Zayn And Zhavia Ward Recreate A Classic Aladdin Duet

‘A Whole New World’ is a magical duet that was the high point of Aladdin when the animated film came out in 1992. The intertwining romance of the singers’ voices reflected the characters’, Aladdin, and Princess Jasmine, kindling feelings for each other, as well as the exploration of new experiences and realms. With the live action version of Aladdin hitting theaters on May 24, the modern remake of “A Whole New World” has been released. It features Zayn and The Four: Battle for Stardom alumni Zhavia Ward as the infatuated souls, singing their hearts out to a slightly slower, more extravagant rendition. It doesn’t need a genie to capture the magic of the original; it does it all on its own.

This version of ‘A Whole New World’ knocks a bit harder, thanks to the snap of a finger that gives it an extra kick. Zayn’s booming voice gets a soft, emotional delivery that crescendos into a grand, enveloping wind. Ward matches his arc, starting near a whisper. Her escalation to a siren’s roar is magical and, by the end of the song, there won’t be a dry eye in all of the theater. In the accompanying video, the two sides are more realistically cut instead of as a member of royalty and or a commoner on the street. Zayn waltzes through a courtyard and a building with a blank, emotionless mask of a face. His hairdo is a magnificent character of its own, grand and lush, standing on ends. Ward’s beach blonde dreadlocks are striking and cut her as a more valiant counterpart than Zayn. His reserved world, her adventurous one. They’re traversing the gateways created by love and exploring each other’s realms. Whole new worlds.

Zayn released his second studio album Icarus Falls in 2018. It features the previously released songs, “Stand Still” and “Satisfaction.”

Watch the slow-moving video for ‘A Whole New World’ up above.

Kacey Musgraves, The Centaur, Prances Through A Field Of Diamonds In ‘Oh, What A World’ Video

The world inside of Kacey Musgraves‘ TV is a magical place. The country singer takes the viewer’s hand and leads them into a nameless land of strange beauty with countless earthly wonders given unique twists in her new video for ‘Oh, What A World.’ And it’ll take more than one viewing to get the full gist of its intricacies. This new world is a lot like the one we call home, but infinitely more colorful and strange. And it has a distinctly old school feel about it. Before computers, but after Woodstock, kind of old school.

The first clue that Musgraves’ world is not our own: in the opening seconds of the video, television static – normally in a noir filter but this time inexplicably multi-colored – makes a face and starts singing. It’s after the camera zooms into this enchanting entertainment set and is all the preview one needs to know that things are going to get freaky. “Oh, What A World” then turns into a hurricane of colors, with bright purples, pinks, yellows, and blues, swirling in the sky of a foreign land as psychedelic, nonsensical images begin fading in and out. Musgraves herself appears as a magnificent centaur, but it’s fleeting. She’s replaced by cloned hearts of all colors, followed by a platinum mermaid wading through rainbow waters. A smiling frog strums the banjo and a raven nods its head into whiplash on top of a field of mushrooms changing colors. There’s so much going on in this retro and futuristic video that calling it psychedelic doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a maelstrom of funky colors, designed to lead us into a world without sense as we know it. And oh, what a world it is.

Musgraves’ released her fourth studio album Golden Hour in 2018.  It won her Best Country Album and Album of the Year at the 61st Grammy Awards. In February, she released a video for ‘Rainbow‘  that went heavy on the peace, slow-mo, and flowers.

Watch the eye-opening video for ‘Oh, What A World’ up above.

What Will Ariana Grande Do Next? Sweetener Tour Fans Share Their Theories

“I hope she releases a single that leads up to a big album, like she did with thank u, next. And I hope it stays empowering for women and stays honest. Her entire album was centered around herself and where she’s going, and I love how honest she is. I never listen to a song and have to guess what it’s about, I just know.”

“I was just coming here for support. I’ve never seen a female pop artist before; this is my first one, because I’m more into heavy metal. So I actually listened to Ariana’s entire album in the car to prepare myself, and I was bopping to everything. To keep up that flavor is really hard, especially for an artist today — like, we have Cardi B, we have Beyoncé. And even Beyoncé took a break and took a step back, and watch what she made. That’s what Ariana’s going to do.”

First Trailer For HBO’s Watchmen Series Is Here And Everyone Is Wearing Masks

We hope you like Rorschach tests. Because practically everyone in the first teaser trailer for  HBO’s Watchmen series is wearing a ski mask with various ink stains printed onto them.

This glimpse was released today, and it reveals a gritty new world based on the comic of the same name by Alan Moore and Davie Gibbons, published in the 1980s by DC Comics. It doesn’t reveal much, but it looks damn good showing the darkness of the world it takes place in. And Regina King. King makes a grand appearance in the trailer, kicking ass and taking names.

The trailer isn’t long enough to tell us everything about Watchmen, but it does start building a frame for it to fill. There’s a community of masked individuals in a bunker of sorts, then there are policemen wearing scarves, also hiding their identities, hiding in plain sight.

As for what cataclysm turns King into a grimacing, masked menace, that’s for us to find out. Her fists rise and fall rapidly over the course of maybe three seconds. That’s about all to really take away from it. What’s left is a beautiful array of stylish scenes featuring flaming husks flying from the sky, color-changing masks, and a pile of bodies with no context. The string connecting these unsettling threads is a chant of “tick, tock” that grows louder and louder until a crash, followed by a smiling man who says it’s “the end of the world.”

The trailer ends with a wink and the man’s grinning face resuming the chant. “Tick tock, tick tock, tick…”

Watchmen takes place in the same universe as the source comic but will tell a different story. In addition to King, Deadline reports that its cast includes Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr., and more.

Take a look at the eerie trailer up above.

Lil Nas X Tells Us What To Expect From His ‘Old Town Road’ Video

If you can, think back to the first time you heard Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road,” which currently sits at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for its fifth consecutive week as the No. 1 song in the country. It simultaneously seems like only a few weeks ago and somehow also six years ago that it first made waves for its backstory.

In March, Billboard removed “Old Town Road” from its Hot Country Songs chart because it didn’t “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” Very quickly, though, the song exploded; a large part of its success is the 20-year-old Atlanta artist behind it. Lil Nas X made one of the most talked-about songs of the year, thanks in part to dynamic viral marketing he himself put into place — and it still doesn’t even have a proper music video yet.

But as Lil Nas X told MTV News recently, that’s all going to change very soon.

“The video has an amazing storyline. It also fits into what actually happened with the situation,” he said. “The special guests, the acting, the comedy in it — it’s an amazing video. When it comes all together, everybody’s gonna love it.”

Though he couldn’t give too many details away, Lil Nas delivered a simple evocative tease that should hold fans over for a little while anyway: “Back to the Future [Part] III,” he said. Whether that means Lil Nas and Billy Ray Cyrus are gearing up for a Marty McFly/Doc Brown time-travel trip back to the Old West or that the clip simply boasts Michael J. Fox as one of its “special guests,” we’ll have to wait to find out. It should be coming “within a month,” according to the artist.

The recent MTV News conversation with Lil Nas X also covered last year’s Naserati EP, his long-teased upcoming “rock-popish type of song,” the internet prowess that allowed him to take “Old Town Road” as wide as he did (“I learned the ways of how to go viral”), and the live unveiling the song at Stagecoach Festival last month with Cyrus and Diplo.

“The crowd was insane,” he said of the set, which was also his first-ever performance as an artist. “I could barely hear myself. It feels amazing! If I mess up, they’re still going.”

Just this week, Lil Nas also crossed another milestone off his list, making his TV debut and performing “Old Town Road” on Showtime’s Desus & Mero. Naturally, it took place at a barbecue spot, but he’s not trying to be pigeonholed into any one genre or moment. Not trap, not country. Just Lil Nas X.

“A lot of people don’t realize that when I release my album, I’m not gonna ever have one sound,” he said. “And it’s not that I’m confused about what I’m trying to be. It’s that I’m not trying to have that one sound.”

The year isn’t even half over yet — there’s still plenty of time to see what Lil Nas X does yet. Watch his full interview with MTV News above.

Jhene Aiko Chars An Ex With Blue Dragon Flames On ‘Triggered (Freestyle)’

On Game of Thrones‘s fourth episode of season eight, ‘The Last Of The Starks,’ Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon, Rhaegal, soared through the mighty skies towards King’s Landing, roaring with hellish intensity. Euron Greyjoy blindsided the creature, in a surprise move to initiate battle, with a monstrous bolt arrow that struck the flying beast in the breast. It cried out in pain and surprise, a sad song of impending death and confusion. R&B’s softest winged siren, Jhene Aiko, isn’t a fire breathing behemoth that was knocked out of the sky, but on her newest song, “Triggered (Freestyle),” this same, bleeding injury, can be felt in her vocals. She’s hurt. Triggered. Seeing scarlet. And, most importantly, she’s breathing fire. Dracarys. 

Aiko returns to her soft world of cerulean waterfalls and perennial showers on “Triggered.” Each thump of the bass drum makes the rivers ripple and leaves fall off the evergreen trees. But while Aiko treads familiar, heavenly realms, with her atmosphere, her words bring death by a thousand cuts. She flares her reptilian nostrils at an ex-lover while smoke clouds continuously form. “You’d ruin everything, you do it every time/You are my enemy, you are no friend of mind,” she sings, adding “motherfucker” at the end like a final, twisting cut to the aorta. Her eyes are puffy, the outside of her irises are pink, reds forming at the bottom. Her ex staggers back because of this sudden fierceness and she continues. “Don’t know what I’m capable of/Might fuck around and go crazy on cuz/Might fuck around, have to pay me in blood.” This dark magic turns the skies of “Triggered (Freestyle)” from a blithe blue to a nondescript hue of an overripe grape. Lightning sprints through the clouds and thunder booms as she spreads her wings and flies toward the destructive conclusion. “Damn, I’m ’bout to burn this bitch down,” she hisses. Everything goes up in bright, shimmering towers of red and orange.

Before dropping “Triggered (Freestyle),” Aiko explained the circumstances for the song’s creation on Twitter. “One night, I was so deep in my feelings, I was afraid of what I might do,” she wrote. “I didn’t want to revert to the same bad habits that have set me back time and time again. I realized that instead of running away from my emotions…I needed to sit with them, express myself, and say whatever came to mind. It was healing, to say the least…and now I feel a bit more free #triggered.”

Aiko’s fiery return is right on time. Her last release was 2017’s TripIn March, she confirmed her breakup with Big Sean, whom she recorded the joint album Twenty88 in 2016. Could “Triggered (Freestyle)” be about the rapper? We’ll have to sift through the charred ashes left behind in the song’s wake to find out.

Watch the peaceful video up above. Try to stay out of the dragon’s line of sight.

Vampire Weekend And Haim Trade Soft-Voiced Verses On Fallon

Last night, Ezra Koenig and the soft psychedelic outfit Vampire Weekend brought a groovy dimension to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. They performed two songs from their recently released album, Father of the Bride. First came the soothing “This Life,” followed by the slower, and more emotional, “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin.” The tranquil three-woman collective, Haim, lent a vocal hand, and, in the process, helped Vampire Weekend herd viewers into an open field and stare at passing clouds in a sky, pointing at cloud shapes and trying their best to identify them.

Vampire Weekend’s tranquil, timeless music does the heavy lifting when creating atmosphere. Fallon‘s stage last night was instantly Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm by Bethel, New York in 1969 when the band took to it. Haim accompanied them in creamy suits and milky vocals to support Koenig’s piercing one. The performance of “This Life” was marked by the purest form of a contemporary groove as the guitars and drums knocked a song of serenity and the cavalcade of singers hummed a siren’s song of ease. Second came “Jerusalem, New York, and Berlin,” being infinitely slower, and more emotional, than the first. Danielle Haim intertwined her voice with Koenig’s for an emotional journey, sadder and stronger than ever before.

Vampire Weekend released Father of the Bride on May 3. It features the previously released songs, “Unbearably White,” “Harmony Hall,” “2021,” “Sunflower,” and “Big Blue.” In March, the band released a music video for “Sunflower” directed by Jonah Hill, featuring Steve Lacy.

Take a look at the captivating performances up above.

Betty Who Previews Her Liberating New Tour: ‘I’m Living My NSYNC Fantasy’

Last week, Betty Who returned from a weeklong getaway to Honolulu, Hawaii, where her singular goal was to “dive off the face of the planet.” She succeeded — she has the beach, bikini, and pineapple pics to prove it — but instead of spiraling into post-vacation blues upon her return home, she’s feeling absolutely energized. The electro-pop singer’s third headlining trek, BETTY: The Tour, kicks off its 26-date run on Tuesday night (March 7) in Santa Cruz, California, and along the way, she’ll check off milestones she’s long had her eye on.

“I feel like I’ve played every club in every city,” Who told MTV News over the phone. “I’ve worked my ass off to get into these rooms that we’re playing now. I lived in New York for three years and I saw some of my favorite acts play Terminal 5, and every time I went to Terminal 5, I was like, ‘I can’t fucking wait to play here.’ And now I’m doing it.”

It’s all the more meaningful that Who’s biggest tour to date is supporting an album rooted in a newfound sense of liberation. Betty — her third album, released in February — is the Australian-born singer’s first project as an independent artist after she split with RCA Records, under which she released 2014’s Take Me When You Go and 2017’s The Valley. The eponymous album is her most fully realized work to date, and one in which she found her own voice.

“A huge part of what makes me so excited about this tour is I feel like these songs were created in such an inspired way,” she explained. “I really believed in it the whole time. I didn’t want anybody to stand in my way or tell me that I didn’t know what I wanted, because I did. … There are songs on it that I’ve been dying to write for forever, and I felt I really had the space to talk about what I wanted to talk about.”

Not only that, but she’s itching to play fresh material — “we’ve been playing the same songs for almost three years now,” she said — even if that means making tough calls when it comes to the setlist. She plans to play almost all of Betty, but also wants to revisit her first two albums and pick some throwback favorites that she’s missed performing. “There’s a lot of songs that we’re cramming into an hour-and-a-half show,” she conceded.

But as grueling as finalizing that setlist is, it’s also made Who besotted with Betty all over again.

“There are songs that you start performing and you’re like, ‘I’m obsessed with this song. Wow. Am I the best?!'” she laughed. “You fall in love with the music that you wrote six, eight, 12 months ago. So for me to be performing ‘The One,’ which I wrote in a Whataburger in the Valley just after I had gotten out of my deal… it’s so random and it comes to life in a way that I never expected it to.”

Of that particular mid-aughts-indebted pop jam, she added, “It is definitely one of the hardest songs to perform. It’s very high-energy the whole time, but I’m living my Justin Timberlake fantasy. Every night, I imagine myself being a member of NSYNC while I am performing, and that kind of gives me my second wind.” The whole tour, in fact, is “very much geared and inspired by the music that inspired me when I was a kid,” Who continued. “I’m excited to share that and live out my Britney Spears, NSYNC, TRL fantasy along the way.”

Zak Cassar

It’s a fantasy fueled by Who’s comfort and confidence onstage, which she’s honed for years on both her own headlining treks and as a killer opening act. She’s toured with Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, and most recently, Panic! At The Disco — all experiences that made her a stronger and more thick-skinned performer. “I think it’s really important to get humbled every now and again and remember what it’s like to perform in front of a crowd of people who don’t care about you at all,” she said.

That won’t be an issue starting tonight, when BETTY: The Tour officially launches and Who’s fans revel in the energy and zeal she brings to the stage. It’s a hard-earned celebration, after all.

“You have to work your ass off and then you’re like, ‘Oh, I feel like I haven’t done anything.’ But then, all of a sudden, you wake up one day and you’re like, ‘No no, I’m playing Terminal 5. I said I always would, and it took longer than I thought it would take to get here, but I’m doing it.’ That’s really empowering for me and really satisfying,” Who said.

“I always feel like I can’t wait to show people what I can do,” she continued. “I feel like I have so much to give, especially on stage, and I’m just so excited to share that.”

Diplo Crushes Beer Cans And Rips Stagecoach To Shreds In ‘So Long’ Video

Diplo recently made the announcement that he was making a foray into the world of country music as Thomas Wesley. With that reveal came a record tailor-made for square-dancing in “So Long,” featuring the strong vocals of country singer Cam. Listening to its lucidity brings to mind images of the sun casting orange over the horizon in the morning and plain fields of rolling green. Fans wondered how Diplo could translate this rural atmosphere through the visual arts and today that question has been answered. He’s released a rollicking visual for the banjo-adjacent anthem. And with its bevy of surprise cameos, it’s an epic clash of the simple life and the one of a star.

Yeehaw! Diplo’s cowboy hat is low and his orange shades cover his fierce eyes. He steps out fresh from the bed into the morning sun and crushes a beer’s aluminum can top, watching as the spilling liquid rushes to the ground. He steps away from the quiet life of the cowboy into the madness of the Stagecoach festival, where seas of cowboy hats and Daisy Dukes party underneath a ferris wheel and open plane. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus take pictures with the producer before he steps onto the stage. While he showcases his past set at last month’s festival, Cam sings the song’s soft message with a smile on her face, first riding the ferris wheel, then getting on stage herself. Her sincerity will melt your heart and the video itself is elevated by matching the song’s simplicity. It’s not so much about being a fan of country music, it’s more about what being a fan of it looks like.

Diplo’s been hard at work, in the realm of country and outside of it. Last month, his group, LSD, comprised of himself, Sia, and Labrinth, released its debut studio LP Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present…LSDHe also appeared in the video for the album’s single “No New Friends” that is the kind of Dr. Seussian calamity that’ll give you a cavity.

Take a look at ‘So Long’ up above.

How Many Tour Dates Does 21 Savage Have Coming Up? A Lot

How many problems do fans of 21 Savage have this summer?  Not a lot. The rapper has announced a new headlining trek across North America for his most recent album, I Am > I Was, that dropped last year. The 20-date tour takes place over the span of two months, from July through August. And in another surprising move, rapper DaBaby will be the featured guest.

The tour kicks off in Oklahoma on July 10 and wraps up in Atlanta on August 16. Of the twenty dates, DaBaby, famous for his recent hit, “Suge,” will appear on 17 of them (he won’t be at the Phoenix [07/16], Los Angeles [07/19], or New York [08/08] stops). This looks to be an epic journey that takes the two rappers through the year’s hottest months. You’ll want to be at this one. Tickets go on sale on May 10.

Last month, 21 Savage released the heartbreaking video for “ball w/o you.” In February, he dropped the visual for “a lot” with J. Cole. If you want to hear some of his latest, he’s featured on Schoolboy Q‘s new album, Crash Talk, on “Floating.”

Take a look at the tour dates below.

07/10 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion

07/12 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall

07/13 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom

07/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre

07/18 – San Diego, CA @ Calcoast Credit Union Open Air Theatre

07/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Shrine

07/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

07/23 – Portlant, OR @ Veterans Memorial Coliseum

07/25 – Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theater

07/27 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium

07/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ Myth Live

08/02 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

08/04 – Detroit, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheater

08/06 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem

08/08 – New York, NY @ Pier 17

08/10 – Boston, MA @ Tsongas Center

08/11 – Baltimore, MD @ Moonrise Festival

08/14 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater

08/15 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphiteatre