As Ariana Grande fans eagerly await the arrival of her upcoming fifth album, ‘Thank U, Next’, the star has given us something to whet our appetite, in the form of new track ‘7 Rings’.
The track debuted on Friday morning at the same time as its accompanying music video, and as is usually the case with Ariana’s videos, there are subtle details that might take one or two plays before you actually spot them.
Here are seven things to note from the ‘7 Rings’ video...
1. Does the intro sound familiar?
First of all, if the opening bars of ‘7 Rings’ sound familiar, that’s probably because they were playing in the background of the spoken ‘Mean Girls’-inspired section of Ariana’s last video, ‘Thank U, Next’, which was directed by Hannah Lux Davis, as was her latest clip.
‘Thank U, Next’ also featured another subtle reference to ‘7 Rings’, when the number plate on her car in the ‘Legally Blonde’ section featured the name of the track.
2. And there are some noteworthy number plates in 7 Rings’ too
Ariana has been known to tease future releases in her music videos (the track listings for her last two albums have been hinted at in the videos for ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ and ‘Breathin’), but in the ‘7 Rings’ video, several number plates could be alluding to when we’ll hear her next album.
Two license plates read ‘0626’ and ‘1993’ – Ariana’s date and year of birth – while they both feature the number ‘25’ above them, which many fans have claimed is a hint the full ‘Thank U, Next’ album is coming on 25 January.
More mysterious, is the fact that the opening shot reads shows a car with the number plate ‘1985’, a year which holds no apparent significance to Ariana, but could point to something special coming on either the 5 August or the 8 May this year.
3. As well as Japanese lettering
Scattered throughout the video are references to Japanese culture, and more specifically the Japanese language, with lettering flashing up on screen, appearing on champagne bottles and even featuring on those aforementioned number plates.
Ariana has actually been learning Japanese since 2015, and previously showed off her skills on stage during the Asian leg of her ‘Dangerous Woman’ world tour.
4. There are some new song titles in the video
As with ‘Breathin’ and ‘Thank U, Next’, Ariana hints at music that’s still to be released in the ‘7 Rings’ video, most notably in the graffiti that’s scrawled on the white sports cars.
As well as ‘Thank U, Next’ and the names of her friends, Ari managed to sneak ‘NASA’ onto the side of one of the cars, a confirmed track on her upcoming album.
5. Oh yeah, who are her friends in the video, by the way?
Ari has already revealed that ‘7 Rings’ was inspired by a champagne-infused trip to Tiffany’s, in which she treated six of her friends (and herself, of course) to matching diamond rings, shortly after her break-up from Pete Davidson.
All six of the women feature in the video, including Tayla Parx and Victoria Monet, the co-writers of both ‘Thank U, Next’ and ‘7 Rings’ and the musician Njomza, a close friend of Ariana’s late ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller.
Also featured in the clip are Ariana’s long-time friends, Alexa Luria, a former school friend, and Courtney Chipolone. Both Alexa and Courtney also starred in the ‘Thank U, Next’ video.
6. But there’s another cameo too…
Yep, Ariana’s dog Toulouse is the only male to appear in the ‘7 Rings’ video. The singer claimed on Twitter that he hadn’t originally been supposed to be in the clip, but he apparently wouldn’t leave her side, so they decided to include him in the end. A pink dog house sporting his name also features.
Toulouse has previously appeared in Ariana’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ and ‘Thank U, Next’ music videos too.
7. There’s a throwback to her ‘Dangerous Woman’ era
It looks like Ari might have been feeling nostalgic on the set of ‘7 Rings’. In one scene, she’s seen lying on her back, with her famous ponytail given a Rapunzel-esque extension, while dancers sport latex bunny ears, made famous during her ‘Dangerous Woman’ album campaign.
ps. Has that ‘Favourite Things’ sample made anyone else really want to revisit this treat from the early 2000s..?