Drama, elegance, grandeur, avant-garde, all these words apply to the glorious music that Rina Sawayama consistently puts out. Each belt is filled with an unrivalled amount of passion, her lyrics are pure poetry, each melody is artfully placed and her artistry is unmatched. From her debut to where she is now, she’s been one of the most underrated artists in the UK’s pop scene but, as time has gone on, we’ve seen her slowly climb the music industry mountain and begin her ascent to the top. Her upcoming record Hold The Girl is set to be a defining moment in her career and having unveiled four songs from it on her most recent EP, it’s safe to say that she’s creating an album of the year contender.
The ballad has made a resurgence these past few years with Lewis Capaldi and Joji spearheading the movement, now Sawayama is adding to it with the enrapturing single Phantom. Donned in all black, this is Sawayama mourning the loss of herself through her consistent need to please people. She’s pushed through her boundaries to make them happy but has lost apart of herself along the way, leaving her mind gallivanting around as she attempts to find the pieces of herself again. Her passionate performance intertwines with her self-reflective lyrics, resulting in a track that will have you looking back at the parts of yourself you sacrificed to appease others.
“I realised as an adult that I have spent my whole life pleasing other people and not realising it— constantly pushing my boundaries and not realising the difference between what I wanted to do and what other people wanted from me. Through the lyrics in the verse I’m trying to tell this story and then in the choruses I’m morning the loss of my real self.”