cause i’m just a singer you don’t wanna be
it’s been a while since i’ve looked at/listened to music from the top charts – it just isn’t something i naturally gravitate towards, the seldom occasions being when i’m at the gym or at a mall. however, when i was looking for something to talk about for today’s post, i came across a very sincere, personal song. at first, it was the melody that captured my attention, but digging deeper, it’s the autobiographical lyrics that really make this song meaningful and worth a listen.
starting out as a record producer for hometown pal big sean, mike posner has resurfaced in the music industry with his “new” acoustic single, i took a pill in ibiza. the song was released almost a year ago, but only recently gained international attention, thanks to norwegian duo SeeB‘s remix. both versions can be found below.
title: i took a pill in ibiza
artist: mike posner
album: at night, alone
when listening to it for the first time, i thought “wow, these lyrics sound really up front and honest”, and discovered that they sound that way because they are in fact 9.5/10 autobiographical, as posner revealed to vulture. curiouser and curiouser about his lyrics, i stumbled upon the artist’s own annotations on genius (the full breakdown can be found on the link). i will share a few of his words here:
on the premise of his song:
“Jake [Owens] looks me in the eye and I will never forget. He goes, ‘Why don’t you just tell the truth?’ And I didn’t have an answer for him… I couldn’t get his question out of my head. And on the plane I wrote, ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza.'”
on ‘i took a pill in ibiza’, the story behind the lyric:
“I had written a song with Avicii that week… and he was playing in Ibiza, so I said, ‘I will just go there with you’… I had never been there before. So I went.
This one guy… recognized me. He holds up this little bag of pills and is like, ‘You want one?’ And drunk Mike Posner was like, ‘Fuck it, yeah.’ So I took one and I had never done that before, and I felt amazing. Then when I came down I felt ten years older…”
on the chorus:
“Fame… [is] a continuum. The sort of mystique of fame that we all sort of grow up with a lust for – I no longer possess it, having worked in this industry and having had some of that myself… as I hung around people that had those things, they just become less mysterious. Either a thing has an actual intrinsic value that you deem to make your life better or not, but the mystique of things doesn’t exist for me anymore.”
“I don’t feel alone on the stage. I feel connected. People come to the gig and they give me silence… [and] an open mind. They trust, and they pay money because they are operating under the assumption that I know how to turn that silence and that open mind into something beautiful or elicit some sort of emotional response.
I think the danger moment is the five minutes immediately after exiting the stage, where you are connected… after it is done it is almost like the same feeling… that I felt coming down from the pill I took. It is a really great feeling and it is gone… And usually in those first five minutes I am totally alone, after being surrounded by all this love and giving so much love and also getting so much love…”
posner gives his listeners a little taste of what it is like to live his life as a famed singer, and tells us that fame is not all the glitz and glamour it appears to be – it has many more hidden (and sometimes, dare i say, dark) layers to it. a very truthful song indeed.
being the truthful song that it is, i find that the remix versions – the electronics – take away from the sincerity and emotionality of the song that had been created in the original acoustic version. however, i find it interesting that we the listeners are presented with two distinctly different versions of the song, and i can’t help but draw similarities to the lyrics again: the acoustic version being the simple life, and the remix, club version as the famous life.
what do you think?