In this dire time where staying home is required, most of us have taken on different hobbies to keep ourselves occupied. I, for one, have taken the time to expand my cooking agenda, binged numerous shows that brought back some serious nostalgia from the outside world, and broke out into song on any occasion that required it after certain projects had been released since the world stopped almost six months ago.
Now, speaking of the world stopping, no one manages to capture the essence of that better than Anthony Ramos, best known for his dual roles in the most anticipated musical of the summer, Hamilton, and his supporting role in the award winning film A Star Is Born. His latest single, Stop, which dropped on August 14 paired with a music video, takes on a theme of time, where you’re so deep into life that you forget to stop and take a moment to really look at what’s around you.
“This song is now about all the things I am discovering in this time where the world seems to be at a halt. The beauty, the pain, and the treasure that I was too preoccupied to notice before I had to stop,” Ramos, who wrote and recorded this song two weeks before stay at home orders around the globe settled in, explains in an Instagram post.
The song immediately opens with a bass line and clapping, along with his fast paced singing. His voice pulls me into the song further and the beat gives off a relaxed, laid back vibe until it halts for a split second before the chorus. It then opens up into a catchy instrumental featuring the same bass line and clapping, along with added drums, synth, and backing vocals by Ramos himself, which caught me by surprise. It then loops again from relaxed to upbeat, but once you enter the bridge, Anthony’s backing vocals amongst what sounds like a trumpet are the center of attention. You think that’d be it, but much like the singer’s personality, it’s spontaneous. It crescendos, layering the aforementioned instruments along with a piano and more of his backing vocals, leading back into an upbeat chorus. By the end of the song, I wasn’t even able to register it was over, instead I gaped and was clearly in awe at this new project.
The lyrics bring in a completely different element after you focus on the instrumental. There are so many metaphors and he’s constantly comparing his life to such simple things that makes the theme of this song so easy to understand instead of having to overanalyze. One of the things that bring me such joy when streaming this single is that when you listen to it, not only can you imagine the things he’s describing, you get the vibe of driving whilst admiring the scene around you. Though you can’t do that at the moment, this song makes you feel like you are on some midnight car ride with your whole life on hold.
Upon staring at the cover art for hours in anticipation, I expected nothing more than a generic pop song. That is until I managed to listen to the rest of Anthony’s discography, which displayed a wide range of genres from RnB to contemporary hip hop. It’s clear that Anthony is finding a new sound and always evolving with every new project he starts. Overall it’s a fresh and modern vibe that I’m particularly fond of, considering finding mainstream artists and music with clean sounds as much as this one is rare to find nowadays. I hope this song brings as much joy and relaxation to you as much as it has to me. You can stream Stop now on music platforms everywhere, as well as the rest of Anthony’s discography, which brings a little something for everyone!