When it comes to making white-hot beats, Boston-based singer and songwriter Ilyah is becoming one of the most reliable cats around in 2020. His new single, “Habibi,” doesn’t force a lot of pointless bells and whistles upon listeners, instead opting to give us a slickly-appointed showcase of beats, harmony and tensely agitated grooves. The music video is a bit more indulgent, though in the best possible way, and in both documents, Ilyah himself is as inspiring as any of the music he directs is. There’s arguably never been a time better than the present to be a pop fan, and artists like this man are the reason why.
Beyond the grooves here, the lyrics featured in “Habibi” are as heart-melting as the voice conveying them unto us is (which is really something considering just how dynamic a vocal our man is putting up in this track). I think it’s obvious that Ilyah has a lot of soul music in his tree of influences, because if he didn’t, I don’t believe we’d be getting nearly as much feeling out of everything from his verses to their vibrant melodic underpinnings in a track as clubbish as this one sounds. He’s capable of wearing a lot of hats at once, which is definitely a coveted attribute in the modern multi-hyphenate pop culture we’re living in.
Even the interplay between the bassline and the drums has a very poetic feel similar to what the words have to offer in “Habibi,” and overall, I don’t think there’s a single element here that isn’t lending some degree of agency to the song as a whole. Ilyah had no room left for extra fat on this melodically meaty release, and rather than trying to force it in anyway, he was smart to keep it lean and mean as it is in this state.
Watch the official music video for “HABIBI” by ILYAH. **AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE** ALL PLATFROMS: ilyah.lnk.to/AllTheseThoughts Follow ILYAH: Instagram: …
The music video for “Habibi” is easily Ilyah’s most powerful work to reach the international pop spectrum thus far. Finding a suitable home for the cinematic elements in his artistry wouldn’t be a very simple task, even for the most gifted of producers, but his tools are put to use brilliantly in this particular string of shots. The music is always the lustiest component of any video he makes, but in this case, it’s on an equal playing field with the visuals without having to sacrifice any of its commanding energy in the process.
Pop fans can rejoice in knowing that independent musicians are keeping the best beats in the genre alive this spring, and if you want some legit proof to back up this statement, I recommend taking a look at Ilyah’s “Habibi” at your earliest convenience. Ilyah isn’t trying to water-down a tried and true formula for making smashing pop music in his new single – he’s taking a blueprint he devised a couple of years ago in “The Only One” and upgrading it for a new decade, and moreover, a new generation of fans thirsting for more excitement in pop. All in all, he’s got my support.