Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener, was released on Friday, and it’s full of the same marble-mouthed lyrics and soaring high notes that we’ve come to love and expect from the singer. But there’s one song on the album that has Ariana fans scratching their heads, an interlude in which Grande sings about her mysterious “soul mate.” The song, which is just over a minute long, was originally titled “Pete” but was renamed just a few weeks before its release, to the equally enigmatic “Pete Davidson.” The Ariana Army is now left scrambling to figure out the identity of the person that Grande, who is engaged to Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, is singing about.
Fortunately, Grande, who has multiple tattoos dedicated to Davidson, has dropped some extremely subtle clues over the past several months that can help us puzzle out the identity of the mystery man—or woman!—who is the subject of “Pete Davidson.” Here’s Grande talking about the song on Twitter back in June:
What could it mean? Further complicating the question is the fact that Grande is playing it coy during television appearances. Here she is on The Tonight Show talking about the song, which she started writing a week after she and Davidson started “hanging out.” Grande told Jimmy Fallon that she also also considered the alternate title “This Is About Pete Davidson.” Inscrutable!
Finally, let’s examine the song’s lyrics. Grande sings about “thinking” the mystery person into her life, much like she “thought” about her engagement to Davidson three years ago, long before the two were ever an item. She also sings, “No better place or a time,” and, coincidentally, she and Davidson became engaged less than a month after their relationship became public. Most intriguingly of all, if you string together each letter in the lyrics that is capitalized, it spells out “MILNLUFAIMGIIWGIIGIIGII”, which is an anagram of AI filii Luigi Mimi wigging, which is plainly a message about “wigging” out (or going crazy) for the son (al filii) of someone named Luigi Mimi. But who is Luigi Mimi?
There’s a lot of compelling evidence here, but unfortunately, there’s really just no way to know for sure who the song, “Pete Davidson,” is about.
Update, Aug. 17: Grande has tweeted that the subject of the song “Pete Davidson” is Saturday Night Live cast member Aidy Bryant. Case closed.
Read more from Slate:
• Ariana Grande Straddles Earth, Pleasures a Hurricane in Her “God Is a Woman” Video
• Why Are People So Helplessly Riveted by Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s Engagement?
• Why There’s Been a Flood of Lightning-Fast Young Celebrity Engagements
• All Your Burning Questions About the $93,000 Ring Pete Davidson Allegedly Bought for Ariana Grande, Answered