Industry veteran Alyssa Reid seeks to reinvent and reintroduce herself with the release of “Paranoid” under her new moniker, ASHS. Previously known for her work with Virginia to Vegas and her own Certified-Gold hit, “Alone Again,” feat. P. Reign, Reid has been cultivating her new identity for more than a year under a policy of relative anonymity. Finally, ASHS has endorsed her true identity with a teaser at the conclusion of the video complementing her latest single. Through ASHS, Reid has proven her pop savvy by calculating the prophetic conjunction of her sound, image and identity as an artist. Indeed, the true merit of “Paranoid” lies not in the song itself, but rather the cosmic event of its release as a whole. Reid has clearly matured much since the early days of her career, and has returned with a darker, moodier and more soulful sound. Her use of the synthesizer is sophisticated and her syncopated phrasing belies a marked R&B influence. Reid’s decision to distance herself from her previous notoriety was a bold gambit, but it skillfully set the stage for her metamorphosis into ASHS. Her tenacity and desire for evolution is commendable.
It is also telling that this particular ASHS song was used for Reid’s big reveal. The lyrics of “Paranoid” describe dishonesty in friendship; themes of duality and the distinction between appearance and reality spring to mind. The video further emphasizes the notion of uncertain identity by featuring its various characters mouthing the lyrics to the song, gazing at one another with fear and anticipation. One by one, people vanish until one man sits across from a dark, hooded figure who passes him a gun; he turns it on the figure and Alyssa reveals her face. Thus, the cycle of her death and rebirth is complete.