Number One Popstar has been close on EARMILK's radar since she released her last two singles. The artist, real name Kate Hollowell, continues to prove herself as a powerhouse, shaking up the music world with her fresh, unapologetic beats. Today, she shares another one, her new single "Forever 21." And no, it’s not about clothes.
"Forever 21" begins with a kicking beat, but subdued with reflective, twinkly keys. It’s a perfect mix of existential dread and dance. Carrying this vibe throughout, it breaks in between with a beaming guitar-driven bridge. Lyrically, the track makes us question why brands and media make it seem like our twenties are our prime, when we still have our whole lives ahead of us?
Despite the effervescent pop sound, Hollowell got vulnerable about her past and its effect on the song, saying, "I initially started writing 'Forever 21' when I found myself looking back on my early 20’s, wanting to recapture the hopeful and dumb feelings of my youth. But the longer I spent on the song, the more it became a reflection of the loss I faced when my parents passed away in my early 20s. I started looking at my own fear of death, of dying like them. I really didn’t know where my life was headed back then. […] I eventually turned that painful experience into a motivation to go after everything I wanted in life. To be seriously less serious, recognizing everything is fleeting.”
Like her other music videos, Hollowell likes to flip popular culture and societal expetations on their head. While also bringing the fear of aging to life, she also reminds audiences to stay present instead of holding on to youth.