Image description: Watermelon slices and musical notes float over a brightly colored boom box. End ID
Image description: Watermelon slices and musical notes float over a brightly colored boom box. End ID

Illustration by Dulce Pop-Bonini

Watermelon Sugar Is Not the Only Watermelon Summer Hit

Update your summer playlists from early on because after we come back from winter break, the weather in Abu Dhabi will only get more and more summer-y.

Jan 7, 2024

The year is 2019. It is a gloomy November in the United Kingdom. But Harry Styles is a visionary in the sense that he is already getting ready for the summer hit charts. “Watermelon Sugar” was the summer song of 2020, despite the lack of a real summer because of the lockdowns, and has since been recognized as one of the last true 2010s songs. But that is not the only fresh summer hit that you should have on replay.
In fact, quite a few artists have taken inspiration from the summer-favorite fruit, the watermelon, to compose quite the bangers. Starting with a throwback to 1973, when Herbie Hancock, one of the biggest stars of jazz, released “Watermelon Man.” This one is for all the fans of jazz, indie and experimental alike: Hancock definitely does not shy away from mixing genres. For the first time ever in a Music Column, here is a country recommendation. “Watermelon Moonshine” by Lainey Wilson might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it sure is worth at least one listen. Maybe it can change your opinion on country music for good (or confirm it, who knows…).
Recent (made up) statistics show that the majority of NYUAD students prefer sad songs to any other genre, so Tom Rosenthal’s “Watermelon”, and specifically the acoustic version, should make it to your spring semester playlist. To keep the somber and mellow vibe going, maybe try out the organic, unsweetened, gluten-free and plant-based alternative to Harry Styles’s “Watermelon Sugar” as performed by the band TENDER. While you are at it, maybe also support Arab independent musicians like Sarah Mahgoub and her song “بلا حب بلا بطيخ” and the classic “بطيخ” by حسين الشامي, who has only nine monthly listeners (truly overlooked).
The real summer may be about six months away, but it is never too early to start preparing a playlist to impress your friends back home with.
Yana Peeva is Senior Columns Editor. Email them at
gazelle logo