Taylor Swift Takes Us To ‘Bridge City’ On ‘Lover’ — As Promised

Well, Swifties. The day has come. The title track for Taylor Swift‘s upcoming seventh album, Lover, is finally here, and if there’s anything we know with absolute certainty, it’s that the pop star is more in love now than she’s ever been before.

With an old-school vibe that’s both classic and timeless, “Lover” is so atmospheric in nature that it feels like we’re being transported to a wedding reception at an odd hour — when the guests have already left, the flower arrangements are being towed away one by one, and the newlyweds are so smitten with each other that they didn’t even notice the party has ended.

“We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January / This is our place, we make the rules,” she sings in the very first verse. “And there’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you dear / Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” The lyrics feel like vows, but not the generic ones you hear at most wedding ceremonies. Instead, these feel like the words that come afterward — when the happy couple gets a moment to themselves to express the depth of their love without fear of judgment or misunderstanding.

And let’s not forget the bridge, which Swift herself called one of her “favorite bridges” because it really allowed her to go to “Bridge City.” In it, she expresses her love with certainty. “Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? / With every guitar string scar on my hand / I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.” And since her loyal fans have stuck by her through her six-album journey of navigating heartbreak, she threw in a reminder that all the tears and bruised hearts along the way have been worth it: “My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue / All’s well that ends well to end up with you.”

Watch the lyric video for ‘Lover’ up above, and get ready for the music video, which premieres on August 22 at 5 p.m. EST via YouTube Live.

Normani’s ‘Motivation’ Is A Rain-Soaked Spectacle That Beyoncé Would Be Proud Of

Look, no one’s saying Beyoncé can be replicated (we all know she’s, ahem, irreplaceable). But if ever there was a budding superstar with a shot at filling Bey’s shoes, it might be Normani.

After a string of one-off singles, the former Fifth Harmony singer launched a new era on Friday (August 16) with the single “Motivation.” The song itself is an absolute jam, with ‘Mani riding a horn-backed beat and confidently asserting, “I’ma break you off, let me be your motivation … Baby turn around, let me give you innovation / ‘Cause I do it so right.” You’d be forgiven for not hearing her on the first listen, though, because the song arrived alongside a video that puts the spotlight on Normani’s unparalleled dancing. I mean… let’s just look at what she can do with a basketball:

The vid opens on a young Normani watching BET’s 106 & Park and daydreaming about becoming a countdown-topping video vixen. That fantasy of course comes true — the song kicks off as the 23-year-old rocks a “Crazy In Love“-style outfit and takes her show-stopping moves to the streets of L.A., rain showers be damned. She’s the full package; serving style, choreo, and vocals galore. Check it out:

“Motivation” is a promising taste of what lies ahead for Normani; so far, most of her solo output has consisted of features and collaborations, like “Love Lies” with Khalid, “Waves” with 6LACK, “Dancing With a Stranger” with Sam Smith, and the Calvin Harris collabs “Slow Down” and “Checklist.” “Motivation,” however, is 100 percent Normani, and it’s good to see her shine on her own.

How Women In EDM Are Fighting Sexism With Success

By Shammara Lawrence

“I’m an artist. I’m not a female artist. I’m a woman and I’m proud of being a woman and I love being a woman. But my art doesn’t have a gender and it never has,” Alison Wonderland (née Alexandra Sholler) emphatically says over the phone two days before her early August headlining set at HARD Summer out in Fontana, California. A conversation about the way people treat women in EDM has the Sydney-born and Los Angeles-based DJ-producer riled up — and understandably so.

Being a woman in music comes with a unique set of challenges — household names like Tiësto or Martin Garrix don’t get asked about being a man in EDM — and is rife with people constantly commenting on your gender instead of your work. Alison Wonderland is over it. She’s a sonic powerhouse in her own right, headlining sold-out arenas around the globe and clocking millions of streams across Spotify and iTunes. Her 2018 sophomore album Awake hit No. 1 on Billboard’s ​Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. To date, she’s highest-billed female DJ at Coachella alongside Canadian DJ REZZ (with hopefully more to come soon). And recently, Billboard named her one of the 100 top DJs of 2019.

“[Speak] about me as an artist who just sold out two Red Rocks [shows and is] making albums and pushing music forward,” she tells MTV News.

In recent years, there’s been a lot of conversation about representation of women in EDM, which is, like the majority of the industry, dominated by men. They rule the charts, radio airwaves, and media headlines. But nowhere is the gender disparity more visible than festival lineups. Scan the posters of your favorite dance festivals and you’ll generally find just a couple of female names, if any at all. In a 2016 study, the dance music website Thump revealed only 17 percent of headliners at electronic music festivals were women. So what can be done to diversify EDM and the live music scene? Meagan Deschenes, the head of HARD Events, has a simple answer: prioritize diversity in bookings. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of all HARD-branded concerts and festivals for Insomniac Events. One of their biggest events is HARD Summer, the hip-hop-cum-EDM festival headlined by Wonderland this year, and conceived by Gary Richards, the founder and former CEO of HARD Events.

While curating each year’s lineup, Deschenes, who’s been with the company since 2007, makes it her mission to amplify emerging talent, especially women. “I really like to book new people [other] people might not even know about, just to educate more fans on other good music that’s out there. …. And I really make a conscious effort to find as many women as I can. If [only] people could see how many offers I sent out to book women versus how many I actually was able to get. I sent so many. I really try to make the lineup diverse [so it has] something for everyone,” she tells MTV News.

Music has no boundaries and spans cultures., so people of all backgrounds should be allowed to participate without judgment, says GG Magree, an Australian DJ, producer, vocalist, who’s been making waves in the dance-music sphere for her mesmerizingly sweet vocals and high-energy live sets. “I just think that if you pocket things, it’s just not the right way to do things. Music is universal. It should be open,” Magree stresses to MTV News over the phone after a whirlwind weekend performing at HARD Summer.

For the 12th year, 170,000 music fans converged at the Auto Speedway in Fontana from August 3 to 4 to watch a medley of artists — from heavies like Alison Wonderland, Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, and Claude VonStroke to up-and-comers such as Cam Girl, DreamDoll, and LP Giobbi. Notably, an array of female talent was front and center, thanks in part to Deschenes’s booking efforts.

GG Magree shook Saturday’s crowd with high-octane energy. Later at night, Alison Wonderland’s treated fans to an explosive and headbanging mix. And on Sunday, fans got a taste of some gritty trap from Cam Girl and new music from LP Giobbi. This kaleidoscopic and variegated lineup injected some much-needed diversity into a genre historically ruled by white men.

Yet many female dance musicians often find themselves having to prove to their peers that they’re not just not a pretty face. “People on the outside [are always] thinking you fucked your way into the industry. I worked my fucking ass off to be here,” Cam Girl tells MTV News. “I didn’t have to do anything to do that except for hard work, not sleeping, [and] not going out. I lost all of my friends from practicing and getting better at my craft. I just want some recognition for the hard work that goes behind this instead of [people being] just like, ‘Oh, you’re just cute.’”

As an L.A.-based DJ/producer, a co-owner of Animal Talk Records, and an all-around synth master, LP Giobbi knows how frustrating it can be for women in the industry, constantly having their talents and capabilities questioned. So in 2019, she created an inclusive nonprofit workshop called Femmehouse, an educational platform addressing the lack of representation of women in electronic music by holding monthly workshops where musicians can learn how to produce and engineer music. “When you walk out of this room with the knowledge of something new, I want you to feel empowered; you can now take this skill set and also just knowing that you can do something and make something in other parts of your life. That’s a powerful tool,” she says.

One notable reason LP Giobbi believes there might be a big gender and racial gap in the dance world is because of high costs associated with creating music, which can be a hindrance for people without the necessary resources. Femmehouse is on a mission to change that. “A big, big barrier for producers is money. Gear is really expensive, computers are expensive, headsets are expensive. It’s been really important for me to try to help lower that barrier to entry and then also creating a safe space with a bunch of other women to ask whatever questions you need to ask. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities and it’s my duty to pay that forward,” she says.

In the late 1970s, house music — to which many of today’s dance musicians can trace their roots — was born out of Chicago’s gay, Black party scene to radically break down racial, sexual, and gender barriers. Since then, the sound has transformed, due in part to the rebranding efforts of the U.S. music industry, and in turn, the face of it has completely changed — with names like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and Martin Garrix leading the pack. But for a genre descended from a subculture thriving with both diversity and political struggle, dance music will suffer if only a handful of artists are showered with attention.

Cam Girl looks at the progress made so far and thinks it’s just a matter of time. But she also stressed how important it is for organizers to keep making it happen. “When I started going to electronic music festivals, there was like maybe one, maybe two female DJs. Now, shout out to Alison Wonderland, shout out to Anna Lunoe — they’re killing it. Mija, all those girls. But if you look at girls like me and other ones, we’re not playing the main stages and we’re not playing the main set times. And I’m just waiting until it’s like 50/50,” she said.

As this year’s HARD Summer proved, women are killing the game across the spectrum of dance music, proving that your gender does not define your success. And all the women interviewed for this story remain hopeful about the future of EDM, especially Deschenes, who’s been working in the industry for over a decade. “I’ve seen it evolve a lot. When we first started HARD, there really [were not] any women, so from then to now, there are some big top women that can headline a stage [and] can headline a festival and are making equal money [to] men,” she said. “It’s just finding more of those, because now there’s only so many and now there’s so many festivals, it’s kind of a fight to get to share them.”

Bernie Sanders And Cardi B Discuss Racism, Police Brutality, And A Lot More In New Video

It’s finally here: the full interview between Cardi B and Bernie Sanders.

In July, Cardi revealed that she wanted to talk to Democratic presidential candidates to figure out their stances on important social issues ahead of the 2020 election, so she asked her fans on Instagram to send her questions and promised to get the most-asked queries answered. A short time later, she posted a picture showing that she had, indeed, sat down with one of the presidential hopefuls, Senator Sanders. On August 15, the Democratic presidential candidate shared the entire 12-minute discussion. This comes just one day after Cardi released a clip of the conversation that previews their breakdown of the minimum wage debate in the United States.

The two met at the Ten Nail Bar salon in Detroit and covered everything from student debt and taxes to jobs, police brutality, and more. They even talked briefly about Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cardi’s favorite president, who has also been an inspirational figure for Sanders’ presidential campaign.

The conversation began with Sanders revealing that he isn’t afraid of upsetting powerful people, noting that he’s been doing this for his entire life. From there, they move into a brief discussion about President Donald Trump.

“I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi says. “We have this bully as a president. And the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”

Bernie’s response echoed her sentiment: “We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump obviously because Donald Trump is an overt racist,” he says.

Cardi continues with how the current sociopolitical climate contributes to police brutality against Black people and minorities. “What are we going to do to change that?” she asks. “Because that is discouraging our people, it’s discouraging us to fight, it makes us feel like we’re worthless. We constantly see our men getting killed, every day.  And it seems like nobody cares. Nobody’s sympathizing, nobody’s talking about it.”

“Obviously, we need to end all forms of racism in this country from Donald Trump down to the local police department,” Sanders answered, before explaining how resources should be allocated to ensuring that more people of color get proper education and job training. “If a police officer kills somebody, that killing must be investigated by the United States Department of Justice,” he added.

Sanders also underscored the need to mobilize young people, like Cardi’s fans, in both the 2020 election as well as primaries and any and all local elections.

“Young people have got to get involved in the political process,” he said. “Register to vote. It is not hard. It takes you five minutes. Register to vote. Trump does not want people of color to be participating in the political process. Participate in the political process. And then think about who the candidate is that is speaking the issues that are important to you, and then vote.”

This conversation is the latest of Cardi B’s journey into being politically involved. She spoke with GQ in 2016 and revealed her love for politics (“I love political science. I love government. I’m obsessed with presidents. I’m obsessed to know how the system works”) and has used her Instagram account to endorse Democratic candidates as well as call out Trump on the 2018-19 federal government shutdown. In the now-deleted Instagram video, Cardi said “I feel like we need to take some action. I don’t know what type of action, because that’s not what I do, but bitch, I’m scared. This is crazy.”

Since then, Cardi has ramped up her activism, publicly showing support for Sanders and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, declining to perform at the halftime show to show support for Colin Kaepernick, and, now, working to get questions answered by Democratic candidates.

The 1975’s Matty Healy Broke A Homophobic Dubai Law By Kissing A Male Fan

The 1975 just played their first-ever show in Dubai on Wednesday, August 4, and the band might not be back for a while — or maybe ever. Turns out, frontman Matty Healy violated United Arab Emirates law by going into the crowd during their show and kissing a male concertgoer. Healy doesn’t seem to have any regrets, but it’s important to note that there have been several arrests for heterosexual kissing in public in the UAE and homosexuality is illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to the UK’s Foreign Office.

In a now-deleted video, the male fan was reportedly heard shouting “Marry Me” as Healy passed by while singing “Loving Someone,” Billboard reported. Healy then walked up to the fan, gave him a hug, and asked if he’d like a kiss. After he agreed, Healy kissed him on the lips before telling the crowd, “We’re all human, right?”

Once the concert ended, Healy took to Twitter to let his followers know that the band might not be welcomed back into the country due to its homophobic policies. “Thank you Dubai you were so amazing,” he wrote. “i don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again.”

Clearly, this situation is way more complicated than just a kiss between two guys: While it’s extremely important to protest blatant homophobia when we see it happening, a public show of affection between two men in Dubai could have severe implications on the fan’s safety. This consensual act of protest sparked an even larger conversation online, with many people expressing concern for the fan. “i know matty healy kissed a man in an openly-anti lgbt country but please refrain from posting the photos,” a fan tweeted. “… the man he kissed could face serious danger if his face goes all over social media.”

Simultaneously, other fans defended Healy for what they saw as a revolutionary moment for the historically anti-LGBTQ nation. “Matty Healy was preforming in Dubai, an anti LGBT city, and kissed a male fan. Legendary,” someone else wrote.

This isn’t the first time The 1975 has signaled their political leanings: Last year, the band helped fund London’s first LGBTQ center, and Healy called out male misogynists in an acceptance speech at 2019’s Brit Awards, and their current album features an opening track with a long monologue by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Jonas Brothers Will Invade The Jersey Shore For Their First VMA Performance In 11 Years

The boys are back! After 11 years, Jonas Brothers are making their grand return to the MTV Video Music Awards stage — with a special hometown twist.

With the awards show airing live from New Jersey’s Prudential Center, JoBros have decided to take their performance to the nearby Jersey Shore, where they’ll be staging a sure-to-be-epic set from an iconic location on the shoreline. It’s only appropriate for the NJ natives, and you can bet they’ll burn it up on their home turf and bring some of that ’80s swagger from the “Only Human” video along with them.

Jonas Brothers join previously announced performers Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello, J Balvin, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Rosalía, Shawn Mendes, and Video Vanguard Award recipient Missy Elliott.

This will mark just the second VMA performance for the group — they made their debut at the 2008 show, singing “Lovebug” during an outdoor performance that morphed from a sweet acoustic set into an all-out rager.

After the band split up, Nick returned to the VMAs as a solo act, performing “Levels” on the pre-show in 2015 and “Bacon” during the main show the following year. And Joe’s band DNCE won the Moon Person for Best New Artist in 2016 before returning the next year for a sexy remote performance with Rod Stewart.

Will JB finally take home their first VMA as a trio this year? They’ve certainly got a shot, boasting four nominations, including Video of the Year, Song of the Year, and Pop Video for their comeback smash “Sucker.”

Catch the boys’ seaside performance when the VMAs air live on Monday, August 26, at 8 p.m. ET. And get voting now — time is running out!

Doja Cat And Tyga Get Friendly With Fruits In Vegan-Friendly ‘Juicy’

Doja Cat has released a visual for “Juicy” that’s both sexy and… nutritious. Save for the mountain of sugar that goes into making lemonade out of Doja Cat and Tyga – who is featured in the song and video, the “Mooo!” artist’s latest visual will implore you to eat healthy for your next meal. Or, at least, think about eating some cherries for a snack. You’ll probably want to avoid watermelon, though.

The video’s love of fruits abounds: lemons, limes, cherries, watermelon, the list goes on. And Doja Cat navigates this world with an amorous glint. Covered by a giant cherry, she shakes her body while her backup dancers wear produce-inspired getups. It turns up a notch when Tyga, suspiciously not a fruit, comes in for another a scene-stealing feature that somehow has both of the artists being made into lemonade. The sickeningly sweet video then ends with Doja Cat — now a watermelon — being split in half. Yes, you read that right.

“Juicy” appears on Doja Cat’s debut studio album Amala that dropped in 2018. The LP also featured her previously released tune, “Tia Tamera” with Rico Nasty. Last year, she also released her viral single, “Mooo!”

Rosalía And Ozuna Cozy Up In Their Effortlessly Cool ‘Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi’ Video

Fresh off the announcement of her upcoming VMA performance, Rosalía has delivered her sixth (yes, sixth!) single of 2019. “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi” is another irresistible bop that features Puerto Rican star Ozuna, and the two join forces in the accompanying video, released on Thursday (August 15).

Unsurprisingly, it’s another effortlessly cool visual feast from the Spanish singer, who models an array of eye-popping looks: a floral-printed body suit, a pink fur coat, a flowery head piece, and long, rhinestone-studded nails. There’s a lot of slinky choreography and flirty chemistry with Ozuna, as the two pose together in a glass box while cameras flash around them, and Rosalía takes a fire-red whip out for a joy ride.

As for the song itself, it’s a romantic, reggaeton offering with a deceptively simple chorus (the title, translated from Spanish, means “me for you, you for me”). Check out the Cliqua-directed vid below.

“Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi” follows Rosalía’s “Aute Cuture,” “Fucking Money Man,” and the J Balvin-featuring global smash “Con Altura.” The latter hit is nominated for the Best Latin and Best Choreography prizes at the VMAs, and Rosalía is also up for Best New Artist. Get voting now, and see her hit the stage when the VMAs air live on August 26!

Pool Parties And Friend Dates Can’t Mend Wale’s Relationship In ‘On Chill’ Video

In July, Wale released “On Chill,” with Jeremih, a song about situationships, arguing, and most of all, understanding: understanding one’s place, understanding when your wrong, and understanding how to move forward. Today (August 15), the pair have released the video for the tune that covers all of it in a glossy filter. What does it take to get over an argument with a romantic partner when you two aren’t really together? Maybe you just need to chill.

The video begins with Wale and his partner not speaking with each other. They wake up, exchange glances, and go about their days: Wale gets ready to go to a pool party with while his partner goes on a date with a stranger. Wale’s shown to be having fun with the party’s guests, but there’s something on his mind dampening the mood: his partner’s anger. We’re then shown his partner hanging out with her friends, not even worrying about what Wale is doing. But they finally convene back at their house later where they make up in a steamy way. There aren’t any grand apologies or gestures of forgiveness – they just chill.

“On Chill” was produced by legendary R&B singer and producer Raphael Saadiq. In September, Wale will be embarking on the Everything Is Fine Tour that kicks off in Ford Lauderdale, Florida on September 20 and wraps up in Seattle, Washington on October 28.

Lil Nas X Wasn’t Planning On Coming Out At All — Here’s What Changed His Mind

When “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X first began going viral on the Internet, no one could’ve anticipated that it would soon become the longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 at what’s now 19 weeks. And although some music executives assumed that the track’s success would be fleeting, it stunned everyone when it beat out Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men‘s 1995 hit “One Sweet Day,” as well as Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber‘s 2017 single, “Despacito.” Still, no one was more shocked than Lil Nas X himself, who just last year was broke and sleeping on his sister’s floor.

Now, after what can only be described as a whirlwind several months for the country rapper, he revealed to Time that it feels like his success was simply meant to be. “Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” he said. “Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.” And while that may be true, there’s still a lot to be said for his hustle and his knack for getting attention on the Internet, which was a skill he didn’t know what to do with at first. “It was like, I’m able to go viral, but I’m not promoting anything that’s gonna help me,” he said. “Until music came along.”

(Noam Galai/Getty Images for BuzzFeed)

Once “Old Town Road” was complete, he had something to promote that he felt his followers could latch onto — especially because it fit in well with the resurgence of Western themes in pop culture, which the Internet dubbed the “yeehaw agenda.” So in an effort to get his very own yeehaw anthem heard, the rapper began creating memes to promote the song. It worked. “People were like, ‘Where are these memes coming from?'” he said. “If you see something going around the Internet, people want to join in.”

Fast forward through 19 weeks at No. 1, and Lil Nas X not only has a record-breaking hit that’s being played by everyone everywhere, but he’s out there living his best life as an openly gay man — despite originally having no plans to ever come out to the public. Initially, he feared that fans of country and hip-hop would stop supporting him if he did. “I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality,” he said. “… I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe.” But after feeling all the love radiating from this year’s Pride Month and “seeing couples holding hands,” he felt inspired to share his truth.

With “Old Town Road” still on top and Lil Nas X fully embracing his sexuality — whether it’s by joking with fans on Twitter or clapping back at homophobes — he’s not letting the meteoric success of the single cloud his judgment going forward. Sure, it feels good to see his song at No. 1 for so long, but he doesn’t intend on being a one-hit-wonder as some industry professionals have predicted. “Seeing digital numbers, it’s a good feeling,” he said. “It goes so quickly, though. You have to keep going.”