the black parade is the album i listen to when i’m so overwhelmed and hopeless that i feel like i’m dying. to me it’s a validation that what i’m going through is real and awful, but also a reminder at the end that i can make it through this. it doesn’t leave you miserable. it gives you hope.
are you searching for purpose? then write something, yeah it might be worthless then paint something, yeah it might be wordless pointless curses, nonsense verse you’ll see purpose start to surface no one else is dealing with your demons meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend
Is there a song on the record you were the most excited to put out/for fans to hear? 🌹
“13” and “Super Far.” I’ve been absolutely blown away by the love for “Hericane” and Tampa,” though. The respect and appreciation the whole album has received so far has really taken me by surprise. It means the world to see the songs connect with so many people.
Some MBTI Types in Female Artists (still sensing types to come)
DISCLAIMER: So basically as we all know typing celebrities is a relatively hard thing to do, to use the example of Stephen Colbert who was constantly typed as an ENTP by many websites, after taking the test on television his results was INFP. All that to say that these types might not represent the genuine type of these powerful divas but is what I think a conclusion I take from their career and lyrics and aesthetic or artistic choices. This post is just for funsies and not to be taken too seriously.
ENTP -Lily Allen
The queen of intelligent subversive sarcasm and poking fun at society while simultaneously having a strong message of progress. Lily Allen rose to prominence with her song “smile” which includes the very catchy phrase ‘when I see you cry, it makes me smile.’ that to me is perfect example of how an ENTP would take what could be cliche break-up song and with the oh-so-clever Ne-Ti combo make into some unique snarky phrase. Other songs from her first album also use the typical dark cynicism that ENTPs usually have, like LDN where she goes about her treasured city of London and exposes it for what it truly is with her dark commentary. Her next albums expand on ENTPs vision of the general big picture of society and what they (in this case Lily) believes should change. Her song knock-em-out talks about men’s persistent behavior in pubs and how they badger and pester girls so they have to come up with ridiculous excuses to get them out of their hair. Her most recent work has included more and more social commentary such as Hard Out Here, where there is a brilliant feminist message with air of satire at the same time, she even says in the song “if you can’t detect the sarcasm you’ve misunderstood”. If you are thinking Lily’s music it too emotional for her to be a thinking type, here’re some examples of how she knows what she’s about and doesn’t sugar coat things: Her song URL BADMAN, where she mocks bloggers in the UK who aspire to work for vice, and all they do is sit behind a computer and say ridiculous things about other people, kinda like I’m doing right now, except I’m cute and Lily would probably love me. Another song that exemplifies this is: Insincerely Yours, this song is a perfect example of how ENTPs love to tell the shocking truth in a more humorous way, ironically enough she says “I ain’t being funny” in the song but the truth is Lil, you are being funny.
Anyway, fight me on this, but Lily’s music to me is fabulously ENTP. Witty, intelligent, sarcastic, fun, deep, logical, and bold.
some other possible examples:
-Azealia Banks (unfortunately)
-Bianca Del Rio and Bob the Drag Queen
ENFP -Melanie Martinez
This one might be one of my more controversial typings, and I am not so sure of this typing myself, being that Melanie could be a variety of different things. One thing is for sure to me about bby Melmel; She is iNtuitive. Her whole album is deeply conceptual and it obvious that Melanie thrives and lives in her imagination. Now according to the cognitive functions iNtuition is very strong within ENFPs and ENTPs alike, being that it is their first function, of course INTJ and INFJ as well but there is a reason I chose Ne and not Ni. I say this because the other typing someone might automatically go to for Melanie is INFP, being that they are usually the freak of the bunch. But I beg to differ, Melanie wears her oddball flag proudly and loudly, although many even herself might identify her (or her music in this case) and an introvert I will beg to differ. Melanie created a whole world for herself with her debut album and though every song we get a glimpse of that world, and get taken on a bit of a journey as she personifies her feelings (her Fi in other words) as a character named Cry Baby. I can see this as a very ENFP thing to do, to intelligently personify your deep mysterious feelings in order to understand them better. Besides Cry Baby her album also pursues social commentary with songs like Mr. Potato-Head, criticizing the way we see beauty as a society. Now its true that her songs also have an tone of darkness, and that is not characteristically ENFP, regardless I still think it fits. I think a song like Soap adds to my Melanie being a extrovert theory, where she says more than she wanted too, because as an Ne-Fi dom you suffer from the paradox of being an outspoken person who also wants to keep your feelings to yourselves because their precious, or something like that. Another song that I think adds to my theory is Alphabet Boy, now in that song she describes a relationship with a douche who thinks hes smarter than her and is obviously pretentious af, and many times because of their relatively bubbly attitude ENFPs can come off a bit ditsy, but the truth is they are highly perceptive and usually quite intelligent. I mean in your face tho pretentious lil bitch that dated her lmao she dragged you with that song. Ne is characterized as having a general big picture of society and usually something to say about it, as an Idealist Melanie would have this, and in her Sippy Cup, she slays us all with her true commentary on society and families by using a fucking sippy cup analogy.
SO in conclusion Melanie teaches many things with her album, and to me shes a good example of an ENFP.
One might think that this would be one of the harder Divas to find being that INTJ women are rare, and INTJ isn’t usually automatically associated to music but rather world domination and or brooding home alone too tired of facing the general populations stupidity day in and day in, (because they don’t go out) But in all seriousness, BANKS doesn’t overtly empower females, like some of the other Divas do, I think it just oozes out of her with her logically coated songs. Now granted many of her songs focus on relationships and not something typical that an INTJ would focus on like how to find extra terrestrial life on other planets in order to become the king or queen of such planet. What convinced me though, is the fact that BANKS took her experience being a child of divorced parents, and did a thesis on it when earning her BA in Psychology. A great example of her INTJ-ness is her song Brain, where she says “Trying to look smart but not too smart to threaten anything they say” a perfect example of what an INTJ woman has to go through in a society that prefers Fe dominant females, not only that but what she probably experienced dating men more stupid than her, her whole life. A song that shows you should never fuck with an INTJ women is Goddess, that encapsulates the exact iron clad confidence that convinced me her music (and probably her tbh) is INTJ. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Ni dominance within INTJs usually gives them a sophisticated artistic (if they are artistically talented) cohesion in everything they do, and you can see that clearly in BANKS in how most of her music videos have the same style of monochrome cold sophistication. As well as her outfits, always the somber serious black, cold and intense. Now many may thing ‘Oh but INTJs were put here on earth by aliens and they don’t actually have feelings and BANKS does!!’ well let me tell you something my mistaken friend, they do. I know, shocker. They hide them well though, and they process them in unique ways much like BANKS does in her music. Her new album is proving my theory even more with songs like ‘’Fuck with myself’” which contains phrases I swear I’ve seen INTJs say IRL.
Fierce, mysterious, confident, intelligent, consistent, deep, logical, These qualities are very much BANKS, and very much INTJ, do the math, bitch.
other examples maybs:
-idk man I cant think of any, raincheck?
Aurora. She is a very recent artist, and I am proud to say I have been following her since she wasn’t too well known in America. She is sort of a prodigy of sorts with a wisdom beyond her years, but with an air of innocence about her still. To me she is the perfect example of an INFP. Her songs encapsulate the world of Fi that they create within their minds, her songs are inside the head of the ultimate idealist, but more than that they are of someone who is extremely imaginative. In “becoming Aurora"she basically confesses to her INFPness, with the opening quote of the video being “for me music has always been a way to understand myself and the world” I’m paraphrasing but as a lot of MBTI savvy people know, Fi is about self-discovery and having your sense of self deeply connected to whatever you do. She calls herself a sensitive person that is deeply affected by everything. That to me is the equivalent of screaming at the top of your lungs “IM A TORTURED INFP”. Ok granted that some other personalities are also deeply affected but she’s affected in a more ethereal way, she gets affected by the wrong doings of this earth because she lives in another dimension where people have butterfly wings and where humanity is noble. She recognizes that her songs are kinda dark but she also recognizes that there should be a kind of hope still. In the beginning of her career Katy Perry tweeted about her, and she was later asked if she was a fan of Katy's music in an interview to which she promptly said “no.” which is the clear INFP need to be authentic to what they like and who they admire. Her songs like Conquerer and Warrior show the INFP sense of bravery to fight for what they believe in, and when they decide to do so they are very brave and indeed warriors.
Sensitive, brave, unique, quiet, creative, actual fairys, fierce, spacey, childlike, wise, Aurora, is a glowing example of INFP magic.
another possible example of INFP;
-Florence + the machine
Hi, yes, I did just type Queen Bey as non Se dominant. I think this is one of the myths I want to eradicate. When did it become commonly accepted that Beyonce is Se dominant? How shallow was this assessment of her behavior? Real fucking shallow let me tell you. To me artists that are obviously Se dominant are artists like Britney Spears, or Rihanna, who don’t conceptualize too much. But Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has a vision, and it has been obvious the past all-of-her-career. Now yes yes Se dominant people can have visions but not as their primary mode of operating, its not immersed in everything they do like Beyoncé’s is. What is her vision you may ask? Empowerment. Empowerment for females, empowerment for African-Americans, empowerment for African-American females. Its to take her experience in the industry and in her life and use it to empower others to be victors of their situations. Since the early two thousands she’s been telling everyone who’s boss, she is. With songs like Diva she takes a word that can be used to belittle women and flips into an empowering song. Now what that demonstrates is someone who is Ni dominant, the cohesion that all of her albums have when viewed together is astounding, since the beginning of her solo career she has been giving the same message but in different ways. Now as we all know each album has its own theme but essentially the underlying message is the same. Her most recent albums have been extremely conceptual, and the genius in which she’s chosen to go about her marketing and releasing decisions are well thought out and deeply digested. Ni is taking the patterns you’ve observed in the world and subconsciously working on them in the back of your mind to fit your long term vision. When she released in the middle of the night her album Beyoné with many music videos with no marketing whatsoever it was a well thought out subversive creative decision and of course everyone loves to credit men, like her husband for those decisions but it’s obvious that her work has a mastermind behind it, and I am of the belief her INFJ-ass is that mastermind. With the visual album Lemonade, you see people trying to discredit the genius behind the work saying oh well Warsan Shire wrote the poetry blah blah, yes she may have helped, but the whole cohesion of the albums message was created by Beyonce. She knew exactly what she wanted to say, and she said it perfectly. INFJs are the classic example of the warrior who fights against injustice, and Beyoncé’s music is not arbitrary, it has a clear vision of what she wants to change in society in general, its not about the details of her experiences (si) its not about living for the moment (se) but its about how we all can work together to solve some critical issues in society in general (Ni-Fe).
The Queen is an INFJ, or at least her music and career seem to be. Holistic, harmonious, private, visionary, metaphorical, committed, deep, compassionate, seeks meaning.
Dear Lorde, I have a bone to pick with you. Before I do that I will say that’s a really weird expression. So my bone, is that you need to release new music. I can only listen to Pure Heroine so many times, Lorde. Lorde is an INTP. She is. Her music in Pure Heroine is full of alliteration, and writing techniques that is way beyond someone of your age at the time. As well as an album that isn’t primarily focused on relationships and love, which is what most girls your age I think might be singing about. (that was not a sexist statement being that statistically speaking most girls are ISFJ and relationships would be one of their primary interests) Ti is demonstrated in songs such as Royals, where she cleverly disses many things in popular culture while at the same time contrasting the rich life she observes on TV and her own mundane life. Even her album title Pure Heroine is a clever classic Ti play on words. She likes to be the boss of her own aesthetic to directing her own music videos, and having a very cohesive style. Everyone loves to tease her “awkward” dancing and facial expressions, but I just think its classic INTP, known for not being 100% aware that they are a physical being in a physical world. And also I think her self-expression in her dancing is fabulous, and unique, but that’s besides the point. Lorde is primarily a rational being, which is why I think she’s handled so much criticism fairly well for someone so young, to contrast her and J-biebz who does not take criticism well and reacts emotionally, or even her biffle T-swizz who also reacts fairly emotionally. One of the most memorable lines from her album to me is “Im kind of over getting told to throw my hands up air, so there” why did I like that line so much? because turn on the radio and you have some Se dom telling you to throw your hands up in there, and live in the moment. Sorry Se dom, people like Lorde and I, can’t seem to get out of our heads and imaginations. Are we better than you because of it? No, but there are more of you than there are of us so be happy. Lorde’s talent and skill I would say is primarily Lyrics, her lyrics analyze the patterns around her and what she’s experienced and she cleverly phrases them in a unique way. Her music is innovative, and intelligent, and I’ve revisited Pure Heroine so many times I have memorized every song practically. I will also add that Lorde’s songs are mostly metaphorical, which is where the Ne comes in. She lives alternatively not concretely.
Lorde has a sharp tongue and is a ingenious, independent, original, analytical, curious, critical, logical, witty, and speculative young artist.
ENFJ -Lianne La Havas
Lianne, is a put together woman. Her voice is smooth and her lyrics are delicious. Focused on her relationships she soars through her songs in her new album going through stories and concepts and beautifully describing her put together ENFJness. “Grew a thicker skin, and now its wearing thin” Ok, so everybody who is close to an Fe dominant will have realized by now they carry the weird juxtaposition of being ruthless and opinionated but at the same time being sensitive and to the harmony in the environment, they will call you out, but in a magical mama way, so its ok. If you are looking to feel like you are doing everything right in your relationship and that you are floating in a cloud of love listen to her songs on a loop, from songs like ‘Elusive’ to ‘unstoppable’ she describes shiny diamond encrusted relationships that are something only an ENFJ can accomplish. Their state of total love for their relationships is something you see in her songs constantly as well as the emotional intelligence ENFJs usually have. ENFJs are very much masters of their own fate, and that fate usually is attained by their hard work, vision, people skills, and in Liannes case, a voice that is smoother than liquid gold. If you doubt that she is an ENFJ for any reason, just listen to her songs, really listen. It is about believing in her partners, believing in who they are and supporting and being in love with them, expressed through her metaphors and long term vision. Like the song “What you don’t do”.
An angel brought to earth to grace us with her compassion, vision, relationship focused, diplomacy, creativity and her warm nature. Lianne is an ENFJ icon.
-Corrine Bailey Ray
-Adele (her music her personality i think is ENTJ)
Warnings: Mentions of death, dark themes, generally kind of sad at times. If you are concerned that it may be triggering for you, please feel free to message me about it and I can let you know in more detail exactly what happens <3
Namjoon was a (relatively speaking) normal music producer moving up in the world–until he became a ghost. With no memory of what happened, and no idea what he’s doing still on earth, he haunts his old apartment–consequently bothering its new inhabitant (who also happens to be the only person who can see or hear him).
CHAPTER WARNING: There is nothing happy in this part, no jokes. It ended up very glum, I’m sorry. If you’re at all concerned about it triggering you, please message me and we can talk about it, or I would be happy to give you a summary of what happens so future parts will make sense <3
It didn’t take long to find everything you needed, Namjoon knew his computer well, and it was all saved to the thumb drive within fifteen minutes.
“Let’s get out of here.” You said, closing the laptop once more before looking over to where Namjoon was staring blankly at a poster on the wall. “Namjoon?” You prompted, making your way over to him. You recognized the poster, it was for a band that was huge at the moment–though you couldn’t quite remember the name.
“I produced the album that put them on the charts.” He said, his voice detached. “Even wrote a few of the songs.”
“Impressive.” You said, unsure of why Namjoon sounded so sad about this fact.
“I spent so much of my time making other peoples music.” Namjoon said, more to himself than to you. “Since my senior year of high school, I worked non stop. Spent all day studying and all night writing. And what do I have to show for it?” He let out a humorless laugh. “Not a single damn thing.”
“I’m sure that’s not true.” You said gently.
“I always thought there’d be more time. I could make my album later, spend time with my parents later. Be somebody, later.”
“You certainly made an impression on your friends. They loved you a lot.” That much was clear to you, and you hoped that Namjoon could see it too.
Namjoon shook his head, but didn’t say anything more. The two of you stood in silence for a moment, before there was a light knock on the door and Jungkook stuck his head inside.
“Sorry, I just…”
“It’s fine.” You gave him a smile, grateful that you were long finished with Namjoons laptop. If Jungkook had walked in as you were transferring files, you had no idea how you would explain it. “I was about to leave.”
Jungkook nodded. “We–Me, Taehyung and Yoongi–were going to see Namjoon today. You know, tell him how life has been. Taehyung says he can hear us, I don’t know… But anyway, I wanted to know if you’d like to come along?”
The offer was heartbreaking. You wished there was some way to tell Jungkook the truth, some way to explain to him who you really were and why you were there. But you couldn’t, you knew that. You also knew that if you went with them, even if Yoongi didn’t call the cops, you would be intruding on something that you had no business in.
“Jungkook–that’s really sweet of you to offer, but I…” Namjoon looked close to tears, and then suddenly, he was gone. He disappeared through the wall, abandoning you with Jungkook. “I don’t think I can today.” You finished, trying not to look as startled as you felt. “I wish I could–really I do, but…”
“Don’t worry about it.” Jungkook gave you a quick smile. “I get it. There are days I can’t be there, either. Maybe another time.”
“Definitely.” You agreed. Namjoon was such a pain in the butt, you had no idea how he had such kind, understanding friends.
“I should get going, then.” Jungkook took a step towards the door. “But let me know if there’s anything else I can do.”
“Thank you–Oh, and Jungkook?” He was halfway through the door when you called his name, raising an eyebrow in question. “Could you not mention my being here to Yoongi?”
“Yeah. Absolutely. Is there a reason why?” You could see why Yoongi was so protective of Jungkook–he was sweet, trusting, and gullible. It was going to get him into trouble someday.
“Yoongi and I have a… Complicated relationship, if you know what I mean?” You weren’t even sure what you meant, but you hoped Jungkook would jump to enough conclusions not to ask too many more questions.
“Not really.” He shook his head. “But don’t worry. As far as Yoongi knows, you were never here.” He gave you one last innocent smile before he was gone, leaving you completely alone in Namjoons office.
“You should have gone with them.” You said when you returned to your apartment. Namjoon was laying across the couch watching some sappy movie. You knew the movie wasn’t why his cheeks were damp, but you weren’t about to ask him if he’d been crying–he’d tell you if he wanted to talk about it.
“Why? So I wouldn’t be here, bothering you?” Namjoon asked, his voice bitter.
“Because they’re at your grave talking to thin air while you could actually be listening to them.” You huffed, sitting down where his feet hovered. He didn’t complain like he usually did, however, just moved them out of the way.
“And what good would that do?” Namjoon asked. “I can’t even water a damn house plant, what good would it do them for me to be there?”
You wanted to argue, but couldn’t think of anything to say. “You should get started on finishing your music.” You said, putting the USB drive with all his songs on the coffee table. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
You left him sitting there, choosing to make dinner rather than sit with the moping ghost. There wasn’t anything more you could do for him for the time being, you knew that. All you could do was hope that releasing his music would let his soul rest.
“I want food.” Namjoon said from over your shoulder as you poured soup into a bowl. “I know I’m dead and all, but I think I must have died hungry and stayed that way.”
Without saying anything, you got down another bowl out of the cabinet, filling it with soup as well. Then, you carried both bowls over to the table along with two spoons.
Namjoon watched in silence, eventually seeming to figure out what you were doing. “Is that for me?” He asked, floating over to where you sat.
“No, it’s for the other ghost in my apartment.” You said, taking a careful sip of the hot broth. “Sit. It’ll get cold.”
“Thank you.” Namjoon said, so quietly it was almost inaudible as he sat across from you.
“No problem.” You said, looking up from your food to give him a smile. But when you did so, he was much more faint than you had ever seen him.
“I made a website.” Namjoon floated so he was directly in front of the TV, blocking your view. It had been a week since you stole Namjoons music files, and you were finally realizing that police weren’t going to come knocking on your door to arrest you.
“Yippee.” You deadpanned. “Now move.”
“I’m going to make a youtube channel too.” Namjoon continued. “And soundcloud. But first, I need a name.”
“You have a name.” You blinked, picking up the remote and turning off the TV so you could hear Namjoon better. He was easier to see now, but his voice still wasn’t as loud as usual. Was it possible for ghosts to get sick?
“No, I need a stage name. I can’t publish something as me–I’m dead, remember?”
“Didn’t you have some kind of stage name before?” You asked. “Or one you were going to use when you finished your album?”
“Yeah, but it was my producing name, Runch Randa.”
“Can’t use that…” You muttered. Too many people would could potentially recognize the name, it would look suspicious.
“Right. So I was thinking, I rap, right?”
“Okay.” You shrugged. You had yet to hear any of Namjoon finished music, he was keeping it a secret until it was done and published.
“And I’m a ghost. So what if I called myself Rap Ghost.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” You shook your head, unable to stop the laughter bubbling up.
The next day, Namjoon informed you that his music was done, and he was ready to click upload. You could see the fear in his eyes, even though Namjoon was smiling.
“Do you want me to do it?” You asked, sitting down next to him at the computer that evening. You noticed that the name Rap Monster was by the title of the song. It seemed like a very Namjoon name.
“Well, I can’t with you watching me anyway…” Namjoon shrugged, and you nodded. You moved the mouse, clicked the button, and waited.
“I’m not gone.” Namjoon said flatly.
“That was just Youtube.” You said, switching tabs. You felt a sudden rush of relief as you spoke, however. Namjoon wasn’t gone, and you were grateful for it. “Maybe soudcloud?” You uploaded the songs there, and once again, Namjoon stayed. He crossed his arms, frowning at the screen.
“Maybe people have to hear it.” Namjoon said after a second. You left the room so he could share it to twitter, reply to people with links, tweet it to as many people as he could.
But an hour later, he came floating through the wall to sit with you on your bed.
“I’m still here.” He sighed. “So you’re going to be stuck with me for a while longer.”
“We’ll figure something out.” You said at his sad expression. “You won’t be stuck here forever. I promise.”
“What if I like being stuck here?” He asked quietly.
“Then you’re welcome to stay as long as you want.” You said, the words even surprising you a little as they left your mouth. But you found that you meant it, and the more you thought about it, the more you were sure you were going to miss Namjoon when he was gone.
The views on Namjoons songs rose at an alarming speed, and you couldn’t believe how many comments they were getting. Though, you could understand why. The whole album (though you weren’t sure if it really was an album since you couldn’t buy it anywhere) was full of relatable songs about anything from heartbreak to equality issues to money problems.
“Namjoon, these songs aren’t half bad.” You called into the other room, and Namjoon stuck his head through the door.
“I know.” He said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to release them if they were crap.”
But his cheeks turned a light pink, and once again, he became more translucent. You frowned. “Namjoon?” You asked slowly, closing your laptop. “Are you feeling alright?”
Namjoon stepped further into the room, confusion on his face. “I’m feeling normal, I think.” He said with a shrug. “Why?”
“You’re…” Your voice trailed off. “I can see through you.”
“Yeah, I’m a ghost. Can’t you always see through me?”
You shook your head. “No. Sometimes you’re as solid as if you were… Well, solid. But sometimes…” Even as you spoke, he faded in and out, sometimes hardly even an outline before coming back. “But maybe that’s a normal ghost thing.”
“Are you worried?” Namjoon said teasingly, approaching the bed where you sat.
“No.” You said quickly.
“You are, aren’t you?” Namjoon smiled brilliantly, leaning down so he was eye level with you. “But you shouldn’t be. I’m dead, so it’s not like anything bad can happen to me.”
“Oh, go away.” You waved your hand as though you were going to put it through his face and he stepped back quickly, but his smile didn’t budge.
“Am not.” You opened your laptop once more, trying your best to pretend you didn’t hear the laughter coming from the ghost standing in your bedroom.
“I don’t understand it, how the hell could this happen?” Yoongi was on the edge of losing it, Namjoon could tell. He had decided to check in on the production team on a whim, and now he thought it might be because they were talking about him (Was that a thing? Could people summon him? He had no idea).
“How should I know?” Jimin shook his head. “Are you sure it’s really his?”
“Positive.” Yoongi drummed his fingers on the meeting room table. “Jungkook, you recognize Namjoons music too, don’t you?”
Jungkook nodded wordlessly, staring at the wood of the table as though answers were written there.
“So you’re telling me,” Jimin said. “That somehow, someone got their hands on Namjoons unfinished songs–ones that only the two of you and Taehyung knew he was even writing–finished them, and posted them online under a different name as their own.”
“Yes.” Yoongi growled. “I can prove it, too. They’re all still on Namjoons laptop in his office.”
“Yeah? And how did this person find his music, or even know to look for it? It had to have been posted somewhere.”
“It wasn’t.” Jungkook said quietly, his eyes still wide. “He only ever saved it to his computer, and a backup he kept under his desk.”
“If what you’re saying is true.” Jimin rubbed his eyes. “Then it had to be someone in this building–no one else has access to his computer, or office for that matter. And it’s only the two of you who knew he was working on an album, so…” Jimin looked between the two.
“If you’re suggesting it was one of us, you can go to hell.” Yoongi said.
“There isn’t anyone else it could be.” Jimin ran a hand through his hair.
“There is one person.” Jungkook said, looking like he might cry. “But she wouldn’t do that. She wouldn’t steal Namjoons music. Would she?” He looked up slowly, and Namjoon had no idea how he was going to fix this.
A/N This was more angsty than normal, I feel like. I’m sorry. This is definitely one of the saddest/darkest things I’ve written, but believe it or not, I have a happy ending planned (I think it’s happy, anyway). There’s just a lot of angst before we get there. I’m going to keep dropping hints about it though, haha. Thank you for reading! And as always, let me know how you feel about it! I hope it didn’t make anyone too sad, and if it did, feel free to yell at me <3 <3 <3
(first off I’m sorry bc I honestly have no one to talk to about this but) DID U SEE THE ZACH SANG INTERVIEW BLESS THIS BOY HE ACTUALLY ASKED RELEVANT SHIT ABOUT BTS AND NAMJOON WAS JUST SO HAPPY THROUGHOUT😊😊😊😊😊 American interviewers take note bc bts is more than just a boy band
I knoooow!!!! I woke up to that interview and I was just smiling in bed hahaha. I can only imagine how excited and relieved they were to finally get some substantial questions.
I understand why the majority of interviews have been basic for them. America doesn’t know who BTS is, so they’re trying to introduce them in the most basic of ways to let people know who they are. The celeb crushes and things like that are for people to see that they have common ground with them even though they’re from a foreign country.
The whole ‘English album’ thing is also to be expected because for years and years, English has been the dominating language and everyone communicates in it on an international level. That’s why America and the West are wondering 1) how they got so popular when not singing in English and 2) will they ever join the English singing crowd. I think it’ll be extremely fun to watch the West realize that music truly does transcend language.
Up on the 65th floor of New York’s Rockefeller Centre, in the hallowed surroundings of the historic Rainbow Room, everything is dazzling.
The view – a straight shot ten blocks south to the Empire State Building – is so picture-perfect as to look almost unreal; the décor, all mirrors, chandeliers, and oversized candelabras, speaks to an infinitely more glamorous age (the room opened in 1934 and was the spot for society functions), and the well-heeled crowd of models and music-industry sorts is merrily enjoying free-flowing martinis.
The most dazzling element in the room, however, is erupting from the woman on stage, clad in a gold sequined column dress: Kelly Clarkson’s astonishingly powerful, soulful voice, reminiscent of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and, more latterly, Beyoncé.
Back in 2002, aged 20, Kelly was the inaugural winner of American Idol, the US iteration of Pop Idol, forerunner to The X Factor. Her first single ‘Before Your Love’ went to the top of the charts. Now 35, she has sold more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles worldwide, and won three Grammys and three MTV Video Music Awards, among myriad other prizes. She also performed at Barack Obama’s second-term inauguration in 2013, singing ‘My Country, ’Tis of Thee’.
And for a truly contemporary symbol of the American Dream – that ‘life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement’, as defined by the writer James Truslow Adams three years before the Rainbow Room opened – there could be few better examples than Kelly Clarkson.
Two days later we meet in the only slightly less impressive offices of Atlantic Records in Midtown Manhattan. Thanks to an appearance earlier this morning on the US breakfast television programme Today, Kelly has been up since 3.30am. ‘If I were a dude, I’d just stroll in with my hat, somebody would powder me and then I’d go on stage. Being a girl, it’s two hours in wardrobe and make-up,’ she observes in her rich, roiling Texan twang. ‘It takes Harry Potter magic to make this happen,’ she adds, motioning to her mane of blow-dried hair and the dramatic make-up she has not yet removed.
She might have the voice of a diva, but her personality – open, chatty and delightfully self-deprecating – is anything but. Having spent her career thus far at RCA Records (as part of a deal with American Idol), the past 15 years have seen Kelly pump out pop-rock hits such as ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’ and ‘Since U Been Gone’, as well as ballads such as ‘Because of You’.
‘I love pop rock and I love pop ballads, so it wasn’t completely miserable, but I just filled that lane for the powers that be,’ she says, with no hint of bitterness. ‘It was like an arranged marriage. I was on American Idol and RCA had the contracts for whoever won the show, so it’s not as though they handpicked me either. And because I was on the first series, I didn’t know any different, so my expectations were nothing.’
Does she think, I ask, that there’s more pressure on female artists to be moulded into a neatly commercial package? ‘Aesthetically, yes, much more for women,’ she says. ‘But musically, it’s the same for both men and women. I have a lot of male friends whose labels wanted them to sound like whatever they felt was going to make them money.’
Kelly’s new album Meaning of Life, which will be released later this month, however, is in a very different vein to her previous output. ‘I wanted to make an album that sounded like my influences, the women who inspired me to be who I am now: Aretha, Whitney, Bonnie Raitt, Mariah Carey, Reba McEntire, Rosemary Clooney, Bette Midler,’ she enthuses. ‘That’s what I grew up on and I think it bleeds out of me naturally.’
This month she will be returning to where it all began, the television talent contest – though this time on the other side of the fence – as she begins filming for the 14th series of the US edition of The Voice, where she will be one of the coaches alongside country music star Blake Shelton and Adam Levine of Maroon 5. It’s an opportunity she has been offered several times, but had to pass up because of pregnancies. (She and her husband of four years Brandon Blackstock, who is also her manager, have two children, River Rose, three, and Remington Alexander, one. ‘That’s it, no more,’ she assures me firmly.)
In an era of YouTube, in which would-be stars can upload demos to their channel and reach an audience without the middleman, is there still a place for the television talent show? Kelly believes so. ‘It’s a platform that reaches millions of homes every week,’ she says. ‘And there’s an investment on the part of the public. They feel as though they are involved in the journey; they got to choose an artist, help make an album. They have a sense of ownership in a positive way.’
There is, however, a less positive sense of ownership, too. Throughout Kelly’s career she has endured endless commentary about her appearance, every weight fluctuation scrutinised and criticised. She is finally answering the trolls with a track on the new album: the upbeat, enormously catchy ‘Whole Lotta Woman’.
Though it’s the first time Kelly has tackled the subject of body image, she has always explored personal topics in her songs. She wrote her 2005 single ‘Because of You’ when she was 16 as a way to channel her distress at her parents’ divorce a decade earlier and her lack of relationship with her father since. ‘Piece by Piece’, released in 2015, is its sequel, the ‘happy ending’ in which she pays homage to Brandon, who restored her faith in love and family.
Introducing ‘Whole Lotta Woman’ at her Rainbow Room showcase, Kelly referenced ‘all the fat jokes over the years’ and the criticism levelled at women: ‘Too skinny, too fat, too blonde – so much blah. This is who I am and I’m happy,’ she declared. ‘Happy looks different on everyone.’
‘The media has always been obsessed with it [her size],’ she says. ‘And I have felt conflicted over the years. Do you address it? Do you talk about it? Because then you just add to the noise. But people like me to talk about it, so I don’t really mind carrying that flag. I love that people come up to me and say: “Because you are comfortable in your skin, you have made me more comfortable in mine.” That’s the best compliment ever.’
Kelly grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of Jeanne, a teacher, and Stephen, a former engineer, with a sister, Alyssa, who is seven years older, and a brother, Jason, ten years older. Kelly’s parents divorced when she was six. Stephen left, taking Jason with him; Alyssa was sent to live with an aunt, while Kelly remained with her mother. ‘My brother and sister experienced the divorce in a very different way than I did,’ she says. ‘The only memories I have from that time are not good ones. But being a mother now and looking back and seeing what my mother went through with zero help: she got married straight out of high school, then put herself through college; she had no family around her, three children and no child support…’ Kelly tails off, looking horrified.
From six, she had no contact with her father, but in recent years, she says, she gave their relationship ‘three solid chances’ – none of which worked out. ‘I’m not angry or bitter or unhappy about it,’ she continues. ‘A lot of people stepped up and filled those parental roles for me. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who keep hurting you.’
She also didn’t get to know her sister and brother until she was 18, when her brother married and the siblings reconnected. ‘It’s really lovely to have that relationship as adults and we’re best friends now.’
Money at home was tight, but Kelly was able to indulge her passion for singing at church and at school, where she sang in the choir and, later, in musicals. She was, it seems, always fiercely driven and ambitious – perhaps too much so at points. She confesses to a short period in high school when she was on the verge of developing an eating disorder, triggered by frustration at not getting the parts she craved. ‘I felt: what can I do? I’ve worked my ass off vocally. I’ve done everything I can acting-wise to get this part. I don’t know what else to do at this point. I started to think: well, maybe it’s me – maybe I can change something.’
After Kelly left school, she sent a demo to record labels but had no luck, so in 2001 she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her ambitions there, but was turned away from all the major labels for sounding ‘too black’.
It was friends who encouraged her to audition for the inaugural series of American Idol. Her hopes did not extend beyond getting paid a small sum for taking part. ‘You see a sense of entitlement in a lot of the contestants now because they know it [stardom] can happen,’ she says. ‘I feel lucky that I didn’t know; I did not have any expectations.’
Though her life today looks very different, Kelly is the first to admit that combining a music career with motherhood is far from a breeze. ‘For any working parent it’s always a tug of war,’ she says. ‘You prioritise your children, but it is important to show them that you’re capable of being a healthy family while also being successful in your own right.’
Brandon has two older children from a previous marriage, aged 16 and ten. ‘Luckily I’m from a blended family, so I understand it from their side, too,’ says Kelly. When her mother remarried (she would subsequently divorce again), Kelly inherited five stepbrothers, then, later, two half-brothers on her father’s side, whom she has met only a handful of times.
What concerns her more is the challenge of instilling the resilience she developed in her own children. ‘I have very privileged kids. They fly private a lot, they meet amazing people, they go to incredible places that others only dream of,’ she says. River Rose even has a series of books named after her, penned by Kelly, the second of which, River Rose and the Magical Christmas, will be published this winter.
‘I think sometimes when people come from such a privileged background it might be hard to develop that thick skin. But we’re both very strict with them,’ she says. ‘We don’t have one good cop – we’re both disciplinarians.’
For years Kelly split her time between Texas and Nashville, but she is now firmly based in the latter, where she and Brandon own a farm. ‘We spend all our downtime on projects there and we now have honeybees and chickens and a little orchard that we just planted. We are trying to have less of a footprint and become as self-sustaining as possible.’
It’s a far cry from the whirlwind of the music business and Kelly admits to still harbouring Broadway ambitions. ‘It’s a big dream of mine, but I don’t know that I could live here [in New York] that long, especially in winter,’ she sighs, gazing out of the window. ‘Could I do a show just in the spring or autumn, do you think?’
One element of her Texas roots that she retained until recently, however, was an allegiance to the Republican party: she came out in support of the then presidential hopeful Ron Paul in 2011. ‘I am not a Republican,’ she says today. ‘I’ve been more of a Democrat in recent years. I’m for the best person to run the show and I definitely didn’t vote for this guy [Donald Trump],’ she adds vehemently. ‘But he won, so we need to get some great people around him to make better decisions.’
The fact that he is a fellow alumnus of reality TV, having gained most recognition on The Apprentice, does not endear him to Kelly. ‘Life has become a reality TV show and I don’t want to be in suspense about what’s going to happen next week,’ she says of his presidency.
The family seems well set up to deal with whatever does happen next, however. Brandon is a hunter, she tells me, ‘so we have five freezers full of game. If the end of the world does arrive and you’re hungry, come to us.’