Mac Miller’s beautiful posthumous record Circles only officially features two other artists besides Miller: producer Jon Brion (who worked on Mac's Swimming) and artist Baro, who drums and sings the hook on “Hand Me Downs.”
Now, some fans are speculating that Ariana Grande also appears on the song, “I Can See.” Brion more or less confirmed that the vocals were presumably laid down by Grande, although he doesn’t know how the record came to be.
In a new interview with the New York Times, Brion was asked if Grande made any contributions to the song. He was pretty straightforward, responding, “I believe there are.”
“Somebody just told me something about that,” he continued. “That was a pre-existing track. There were a few songs the family gave me that he’d been working on independently that I thought fit thematically with what we had worked on. ‘I Can See’ was one of those. … I played some things on those tracks to make them feel like the others, but those vocals were already there. It wasn’t like an executive decision or anything.”
Brion also revealed that Swimming and Circles were the first installments of an aquatic-themed album trilogy.
"There were supposed to be three albums: the first, Swimming, was sort of the hybridization of going between hip-hop and song form. The second, which he’d already decided would be called Circles, would be song-based. And I believe the third one would have been just a pure hip-hop record," Brion told the Times. "I think he wanted to tell people, 'I still love this, I still do this.'"
The producer did not confirm if any material was recorded for third project.
Miller would have celebrated his 28th birthday on Jan. 19. That day, his brother, Miller McCormick, took to Instagram to honor his brother's life. In the post, he recounted the moment Miller was born, writing, “Sitting by the window in the hospital after your birth is a good first memory. mom’s nurse brought mint jelly. man i’m so proud of you. and i miss you.”