"R.E.M" is the fourth track from Ariana Grande's fourth studio album, Sweetener. It was released through Republic Records on August 17, 2018.


"R.E.M" is based from a Beyoncé's demo titled "Wake Up", a leftover from her 2013 self-titled album, Beyoncé, which was also written and produced by Pharrell.[1] The song never made it to the album and was scrapped. Seven years later, Pharrell began with working with Ariana Grande on her fourth album. He gave the song to her, which she rerecorded and titled "R.E.M." She says that "it's an entirely new song now."[2]

Grande's version was first teased in a scene in the "No Tears Left To Cry" music video which displayed what appears to be the entire track list for Grande's album, Sweetener.[3] She confirmed the song on April 28, 2018, and tweeted some lyrics from the track.[4][5][6] On that same day, Grande posted a photo to her Instagram story which included the definition of "R.E.M sleep", which is believed to be the concept behind the song.[7]

On June 14, 2018, Grande posted a screenshot listening to "R.E.M." to her Instagram story.[8] On June 18, 2018, Grande said that the story behind the song is "dreaming someone into your life".[9] Grande teased lyrics of the song in an interview with Elle magazine in 2018.[10] She also teased a snippet a week before the album's release on her Instagram and Twitter.[11] She posted a video snippet of her singing during rehearsals to the song onto her social media accounts.[12] Grande uploaded a snippet of a visual for the song on August 25, 2018.[13]

The song's title refers to rapid eye movement sleep, and is about "a relationship that blurs between the dreamworld and reality". Grande has said "R.E.M" is about "dreaming someone into your life", and is one of her favorite tracks on Sweetener. Grande's vocals span 3 octaves, from Eb3 to Eb6.

Live performances

Grande performed a snippet of the song on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, on August 16, 2018. However, the song was officially debuted live on August 20, 2018 at The Sweetener Sessions. She also performed the song live on BBC Radio 1 in September 2018,[14] and on the one-hour special, Ariana Grande at the BBC, which was recorded on September 7, 2018 and aired on November 1.[15][16][17] It is also a regular part of the setlist of Grande's Sweetener World Tour, which began on March 18, 2019.



  • The acronym "R.E.M." stands for rapid eye movement.
  • This is the only track which is in all capitals because it is an acronym.
  • This is one of three songs from Sweetener in which Grande doesn't mention its title in the lyrics. 
  • This is one of two songs from Sweetener featuring backing vocals by Pharrell Williams, the other one being the album's title track.
  • "R.E.M" is one of Grande's favorite songs from Sweetener.
  • Grande got a tattoo of a heart with the text "REM" below, ubicated behind her right ear.


[Intro: Ariana Grande]
Last night, boy, I met you, yeah
When I was asleep (sleep)
You're such a dream to me, mmm, woah
And it was on a day like this, yeah
If you can believe, if you can believe (If you can believe)
You're such a dream to me

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Before you speak, don't move
'Cause I don't wanna wake up
Wake up, wake up, wake up
Don't wanna wake up, oh
Wake up, wake up, wake up
Boy, you're such a dream
If you can believe, babe
Boy, you're such a dream to me

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
"Excuse me, um, I love you"
I know that's not the way to start a conversation, trouble
I watch them other girls when they come and bug you
But I felt like I knew you, so I just wanted to hug you
Plus you don't know your way around
You can stop your playing now
All your worries, lay 'em down, shh, don't say it loud
Is this real, baby?
(Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum)
You're like:
"I love you—who starts a conversation like that?"
Nobody but I do
But you are not a picture, I can't cut you up and hide you
I'll get you out my mind, mhm, or try to
But I just want to stand and yell
I will never dare to tell
Think I heard some wedding bells, shh, keep it to yourself
Is this real? (Is this real?)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Before you speak, don't move
'Cause I don't wanna wake up
Wake up, wake up, wake up
Don't wanna wake up, oh no
Wake up, wake up, wake up
'Cause you're such a dream
If you can believe
You're such a dream to me, mmm, boy

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande & Pharrell Williams]
I could buy you anything, but I cannot buy you
Before your boy gets smart, I would never try to
You know I'm thinking to myself, "What happened? Why you?"
But when I see you in my dreams, psh, I know
You know how to treat it, you know how to eat it
You know how to beat it (I know how to keep it)
The Good Housekeeping Seal
(Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum)
I don't just wanna touch you
I'm tryna turn two single people into a couple
What's your next month like? Tell me what you're up to
We can leave right now, boy, you don't need a duffel
What about La Perla? Let Vickie keep her secret
Boy, it ain't no secret if I know you're gonna peep it, oh

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Before you speak, don't move
'Cause I don't wanna wake up
Wake up, wake up, wa-wake up
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wa-wake up
(No I don't want, no)
'Cause you're such a dream (Does this end?)
If you can believe, you're such a dream to me
To me, mmm, boy, to me


August 17, 2018 • 47:25 • Republic Records
Released Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathinEverytimeGet Well SoonGod Is A WomanGoodnight N GoNo Tears Left To CryPete DavidsonRaindrops (An Angel Cried)R.E.MSuccessfulSweetenerThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased My WayGot Her OwnSoberYou
Ariana GrandeMissy ElliottNicki MinajPharrell Williams
Sweetener World TourThe Sweetener Sessions
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