Now more than ever, music is always around us: no matter if it is played on a streaming service, on a cell phone, on a classic radio or in your car.
Sirius XM is a popular music radio channel that can be played in car radios, apps and in public places like the Student Center here on campus. New artist Ashe’s “Moral of the Story” and Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” can be heard on repeat on the campus radio. You might have heard the original versions of the songs elsewhere and the version that has a male singer. They are both very different from each other.
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in new songs in the mischievous year of 2020: male duets and features seem to be added to female solo songs more than before. This could be perceived as a lack of female equality and needing a man duet on the track.
For example, the song, “Moral of the Story” was originally sung by Ashe. But now popular male singer and former One Direction member Niall Horan has joined her on the track. Honestly, it is a bit odd to hear a duet on this song because it talks about the heartbreak of Ashe and her life. You could be listening to the duet song the first time and hear Horan sing and think, “Who is that?” or, “I thought this song was a solo?” The original song came out a few months ago when every student was trapped in quarantine, and now the new version has come out once everyone has returned to school. Funny how that happened.
Another example of this happening is on the song “I Hope,” originally sung and written by Gabby Barrett. But male singer Charlie Puth decided to join her on the track. This song is also about heartbreak and Barrett trying to get past it. It seems to be from the perspective of a female and how she was heartbroken by a man. Puth seems to take on Barrett’s role as well, which seems strange. For example, Puth sings, “Yeah babe, I hope she shows up in a 2 AM pic from a friend.” Here, Puth is talking about Barrett’s life like he is living it, and not her.
These two songs are great examples of having a lone female singer writing a solo song and then adding a male singer later on. I think that it is very interesting that the music industry is adding male singers onto songs that are already out for the world to enjoy. Is it trying to prove a point?
I do think that the songs, whether they are a duet or a solo, are good. The added male duet factor could show a different perspective. Songwriters can even get more streams because of that other singer. However, keeping the singer as a perspective shows the fact that a lot of heartbreak is one-sided. These two ideas make each version of the songs seem so different from each other, possibly losing their original meaning in the process.