“Heaven knows” We Love A Good Y2K Revival: How PinkPantheress Just Gets It Right
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Celeste MacMurray. Find her on Instagram at @clsmsanchezx. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
“Just a waste” was an anonymous snippet posted on TikTok by a user named “PinkPantheress” that quickly went viral. The song was infectious as people couldn’t get enough and not only wanted more of it, but more from the artist as well. Who was she? Why were all the snippets she posted so good?
Through sampling, breakbeats and her experimentation with UK music genres, PinkPantheress very quickly became an overnight sensation that drew people in due to the Y2K nostalgia her music produced.
PinkPantheress got her name as she was creating her TikTok account. She initially wanted to call herself Pantheress—the name of a female panther—but since the username was taken she opted to put “Pink” in front of it. And thus PinkPantheress was born.
The name was also a nod to the film Pink Panther that you may also remember as an old TV series from the late 60s that lasted until the 80s. Does this theme song sound familiar to you?
The TikTok account was later revealed to be owned by a young student from London who was making music in her bedroom. In 2021 she began releasing more and more singles until the release of her EP “to hell with it” that same year. The EP contained many songs that went viral on TikTok such as “Passion,” “Pain” and “Break It Off.”
The artist’s success continued and has been building ever since. Her most popular song was “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” with Ice Spice as it was one of her most commercially successful releases.
PinkPantheress even had a song featured on the Barbie movie soundtrack titled “Angel.” The upbeat and endearing track is perfect for Barbie while also exemplifying the charming nature of PinkPantheress’ music.
PinkPantheress Y2K Style
What makes people so crazy for PinkPantheress’ releases? Every decade brings forth a yearning for decades past. In the 2010s we were obsessed with the 90s, and now in the 2020s we can’t get enough of the 2000s. This nostalgia has brought a Y2K revival that can be seen across fashion, music and all over apps like TikTok and Instagram.
PinkPantheress hones in on this Y2K nostalgia just right and is able to serve listeners who are longing for the 2000s just what they’re looking for.
Any PinkPantheress song you listen to feels like something you could’ve heard on MTV back in its golden days when music videos played all day long. PinkPantheress’ music acts as a time machine that takes you back right to that place you’re missing.
Not only does the artist deliver Y2K with her music, but you can see it within her personal style and the visuals for her music. This shows that the Y2K aesthetic within her art comes from a place of genuine self-expression and love.
Even PinkPantheress merch serves you nostalgia for the decade as she sells CDs, vinyls and even cassette tapes for her newest album.
People were raving on X about the music video for “Nice to meet you (feat. Central Cee)” from her new album as it perfectly encapsulates the digital aesthetic of the mid to late-2000s. The video felt like something I would have stumbled across in the 2000s while browsing the growing platform of YouTube. Something that would have developed into a fond memory. It’s this attention to detail and the care that goes into it that makes PinkPantheress’ Y2K aesthetic so effective.
Combined with PinkPantheress’ merch, her personal style, aesthetics and music, she is one of many taking part in the Y2K revival of the 2020s. She not only understands this nostalgia herself, but her music is able to echo the time period perfectly and calls others to reminisce with her.
It’s been two years since the artist first began to gain traction on TikTok, and now she has released her debut album “Heaven knows.”
The album is catchy from start to finish with the same style of sweet and mellow lyrics you are familiar with in her previous music. It contains thirteen songs in total, and each one experiments with genres like UK garage, breakbeats, dance-pop, disco and even lo-fi. You can also find many features throughout the album, such as Rema, Central Cee and Kelela.
The opening track of the album, “Another life (feat. Rema)” is intense as the church organ opening sets the mood before transitioning into breakbeats. The song also contains an interpolation of the song “아이스크림 (Ice Cream)” by F(x)—one of K-pop’s most well-known and accomplished groups in South Korea.
The album contains many samples in general, something PinkPantheress is famous for doing throughout her music.
“Nice to meet you (feat. Central Cee)” was also a pleasant surprise as I had never heard PinkPantheress experiment with UK drill beats before in her music. This UK drill influence continues into the next track, “Bury me (feat. Kelela),” as it compliments the smoothness of both PinkPantheress and Kelela’s smooth vocals. “The aisle” is another song on the album that stands out as it explores disco and funk in the midst of its dance-pop beats.
Something that’s nice to see is PinkPantheress’ continued use and exploration of genres within the UK music scene.
If you’re deep within the Y2K revival going on or want to get into it more, PinkPantheress’ music is a great place to start. Whether it be this album or her previous singles and EP, they will help guide you back to that place in time you’re searching for.
Have any artists you like to listen to in order to reminisce on your memories from the 2000s? Feel free to share them with us! We could all use a little help curating our playlists.