Rihanna Stay

Rihanna Stay is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna from her seventh studio album Unapologetic (2012). Featuring guest vocals by Mikky Ekko, the song was released as the second single from the album on January 7, 2013. Rihanna Stay was co-written by Mikky Ekko and Justin Parker. It is a pop ballad, featuring piano and guitar chords. The lyrical content regards the temptation and failure of resisting a true love. The song garnered a mostly positive response from music critics. They were divided in their opinion regarding the balladry, with most describing it as a standout track on the album, while a few labeled it as boring. However, critics were unified in their opinion of praising the vocal performance and emotion.

Upon the release of Unapologetic, “Stay” charted on multiple charts worldwide. Following its release as a single, it has reached number one in Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Israel and the top five in twenty-four countries worldwide including Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It has also charted at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna’s twenty-fourth top ten on the chart, thus surpassing Whitney Houston‘s tally. Furthermore, it has charted at number one on the US Pop Songs chart and 19 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

The song’s music video, directed by Sophie Muller, depicts Rihanna naked in a bathtub filled with cloudy water, while Mikky Ekko performs in a separate bathroom. Critics likened the vulnerability and raw emotion in the video to the song itself. Rihanna premiered “Stay” on Saturday Night Live in the United States, while she performed the song in the United Kingdom on the ninth series of The X Factor. Rihanna and Ekko also performed “Stay” at the 2013 Grammy Awards. The track was included on the set list of the majority of her 777 Tour promotional tour dates, in support of the album, while it is included on Rihanna’s fifth headlining tour, the “Diamonds World Tour“.

Rihanna Stay Music Video

Rihanna Stay Music Video Story


The music video for Rihanna Stay was directed by Sophie Muller. On February 10, 2013, whilst walking the red carpet of the 55th Grammy Awards, Rihanna held an interview with Ryan Seacrest who officially revealed that the music video would premiere on E! News the following day. Rihanna described the production saying, “The video was really, really simple. I pretty much stayed put in a bathtub, and we shot it really tight, really close. There’s Mikky Ekko in the video as well. This is the first time I’ve ever collaborated with him, so I’m excited about that because he’s actually the one who wrote the song and I kinda just fell in love with it so much and in love with the tone of his voice and we wanna keep him a part of it, so you’ll see him in the video.” The singer added, “It’s a very emotional song and it’s personal, so you just think about, it’s almost like telling a story, and when you tell a story, even to yourself — if you’re saying it out loud and expressing how you feel — it needs to be powerful because it needs to be authentic.” On February 11, Rihanna leaked an “uncut” version of the video on Twitter prior to the official premiere, featuring the singer performing to the track in one singular take, without Mikky Ekko. The official version premiered on E! News later that day. It was then uploaded to Rihanna’s official VEVO account at 8AM ET the following day.

The video opens with a shot of running water. Rihanna is then presented undressing and climbing into a bathtub. Throughout the rest of the video, the singer is presented nude in the tub full of cloudy green water; subtle camera angles protect her modesty. Rihanna is shown wearing little make-up and with long hair tangled and wet over one side of her face. The singer seems morose and sad as she occasionally flickers her eyes to the ceiling and puts her head in her hands, showing off long manicured nails and a diamond stud earring. The low-key video also features Mikky Ekko, who performs his parts of the song separately including scenes of him perched on the edge of a different bathtub, gazing into a mirror, in front of an unlit fireplace, and sitting on a grand chair. The video switches between the pair throughout the course of the video until it concludes with a single tear falling from Rihanna’s eye as she sinks lower into the bathtub.

Rihanna Stay with Fun Rhode Island DJ

What The Critics Say About Rihanna Stay

Rihanna Stay received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Jon Dolan for Rolling Stone was complimentary of Rihanna’s execution of the song, writing that she performs it “within an inch of its life” and “pleads at the piano.” Dolan continued to state that it is “stark” and “shadowy” which is “confrontationally honest.” Dan Martin for NME described “Stay” as Unapologetic‘s highlight, writing that it is a “gorgeous piano ballad.” Martin continued to write that the song “puts a vulnerable spin on the Brown situation, repeating another theme of the album”, a reference to her relationship with Chris Brown. Smokey Fontaine for the Huffington Post also praised “Stay”, placing emphasis on Rihanna’s vocal performance. He wrote that “Three years ago, no one would have paid attention to a beautiful piano-ballad like ‘Stay.’ Not because of the events we all witnessed, but because of how honest and emotionally-connected her vocals are.”

Lewis Corner for Digital Spy awarded “Stay” four out of five stars, commenting that Rihanna “doesn’t need all the controversial romp to top the charts.” Corner also compared “Stay” to the work of “some of 2012’s most successful female balladeers” Emeli Sandé and Lana Del Rey and concluded by stating that Rihanna “never [follows] the pack” but “[airs] her seemingly complex emotions through music’s current trend.” The song garnered a mixed review from Genevieve Koski for The A.V. Club, writing that the album is “heavy on the sort of milquetoast ballads that have never been Rihanna’s specialty” with regard to “Stay” and “What Now”. However, Jon Caramanica for The New York Timesnegatively critiqued the song, writing that it is “dull piano driven song.” The reason he gave for it being “dull” was that he felt “Stay”, along with “Get It Over With” and “Lost in Paradise”, were the “least texturally confrontational” and therefore “by far the least successful.”

Rihanna Stay with DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Rihanna Stay moves me. I have been a fan of Rihanna for many years and find her music still exceeding the standard in the industry for Pop Music and R&B artists. She has never had to do what was “hot” or trendy. She finds a way to have songs written for her that meet her strengths and passion succinctly, while still consistently hitting the top of the charts. Of all her reecent music, I feel the most connection and energy from Rihanna Stay. The textured, simple piano and guitar match her emotional and personal honesty step-for-step.


Rihanna Stay Uptempo Remix

      Rihanna Feat. Mikky Ekko - Stay [Uptempo Remix] - Rihanna Feat. Mikky Ekko


What do you like best about Rihanna Stay?

Rihanna Stay with DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island Wedding DJ

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ


Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me

What a powerful scene and song! I enjoy both the Faith Hill and the Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me version. Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me did an excellent job with this song in the movie; Country Strong. Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me is hot and sultry, hard to not get ‘distracted’ with music like this.

Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me Music Video

Turn down the lights and up the volume!

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Give In To Me Music Video

Which version do you like better, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw or Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me?

Country Strong

A drama centered on a rising country-music songwriter (Hedlund) who sparks with a fallen star (Paltrow). Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husband/manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester). IMDB

Beautiful Rhode Island Wedding DJ Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester Give In To Me

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ


Peter Gabriel The Book of Love

I think Peter Gabriel The Book of Love is an amazing song! It blew me away the first time I heard it and still gives me chills all these years later!

Rhode Island Wedding DJ Peter Gabriel The Book of Love

Peter Gabriel has been one of my favorite artists since I was a teenager listening to Genesis and my appreciation grew with every solo album he released. It is rare to find artists who can write lyrics and music the way he can that have spanned such a wide spectrum of musical styles and intentions. Strange to think he was a hard-core Progressive Rock writer and performer with Genesis and experimented with rhythms from around the world as a solo artist. Later, he composed the soundtrack to the film The Last Temptation of Christ titled Passion, one of the albums that inspires me the greatest past and present. “It Is Accomplished” feels like an entire soundtrack in one song! Then came Peter Gabriel The Book of Love.

He has written songs of freedom and advocacy like “Biko” that some say was the impetus for Live Aid., as well as featured in The Amnesty International Tour. I remember being overcome with emotion when watching the ending live in TV with the whole crowd totally engaged as each band member left the stage.

His sense of textures and rhythms continue to move me and as a dancer and someone who experiments with movement, find his work incredibly easy to facilitate lyrical and textural dance creativity.

I chose this You Tube of Peter Gabriel The Book of Love for its creative use of love and romance without losing the lush feeling that Gabriel captures in this song. For me, the lyrics in Greek, which I cannot read, somehow added to the effect.

Peter Gabriel The Book of Love Music Video


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

As a special treat if you have never heard the song “Solsbury Hill” before. He wrote this about the leap of faith to leave the band Genesis and fly on his own.

Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight

It occurred to me recently at a wedding that I have not added many slow songs to the list of music videos reviewed. This, Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight, was the song I was playing when it hit me and figured that would be a great place to start. I know it is more fun and ‘sexier’ to only include the fast and hot songs but Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight and many other great artists have recorded such a wealth of outstanding classic slow songs for the professional Wedding DJ.

Rhode Island Wedding DJ Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight

More than any other artist, I grew-up listening to Frank Sinatra. I felt like he was a member of the family at times. His records were always on or close to the record player waiting to be played. Old Blue Eyes as he was called, would sing to us about love and life in the New Jersey/New York City region. I cannot count the number of times I heard my father and other friends and family members arguing over when they saw Sinatra and who he was with. His legendary connections, whether true or false, were part of the Sinatra lore. After all, he was a Jersey Boy from Hoboken.


He learned to sing by ear and never learned how to read music. At age eight he would illegally sing standing on the bar for tips to help his family pay their bills. His success peaked in the late 40’s and early 50’s. His acting career helped him to regain fame in the 60’s and was notorious for hanging with the Rat Pack, his friends Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, which originally centered around Humphrey Bogart. Sinatra, Martin and Davis were the three ‘core members’. They all starred in the original film, Oceans Eleven.

Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight Music Video

I smile every time I am co-creating a professional Wedding DJ playlist for an event and the planner asks me to play Sinatra, especially Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Slow Music Works For A Good DJ Too!

Most folks when thinking about their wedding and its accompanying playlist; they think of partying, up-tempo music. Every now and then a couple wants slow music as their preferred choice for their reception. It is not as uncommon as one would assume as a professional Wedding DJ.

Recently a Bride and Groom thought they had guests that did not like to dance, “We are Chinese and are too shy to dance, especially to fast music”. I smiled thinking in my head I have heard this before as a Wedding DJ  and saw the results of picking the correct songs for that audience and people not only danced, they grooved to fast and slow tunes.

The reception started out with folks requesting all slow songs but halfway through, The Maid of Honor began the trend of asking for dancing tunes. Her excitement and energy let me know there would be dancing and not just slow songs.

As soon as dinner was completed. I played a few slow tunes to get folks on the dance floor and it was less than two minutes later before it was full of couples dancing slow and lovingly.  After I sensed they were ready, I switched to some of the faster, popular songs as a bridge, and it worked.  They danced to everything non-stop till it was time for dessert.

Another great wedding with happy friends and family for the Wedding DJ!

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ