Kehlani is head over heels in love — and unafraid to gush about it on the new single, “Everything.” The track comes off the Grammy-nominated singer’s latest studio album, Blue Water Road, which was released Friday.
The accompanying music video for “Everything” finds Kehlani, who uses she/they pronouns, enjoying a wild night with friends, complete with a raucous house party and binge-watching movies. In an Instagram story, they called the clip “a rap video for a ballad” — and the strong 1990s hip-hop vibes are reflected everywhere from the costuming, dominated by black puffy jackets and white sneakers, to the massive group shots outside a liquor store and in parking lots. Yet glimpses of the song’s tender-hearted subject matter are scattered throughout the video; a harpist performs in the middle of a rowdy get-together, a female dancer twirls alone in a parking lot.
According to Kehlani, Blue Water Road “talks about love and coming into gayness,” they said in an interview with Byrdie in December — and that sentiment drives the main narrative on “Everything.” Against sweeping string arrangements and the laid-back soulful descending scales of a Rhodes piano, Kehlani expresses her admiration for a lover who’s “anything but conventional,” reflecting upon how the relationship has changed each for the better. “And how many girls out in the world can say that they had it?/And how many bitches that became your missus can maintain the status?,” they ask. “That was before me, it’s childish, you done with your wilin’/Now you can be wild with me, run that mile with me/Catch some flights out with me.”
“I want you to hear the time we put into it, the dedication we put into it, the joy we put into it, and the heart we put into it. There’s a serious pulse. I’m at peace now,” Kehlani said of Blue Water Road in a release. “I’m a completely different person than I could’ve been, even in my wildest dreams. When you listen to this, I really hope you feel like you went to Blue Water Road and were there with me.”