You can’t rush a good thing — just ask Pretty Boy Aaron.
The man born Aaron Cunningham spent more than three years working on what would become his latest single — and his first new music of 2023 — the indie-rap gem “Something Good,” which KXT is premiering via the Rodger Woodruff III-directed video below.
“I personally like to dig in the [song] files; I like to see the session — make sure I like everything and it sounds good,” Cunningham said during a recent conversation. “I am working with other producers and stuff, but I’m still really trying to curate.”
The new single arrives as Pretty Boy Aaron finds himself with greater visibility than ever: The Dallas-based rapper, producer and singer has seen his music recently placed on Disney, Apple TV+ and Netflix shows, and has amassed over 20 million streams in less than five years.
“Something Good” follows a pair of 2022 singles Pretty Boy Aaron dropped (“I Get It” and “Cherriwine”) and reunites him with vocalist Tesia, who provides — as she did on Cunningham and Bruhnice’s exquisite 2019 single “Comb My Hair” — the sort of gorgeous, otherworldly vocal hook that lodges in your brain and won’t budge.
“She’s just a really good friend of mine … I personally loving working with her,” Cunningham said. “I remember I sent her the beat. She’s really good at writing hooks. So if I have, like, a name and the title of the beat — for example, this one was ‘Something Good’ — she was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna write a hook involving the words ‘something good.’’ That exact same thing happened with ‘Comb My Hair.’”
The alchemy is undeniable, as is Pretty Boy Aaron’s ability to deliver yet another irresistible banger, an addictive, deceptively dark track ideally timed to soundtrack the waning days of summer.
“I think right now is a really good time [to release the song] because I’m at one of the higher points in my career,” Cunningham said. “So I’m like, OK, yeah, let’s drop this song now, where I can eventually get bigger from this song. Two years ago, it wouldn’t have put me — I’d probably be closer to where I am now.”
As for what lies beyond the release of “Something Good,” Cunningham is booking shows, including an Aug. 31 date at Tulips in Fort Worth. He also allows that he’s working on the follow-up to his 2021 EP Pretty Boy.
“I’m really experimenting with different sounds, especially with different music I’m listening to now,” Cunningham said, namechecking acts like Mamalarky, Faye Webster and 454. “Those sounds are really bleeding into my music, and I’m like, ‘OK, this is inspired by this, this is inspired by this.’ It’s very interesting to see.”
This much is certain: However long it takes those eclectic influences to percolate and produce the next Pretty Boy Aaron release will be more than worth the wait.
Pretty Boy Aaron at Tulips, Fort Worth. 8 p.m. Aug. 31. Tickets are $15-$25.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.