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  • Dan Caddigan

Review: "none of your business" - ego n friends

ego n friends' latest single, none of your business, is refreshingly stark in contrast to the prototypical pop break up song story arc. Rather than lyrically dwell on lost love, enf uses the quietus of an ex-partner as an opportunity to psychoanalyze himself and his journey; with the song acting as "the connective tissue between the artist's past and present selves". none of your business is an anecdote about ego's reincarnation of self, with the departure of his antipathetic ex-partner fitting within the narrative as a jumping off point for his voyage forth with a new lease on life. ego n friends chooses to sing purely about how much better off his story is going to be moving forward – "When I leave you Ima come up" – personifying just how far he has come as an individual and an artist.

none of your business opens up with what sounds like a depressed gospel choir of the future. The first minute or so of the song consists of deeply processed vocal stacks that, when combined together, play like chords of their own. This sort of layered processing can be heard in modern RnB artists like Brent Faiyaz, Giveon, or Miguel. After the first psychedelic minute of none of your business, ego's raw vocals are finally introduced – backed by occasional ad-libs and backing vocal takes. Other than the layers of processed vocals, the only instrumentation here is a clean guitar track that steadily strums some beachy chords to keep the tempo. The guitar accompanies ego's voice for a minute and a half of the arrangement, which features both two verses and two hooks. The long first verse is followed by a hook, another shorter second verse, and then closes out with one final ritornelle. The song wraps up after the final chorus with a callback to the pitched-down vocals from the intro, with the processed vocal stacks looping and reversing before stuttering to a halt to conclude the track.

Indie pop artist, ego n friends, is a Denver-based producer, audio engineer, and studio owner who produces, mixes, and masters all of his own music. Raised by Indian immigrant parents in the Bay Area, enf began playing guitar as a pre-teen and was "determined to pursue a career in music by the time he reached high school". His artist name, ego n friends, is an homage to "his vast network of collaborators, most of whom he considers close friends". ego's production style is self-described as "unexpected samples, a dynamic use of sonic space and a harmonious blend of acoustic and electronic tones". Heavily influenced by artists like Joji, Frank Ocean, Dominic Fike, and Col3trane, enf developed his iconic sound after experimenting "with a range of genres before ultimately finding his niche" in indie pop and alternative hip hop.

Written By Dan Caddigan


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