘cause, obviously, I had these gaping holes in my mouth, and it was the first song I wrote when I was able to come back. It sounds stupid because I know that I’m young, but getting my wisdom teeth pulled was just one of those small things along the way that made me feel like I was getting older. I was expressing this in the studio before we wrote the song; when I was younger, I would hear about people getting their teeth pulled out. I always thought, that’s so far away. Like, ha ha, poor adults.

It made me feel nostalgic towards my childhood. In some ways, when we’re younger, we are smarter, in my opinion. We’re less affected by the opinions of society and what is expected of you. If you are an adult functioning in society, we mold ourselves to fit within our surroundings and be accepted by other adults, which is really weird and unfortunate. When we’re younger, we just bop around and, as long as we’re not hurting anybody, we enjoy our lives. We just smile and feel good. We don’t have any insecurities, at least not until we reach a certain age. I think there’s accidental wisdom in that.

We hadn’t really planned the music video in advance because, obviously, making a music video during a pandemic is not really the top priority for anybody. I found an amazing creative director, photographer, videographer; she’s everything in one. Her name’s Gina [Gizella Manning]. She’s my absolute everything, love of my life. Her and I would just consistently get COVID tested, then not see anybody, then wait until we got our results, and then we’d just see each other. We set up a black screen in my living room, like right there. She came over and she shot me with a bunch of lights and just did the most. Then she got these goldfish and shots in the tank; it was a whole thing.

MTV News: When I was watching it, I was thinking about how people have a lot of dreams about losing their teeth, which kind of signifies stress or having low self-esteem about something.

Miller: See, I didn’t necessarily intend to have that message when I was writing the song, but my fans were saying this, too. I was like, that actually works because I’m always stressed and anxious.

MTV News: You mentioned you were working on the music video during quarantine. What other ways have you been staying creative while being isolated?

Miller: Honestly, I wish I could say that I was doing something consistently to stay in touch with my creativity, but I really haven’t. I feel that this has been the least inspiring year that I’ve ever been alive. I obviously could sit here with my keyboards and I could write something, which I have done a few times. I’m trying to learn Ableton, which is a production program I’ve been trying to get better at that so maybe one day I can produce my songs. Ultimately, the only thing that I’m able to really write about lately is just my sadness about the pandemic, about missing my friends, about everything being shitty, and the environment falling apart, and our political situation being so awful. It’s not anything that everybody isn’t already stressed about.

As artists it’s our responsibility to point out uncomfortable things and situations that are not ideal. But at the same time, it’s also our responsibility to help people get through that. I have been writing a little bit by myself. I’ve more been journaling lately than anything else. It freaks me out to be a creative person my whole life and suddenly not having anything to create. I’ve been able to make videos and things along the way throughout this, and other little photo shoots and things like that. But music has been hard for me to write lately.

MTV News: I appreciate that honesty and can definitely relate. Knowing your EP is going to come out right before Halloween, I wondered if you had any favorite Halloween costumes you’ve worn in the past.

Miller: Halloween is my favorite day of the year. I have a lot of decorations in my apartment. If I can’t go to a haunted house this year, I’m going to make my apartment a haunted house. When I was younger, I wanted to be something from Alice in Wonderland, but I didn’t know which character I wanted to be, so I was all of the main characters. I had the Mad Hatter’s hat, Alice’s dress, Tweedledee and Tweedledum socks. I had Queen-of-Hearts-like shoes with little red hearts all over them. I had a giant clock on my neck for the rabbit. Oh, and I had a Cheshire cat smile that my mom painted on me. It was a lot.

Last year, I did not really kill the Halloween game because I was on tour and I didn’t have time to put together a whole costume. I went to the store and bought an inflatable poop emoji; I was literally a giant, inflatable poop. But that actually was a big hit. I went to a Halloween parade with my mom in New York City; that was where our tour stopped. We were walking the parade and literally everyone we passed by was like, “Look, it’s poop.”

MTV News: You’re from the New York area originally. Have you ever been to the Halloween Dog Parade?

Miller: This year, Ollie and I are going to be an alien and a spaceship. I got him a spaceship costume and I’m going to be an alien. We’ll be really cute. But I didn’t know there was a dog parade. Shit. That sounds so fun. That’s two of my favorite things coming together, dogs and Halloween.

MTV News: Is there anything else about releasing this EP that’s exciting for you?

Miller: I haven’t said this anywhere yet; but I am planning on releasing a little music video for each one of the songs on my EP. We tried to find light in darkness as much as we could. And we’re like, well, this pandemic is kind of ruining our lives, but at least we can kind of use this as a way to get more creative. So we kind of put our heads together and we made small videos for each of the songs on the EP. So, I’m very excited about that ‘cause I was very hands-on with these videos and really involved in the process. And I did all of my makeup and hair and wardrobe for everything. I am excited for everyone to see them. Those videos will all be coming out on different days in the next month or two. But I think they’re really cool. I think that we made the best out of a shitty situation and I’m excited ‘cause I’ve never given my fans as much content for one release. Not even when I released an entire album. I feel like they’re getting more content with the six or seven songs than they would be with, like, 12.