Almost two full years after releasing his debut solo album, Zayn Malik has announced the release of his second album, along with a brand new single, "Rainberry," to celebrate. But while many fans are excited about the new music — and the R&B influenced sound that it hinted at — many couldn't help but wonder:
What does "Rainberry" mean?
On Friday, Zayn announced that his second album,
Icarus Fall, will be released on December 14. The singer has been slowly releasing tracks from the upcoming album for months now, with songs like "Entertainer" and "Let Me" hinting at a sultrier influence in his music. The former One Direction member even dropped a cover of Beyoncé's "Me, Myself & I" back in August, while teasing fans that there were "a few surprises" on the way, along with the album itself.
And while "Rainberry" isn't the first of Zayn's new songs to leave fans totally mystified — let's not forget the fan theory that
"Fingers" is about his former bandmate, Harry Styles — there are very few hints in the lyrics of his new song to let fans know what, exactly, a "Rainberry" is, or what it's supposed to mean.
Thankfully, we've got a few ideas as to what, exactly, Zayn might be singing about in "Rainberry."
A Gatorade Gatorade Flavor
Typing the phrase "rain berry" into Google tends to bring up results for one main thing:
Gatorade Rain Berry, a cult favorite flavor of the famous energy drink that has a light, fruity taste and a pale purple color. It's one of the brand's lesser known flavors — in fact, many fans thought it may have been discontinued, but, according to Gatorade's Facebook page, it's still available in certain places under the name Frost Rain Berry.
While it might seem a little absurd that Zayn would write an entire song about a hard-to-find flavor of Gatorade, it actually wouldn't be totally out of the ordinary for the singer. On his 2016 album,
Mind of Mine, Zayn had a song called "lUcOzAdE," which is named after the British version of Gatorade.
"I'm sipping pink, Lucozade," the song begins, which seems shockingly similar to the idea of the subject of "Rainberry" having the energy drink "dripping down your blood red lips."
Perhaps Zayn is just very inspired when he treats himself to a sports drink? It sounds insane, but looking at the evidence, it
seems shockingly likely. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
While there's not a
lot of evidence to support the idea that Zayn has secretly been calling his on-and-off girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, "Rainberry" for years, it wouldn't be completely absurd to think that Zayn named the song after a secret term of affection for his longtime love. In March 2017, the singer told the UK's The Sunday Times Style , "I call her Gee, she calls me Zee," but also teased that "there’s some other nicknames too, but I’ll keep those private."
More importantly, Zayn has spoken about being inspired by Hadid when writing songs for his new album, telling Ryan Seacrest in April that
he wrote "Let Me" about the model. ""I was in love and I think that's pretty evident and I was aspiring to be in love with someone for the rest of my life and the rest of theirs, as we all do," he said at the time.
after the couple rekindled their romance, Hadid posted a photo of Zayn to her Instagram story, as reported by Us Weekly, where she described the singer as her "muse" and "my manz." Considering he's written plenty of tracks about her before, we wouldn't be surprised if Zayn saw Hadid as his muse as well. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Okay, yes, there's even less evidence to support this theory, but Zayn has written plenty of songs about breaking free from his time in One Direction —
anyone else remember "BeFoUr" and his lyrics about "being tired of picking that bone"? — so you can't blame some fans for seeing what they want to see.
While most of the lyrics to "Rainberry" seem to hint at suspicion of a cheating partner, there are a few lines that could possibly reference the split from his former boyband:
"Go wash your hands, but you can't change your past/Those stories ain't sh*t now"
All five former members of 1D have been very outspoken about their time in the biggest boyband in the world, but despite the boys saying after the split
that they intended to remain close, Zayn recently revealed that he "hasn't spoken" to any of his former bandmates for some time. With lyrics about washing your hands clean of some kind of drama and lies, "Rainberry" could be one last kiss-off to his former 1D bandmates.
It's a well-documented fact that
Zayn loves comic books; he's a talented artist who has his own studio and has tattoos all over dedicated to his love of the art form. Who's to say that "Rainberry" isn't just a creature or character that Zayn created for an art project that he found incredibly inspiring? Maybe Icarus Falls is a concept album that was born out of some of his art work, or maybe he simply created some drawings and paintings to go along with the music. Either way, we're hoping that "Rainberry" will showcase some of Zayn's artistic talents, in the music video or liner notes.
Of course, there's always the possibility that
we're all thinking about this too hard, and that "Rainberry" is nothing but complete nonsense. Maybe it's just a phrase that Zayn was using as a placeholder when he wrote the song that he decided to leave in. Maybe it's an inside joke between himself and some of his friends. Maybe he was just working on the song while drinking a Rain Berry Gatorade and he thought it fit the beat of the song pretty well. Or maybe, as Twitter user @zay_107 suggested, it's a nonsense phrase that he's hoping will become a cultural touchstone, à la "Deez Nuts."
Hopefully the answers to these important questions will be revealed when Zayn releases
Icarus Falls on Dec. 14. Until then, we'll just have to keep listening to "Rainberry" on repeat until the mysteries reveal themselves.