Enigmatic bassist Thundercat tapped pop superstar Ariana Grande as well as the self-proclaimed “weird duo” of French keyboardist DOMi and American drummer JD Beck for a rendition of “Them Changes” as part of the virtual 2020 edition of Adult Swim Festival.
While the out-there jazz performance was a far cry from the fare you’ll find on Grande’s new album, Positions, which recently debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, Ariana fell in admirably with the notably avant-garde musicians on the 2015 single and opening track from Thundercat’s 2017 album, Drunk. The quartet performed in front of an animated backdrop starring Aqua Teen Hunger Force character, Meatwad. Grande had previously covered “Them Changes” on her BBC Live Lounge appearance in 2018. Watch the performance below:
Thundercat ft. Ariana Grande, DOMI & JD Beck – “Them Changes” – Adult Swim Festival
Thundercat and Ariana Grande are forever bound via their mutual connection with the late Mac Miller. Thundercat, real name Stephen Bruner, was a close friend and collaborator of Miller’s and was set to accompany him on an upcoming national arena tour prior to Mac’s death from mixed drug toxicity in September 2018. Grande and Miller maintained a high-profile romance for several years, with each artist having crafted successful releases about or inspired by the other. “It feels like Ariana and I are forever connected through Mac and this is part of the healing process,” Thundercat said of the performance.
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— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 14, 2020
Adult Swim Festival took place virtually on November 13th and 14th and featured Kamasi Washington, Algiers, Kaytranada, Colin Stetson, Loraine James, Mt. Joy, Tycho, Rico Nasty, and more. Run The Jewels also debuted the official music video for their new Cyperpunk 2077 track, “No Save Point”, during the virtual event, which raised funds for the ACLU.