In October, Sadie Jean, singer-songwriter and sophomore at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, took to the streets with some friends to write songs. A certain number, a request to reconnect with someone who slipped away, began to take shape.
Jean has a sweet yet strong voice, and the song, “WYD Now?” There is a wonderful knot of panic in the age to come:
I don’t want to be 20-something, and still have it in my mind
17 Talking in my bedroom, you said now we will
Paint the walls of our shared apartment
You are still everything I want and
I think we can figure it out
The chorus ends with a cold-call query: “So what are you doing now?”
Jean was making TikToks on the trip, and in one of them, a friend asks him to share a song with his subject: “You have to send it to him.”
Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. But what she chose to do next almost certainly caught her attention. She asked, “WYD Now?” Snippet released. As a voice that can be added by TikTok users to their own heartbreaking videos.
Then, on Thanksgiving, she released a trusted TikTok trick “Open Verse Challenge” to increase the song’s virality, with one composer performing the song but leaving a gap for the collaborator, hoping others on the app could join the song. Fill in the blanks with video and something special.
Challenges like these have become routine, but Jean’s chorus, a searching question that needed an answer, turned out to be perfectly suited to the format. In her video, she syncs her chorus with her lips in a wooden spoon, then with a plaintive look in her eyes, extending the spoon towards the camera to find the resolution.
In the weeks since, dozens of people have taken up the eight-bar challenge with a wide range of approaches. Last week, the best-case scenario unfolded: an accurate star took a bite. Rapper and singer Lil Yachi gave a synthetic, adorable answer. First, he played with the constitution, jumping before the start of the eight bars, telegraphing emotional realism and urgency: “Fiiiiiinallyyyydoingggggbettttterrrrr.” And his verse was gentle, reaching out to Jean’s despair with a deep sigh of resignation.
Yachty verse “WYD Now?” Has been wild for six weeks, which has become a micromam on TikTok. Responses are traveling the wild arc with music and comedy, honesty and absurdity. (Also, a de Regueur comment from Charlie Puth.)
First, there were well-matched duets – માંtheofficialkristylee writing from big sister’s perspective; a complex sigh by zakharartist; bolt of lame-former skepticism from heyitsjewelss; tempting therapy discussion from davinchi; And an early-Drake-style rap from lucasstadvec (“My pettiness is that I try not to come back with you / You’re bad for me and it’s inappropriate that I’m not bad for you”). Those who chose to rap in eight bars took on a latitude of more topics, with vividly detailed verses about sex and violence joining ridiculously against Jean’s allegiance.
The most compelling and natural attempt was made by zai1k_, whose voice is full of engine but he sings with a light coarse. “You want to leave, girl, then I won’t catch you / I won’t say you need me, two, ‘because I told you / you keep moving, you behave like I’m indebted to you, but I You don’t owe me, girl. “
Taking these duet songs into a big story not only preserves the raw talent that is gained through TikTok every day, but also demonstrates the collective power of numerous approaches. The singers found unique countermelodies; The rappers discovered interesting counter-rhythms. Some of the songs chose the theme of age at the origin of gin, and some referred to the spoon more.
As the weeks went by the collaboration became more and more absurd – Jean was on the joke he made unknowingly – and was also opportunistic. This light thirst began to commercialize the challenge, in a way, recalling the initial energy and promise of “American Idol”, while the contestants were urged to impose personality on edgeless standards. For good measure, @hashtagcatie – Katie Turner, the glamorous eccentric of “Idol” season 16 – also did a Lucy Dex-esque duet. ranfranciskarelofficial, who gained fame on TikTok during a similar challenge released by pop star Meghan Trainer last year.
“WYD Now?” The finished Sadie Jean-only version of? Released for streaming services in December. 10; It only exists as a duet in the walls of the app. But perhaps realizing for a moment, another young singer, Stacey Ryan, began a challenge for a glamorous cabaret-style number in late December.
પણ zai1k_ He also took up the challenge, his verse is as seamless as he wrote it for Jean. And he and Rhea also raised the stakes, announcing that the full version of their collaboration will be released for streaming services this weekend.
This is a sensible step, to graduate the energy of immediate collaboration in a more formal phase. But it also opens up the idea of what a song release might be in this creative moment. On streaming services, you can listen to a solo version of Jean, but all of the above collaborators are also part of the song’s journey. Why not release an EP with all the different duet songs, the equivalent of an old time remix EP or a dancehole redeem album? Now no one is found anywhere alone.