Dua Saleh Fights Temptation On “want”

Kieran Kohorst

The eternal battle of desire versus demand has another anthem in Dua Saleh’s “want,” their latest single in anticipation of their forthcoming debut album, I SHOULD CALL THEM. Within the dimly-lit, woozy setting of the song, Saleh maintains their intensity towards the subject of their lust with impassioned vocals and a sauntering delivery in each verse. “‘want’ is a song about toxic on-again, off-again situationships,” says Saleh. “It’s an anthem for those relationships that might not happen at the right time but feel so right that you go against your intuition. It’s about discovering self-worth, but still wanting to lean into that cheeky naughtiness.” There is a pronounced sense of forbidden desire between the song’s characters, both willing to ignore red flags to find their way back to one another. The R&B-rock fusion of the track is fitting to the situation while also being indicative of the music to come from one of music’s most enigmatic artists in Saleh. The track's music video dives further into this dynamic, exemplifying the near-magnetic attraction the two have between them despite their knowing better.

Scheduled for release on October 11th, I SHOULD CALL THEM will host an impressive guest list alongside Saleh. Features from Gallant, Ambré, and Sid Sriram will appear on the album, as well as the previously released serpentwithfeet collaborationunruly.” While this will be considered their debut album, it is far from the world’s introduction to Dua Saleh: the Sudanese-American artist has been releasing music since 2019, making an impression with their diverse sound and songwriting talents. Making their acting debut on Netflix’s Sex Education expanded Saleh’s boundaries even further, the extent to which will be tested again on I SHOULD CALL THEM.

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