Some songs and instrumentals make their way around the industry before they get released to the public. Several legendary tracks, such as ‘N*ggas In Paris’ have been turned down by MCs before, and this is a common occurrence. However, on one occasion, a song that was meant for Pharrell Williams ended up being released by Ariana Grande years later.
Ariana Grande has worked with many producers over the years, and Pharrell is a ubiquitous figure in the music industry, capable of making many genres of music. In the early-2010s, Williams and Atlanta legend T-Pain collaborated on a track entitled ‘Dream’.
The song never got released. However, the track (slightly altered) got passed around the industry behind the scenes and was presented to several potential clients before it ended up in the hands of Grande. Prior to the release of Grande’s fourth album, Sweetener, in 2018, the Boca Raton artist put out a promotional single, ‘R.E.M.’, a dreamy R&B track from the mind of Pharrell.
However, shortly after the track’s release, a leaked track found its way online that sounded like an altered version of the song, which it was. Before Ariana Grande released it, the instrumental got tweaked and rearranged for Beyoncé, who recorded a song track over it named ‘Wake Up’. The demo, which was recorded shortly after the beat’s production, was rumoured to be on her iconic 2013 self-titled album.
Beyoncé didn’t end up releasing it, but evidently, Pharrell held on to the instrumental for another artist. In a video posted to TikTok by T-Pain, the Atlanta star spoke about how the beat he made with Pharrell made the rounds.
He commenced, “I’m going to throw my hat in the ring here because I constantly crave attention, and then this is also a pretty cool story. So, Beyoncé recorded ‘Wake Up’ in 2014. Then Ariana Grande recorded ‘R.E.M.’ in 2018.”
He continued, “What people don’t know is in March of 2011 I was working with Pharrell and we recorded a song called ‘Dream’ that goes like this. It’s crazy how songs travel through this crazy industry,” You can listen to T-Pain explaining the track’s origins in the video below.