Valiant’s latest single, Beer & Salt, chronicles the star’s recent failures, depression, and the burdens of success.
The single, which premiered on YouTube on October 11, is produced by DJ Mac Music for Diplomats Records, and features a telling music video shot and directed by Khingcam.
Valiant is seen at the start of the music video intently perusing a recording of his recent Miami Carnival performance, and appears lost in thought while doing so. As his much-discussed song, Mad Out, sweeps from the stage and onto the massive Miami crowd, he appears hesitant after noting their reaction – or lack thereof.
The mellow and haunting instrumental for Beer & Salt then swells in the background, and the song begins with a confession for Valiant – that he’s hit a bit of a rough patch of recently.
Though the lyrics spotlight the singer’s candidness about his recent struggles with depression, the music video’s opening may reveal at least one of the catalysts behind the song’s creation – the aforementioned carnival performance, which was a part of the Tipsy Music Festival in Miami.
While claims that the star had flopped remain unsubstantiated, it is at least clear that Valiant was facing a tough crowd at the recently-held event. Despite his prompts, as several videos floating around social media may show, he was largely unable to get the crowd actively involved in his performance, even after reeling off a few of his hit songs. To make matters worse, the star was also experiencing a series of microphone issues.
That experience informs Beer & Salt’s opening, and is the bedrock upon which Valiant builds his case for resilience as one of the leaders of the new school. He does that while launching an inquisition upon how easily he’s made a target for detractors who are silent in his successes.
Despite his inquisition and show of machismo, Valiant stays true to the song’s vulnerable roots by admitting that the constant chatter of the blogs, as well as his shortcomings, do affect him.
Valiant additionally takes aim at the seemingly casual talks about banning his music. Recently, Queen Ifrica called for a ban on Valiant’s sexually explicit song Mad Out, and even declared the young artist a “mole in the industry”, whose purpose is built around perverting the art form of Dancehall music, especially for younger, impressionable listeners.
Just last year, Valiant’s hit song, Dunce Cheque drew the attention of Information Minister Robert Morgan, who accused the song of “making buffoonery appear desirable to young people.”
Beer & Salt shuns the negative feedback to Valiant’s ‘problematic’ songs, as the star ultimately describes the song as fan service.
As for the track’s peculiarly-named title, though Valiant uses the beer and salt reference to symbolize things he wishes to avoid, the practice of adding salt – something unfavorable or unpleasant by itself – to beer is one meant to enhance the beer’s flavor, as well as the overall experience of consuming it. In that sense, Beer & Salt may likely be Valiant’s expression that he intends to grow from his unpleasant experiences.
In the meantime, exciting times are on the horizon for Valiant, whose 4:14 mixtape is among 65 albums up for Grammy consideration next year, 2024.
The project was released on June 30 this year, in collaboration with Diplomats Records, DJ Mac, and DJ Biigy. Described by the singer as a token of gratitude to his dedicated fan base, the 4:14 mixtape drew inspiration for its name from the birth of Valiant’s son and the day his video for Kotch E Hat A Lie achieved viral acclaim.
The project comprises 21 tracks, and showcases notable collaborations with names like Serani, Rotimi, Kant10t, Cashan, Leaha, Chronic Law, Tatik, and Kranium.