Brent Faiyaz on “Gravity” Puts Listeners into Orbit

Brent+Faiyaz+on+%22Gravity%22+Puts+Listeners+into+Orbit

Claire McHugh, Contributing Writer

In his first single of 2021, Brent Faiyaz joins forces with DJ Dahi and Tyler, the Creator to compose the dreamy track “Gravity,” which focuses on the difficulties of navigating long distance relationships that might be spinning out of orbit. The entire song feels otherworldly; Steve Lacy’s repeated guitar melody paired with the driving kick of the drums creates a nebulous atmosphere. Of course, references to outer space are interspersed throughout the track, adding to the feeling that Faiyaz has transported the listener from Earth to another planet. Parts of the vocals are pitched down, contrasting with the delicate spin of Faiyaz’s melodic narrative. “Gravity” grapples with the complexities of a dynamic in which one individual appears to want loyalty and stability, while the other contends with the responsibilities of a job that does not leave much room for physical or emotional commitment.

Both Brent Faiyaz and Tyler, the Creator address the hardships that arise when their lives on tour begin to strain home-based relationships. While Faiyaz acknowledges that his lover has “held me up when I was down and out,” he insists that “feelings don’t catch me now (down).” The contrast between the fidelity of a long-term relationship and the instinct to avoid responsibility and obligation is reflected in the thoughtful, contemplative lyrics paired with the hypnotically beautiful instrumentals. Although Faiyaz’s lyrics express a strong sense of appreciation and trust for his partner, he simultaneously maintains hesitancy to commit to something that expects genuine permanence. Tyler, the Creator’s verse demonstrates similar emotions of missing a lover from far away, especially when physical barriers prevent connection for long periods of time.

However, despite the complex subject matter, the charming lull of the instruments and vocals keep the tone of the song graceful and light, never weighing it down with its own introspection. I enjoyed this track, particularly as a college-aged student. The reality of determining whether something will withstand long-term commitment and authenticity can be a deeply relatable experience at the age of 20, when your future is still wide open and unknown in many ways. Faiyaz’s lyrics provide insight about the perspective of not only an artist and traveler, but also a young person discovering new possibilities and appreciating each encounter as it comes and goes —  a lesson that I find deeply relevant in the stages of early adulthood that lend themselves to exploration and adventure. “Gravity” is a smooth, atmospheric track that incorporates many relatable elements in Faiyaz and Tyler, the Creator’s space-themed lyricism. Fans of Tyler, the Creator, Steve Lacy, Kendrick Lamar, or even Travis Scott might like this song — DJ Dahi has worked with Lamar and Scott in the past, and Tyler, the Creator and Steve Lacy collaborated on a few tracks off Tyler’s 2017 album “Flower Boy.” “Gravity” feels as if  “911 / Mr. Lonely” had an older, mellower, and less starry-eyed brother (no pun intended). “Gravity” balances a sense of maturity and lightheartedness that makes it an easily enjoyable listen.

If you are looking for a moment of escape from the stress of the pandemic, the responsibilities of school or work, or even just the frigid winter weather, “Gravity” can offer you a brief melodic departure from the rest of the world. Tyler, the Creator’s guest verse, speckled with space-themed metaphors, is a welcome interlude, while the gorgeous guitar and piano chords pair perfectly with Brent Faiyaz’s glossy refrain. The low-pitched and edited vocals interspersed throughout the song create a perfectly otherworldly atmosphere. Brent Faiyaz might have his feet on this planet, but the psychedelic feel of “Gravity” transports listeners to a melodious, gossamer world in a galaxy far, far away.