By: Yelin Gemma Lee, Arts & Culture Editor
To be honest, I’m not a huge beach person because I’m a wimp when it comes to direct sunlight. If I want a tan in the summer, I want to be outside doing sports rather than lying there in my bathing suit and feeling like the UV rays are eating me alive. But when I do go a few times in summer it has to be a whole production and I end up having a great time. These are some of my favourite songs to hype me up while getting ready and driving to the beach with the windows down.
“Put You On” by Amber Mark, Shelley FKA DRAM
Photo Credit: PMR Records & Virgin EMI Records
This song never fails to brighten my mood. Whether you’re listening to this while packing for a weekend trip, doing some seasonal cleaning, or listening to music at the beach, you won’t be able to resist the urge to dance. Amber Mark’s strong androgynous voice in this song is paired with Shelley FKA DRAM’s old-school slower rap in this song. A catchy beat will immediately have you grooving and the lyrics are easy to sing along to.
“Body Count” (feat. Normani & Kehlani) Remix by Jessie Reyez
Photo Credit: Universal Music
If you’re looking for a new queer bop about woman empowerment for the summer, these singers have come together to bring you one groovy jam. Jessie Reyez has such a unique and dynamic voice, which sounds like she is both rapping and singing at the same time. Remixed with Normani and Kehlani’s voices, this song takes several level-ups. The lyrics sound like one big roast on controlling and insecure men. One of my favourite lines is when Normani sings, “You think you made me? You funny, you know that? You funny, boy / You were birthed by a woman, show some fucking respect.”
“Everybody Watching” by Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, Miguel
Photo Credit: Death Row Records
This song is sunshine and summertime encapsulated. The lyrics are so simple but the vibes make me picture myself biking along the beachside somewhere with palm trees, where it feels like summer all year long. This is a power trio of some of my favourite artists of all time. My favourite part of the song is when they sing, “Is it the sun on your skin? / Or the light in the wind? / Who knows.” I love this song not for its lyrics in particular but for how these simple words are sung. The production of the song gives off a breezy and carefree vacation vibe. The song closes with Snoop Dogg’s iconic voice saying, “Yes sir, I hope you’re enjoyin’ this music brought to you by,” which is just the cherry on top of this sweet refreshing sundae of a song.
“Nothing’s for Sure” by Nao
Photo Credit: Little Tokyo Recordings
Nao has such an amazing vocal range and a beautiful charismatic voice. I love everything she puts out into the world, but this song has a special place in my heart. “Nothing’s for Sure” is a groovy philosophical song about letting go of things you can’t control and going with the flow of life. A great principle for life in general but paired with production that has a tropical-island vibe it feels perfect for summer. I can picture myself reading a book at the beach or drinking sangria on a patio to this song. Nao croons in the chorus, “Nothing’s for sure / Just let the moment take you on its wings / Nothing’s for sure / Just go with the flow, let your spirit run free.” These lyrics feel therapeutic to hear from her sweet voice: it’s the perfect song to help me chill out.