slowthai never fails to create, surprise and inevitably blow everyone away — achieving just that with a one-of-a-kind album announcement.
Shared alongside the release of “Selfish” on Jan. 25, marking his first single in nearly two years, slowthai disclosed that his third album, UGLY — an acronym for U Gotta Love Yourself — will be dropping on March 3. The title is announced in part as a tattoo below his left eye, displayed as the focal point of the album cover.
More recently, slowthai shared the second single off of UGLY with “Feel Good,” delivering an unexpected, indie rock, uplifting anthem. Leading with a self-sampled hook as he repeats, “I feel so good,” slowthai fuels his sadness into something brighter. Speaking on the meaning of the track, he shared, “i wrote ‘Feel Good’ when i didn’t feel good, when i didn’t feel like much at all but i knew i needed something, a mantra to be able to tell myself that i could make a change. if you wake up and you’re having a bad day i hope this turns you around and makes you FEEL GOOD.”
“Feel Good” also arrived with an incredibly heartwarming music video, as the directorial duo of THE REST and *UNCANNY filmed the live reaction of 35 fans not only getting an exclusive early listen of the track, but a surprise visit from slowthai himself.
For the first single, “Selfish,” slowthai arrived at a sound that we can expect more of with the album, tying grunge influences into his boisterous hip-hop style. Throughout the track, his lyrics vulnerably explore the significance of selfishness in his life, from the opening verse where he raps, “Practice gratitude, yeah, I’m thankful for the life that I lead / I kiss my son before I put him to sleep,” until the very last line, as he repeats, “Thinkin’ for myself, I’m just thinkin’ for myself.”
“Selfish” also came with a video by THE REST and *UNCANNY, channeling the self reflection and anger of the track. The one shot video features him in an enclosed room of two way mirrors, where he resided for 24 hours, as he becomes increasingly agitated.
UGLY marks a new era for slowthai — again — after the British artist reinvented himself on his last album, TYRON, amidst navigating the mental health struggles that he carried during his early career. Speaking on this growth, slowthai shared, “The first album (Nothing Great About Britain) was the sound of where I’m from and everything I thought I knew. The second album (TYRON) is what was relevant to me at that moment in time, the present. And this album is completely me — about how I feel and what I want to be… it’s everything I’ve been leading up to.”
The album is set to contain a little bit of everything, boasting collaborators such as Dan Carey, Kwes Darko, Ethan P. Flynn, Jockstrap’s Taylor Skye, Beabadoobee guitarist Jacob Bugden, drummer Liam Toon, and Fontaines D.C..
“This album was me trying to emulate the spirit of the brotherhood ethos that bands have,” slowthai shared on the process. “Music is about the feeling and emotion that goes into it. Like an artist making a painting, it’s the expression of that moment in time. I really felt like I didn’t want to rap, whereas before, rap was the only way I could express myself with the tools I had. Now that I have more freedom to create and do more, why wouldn’t we change it up?”slowthai on “UGLY”
As he continues to evolve and grow as not only an artist, but as a person too, only time will tell what is in store for slowthai. “It doesn’t matter what or who people think you are, you’ve just got to stay true and respect yourself,” he said. “I have UGLY tattooed on my face because it’s a reminder to love myself, rather than put myself down constantly or feel the impression people have of me should determine who I am as a person.”
“At the end of the day, the art I make is for myself, and the music I make is for myself, if I enjoy it then who gives a fuck,” he continued. “So, the way I should live my life should be without any expectations of anyone else. I think it’s something that we all need to hear because everyone needs a smile, and everyone needs a bit of joy and you need to look in yourself to really feel it because no one else can give you the real feeling.”
Check out “Selfish” and “Feel Good” below, and stay tuned for UGLY, out March 3!