Those of you familiar with the original version of Madison Beer’s ‘Selfish’ may wonder how such a soulful and stripped back piece could be remixed, and maintain its integral message. That’s where Alan Walker comes in.
The original version of ‘Selfish’ is perfect to listen to on day one of a messy end to a relationship. The remix could be suited for when you and your mates are ready to get dressed up and forget the ex. The buzz around the remix began on the 26th of May when Beer tweeted in response to a fan request for a remix of the hit with “when should we tell them” and tagged the DJ.
— madison beer (@madisonbeer) May 26, 2020
Walker, who is probably best known for ‘Faded’, is no stranger to mixing the EDM style with emotional lyrics. This created the perfect storm for Beer and Walker to take ‘Selfish’ in a new and equally superb direction.
Madison Beer is carving a place for herself in the pop world with her honest and profound lyrics and eclectic sound. The singer whose career began with Justin Bieber tweeting a link to her cover of Etta James’ ‘At Last’, refused to be a “teeny bop” act and even split with her label Island Records to pursue her vision.
‘Selfish’ is an ode to the age-old one-sided and toxic relationship. The devastating hit sounds like a letter to the “you” Beer is addressing. The original track, released on Valentine’s Day, is an excellent vehicle to highlight the ethereal beauty of the 21-year-old’s voice. From the opening note to the close, the song registers like that of a dream sequence- made sour by the heartwrenching lyrics. The prominence of the electric guitar sounds allows for a gorgeous central line that grounds the piece.
Initially, I was dubious of a ‘Selfish’ remix. I feared it would take away from the purity of the original version of the hit, which has received over 100 million streams worldwide. However, I was wrong to be sceptical. Walker’s take on the undeniable bop allows for a sound that builds to a platform that levels to highlight Beer’s vocal prowess. Walker left the track underneath the verses fairly simplistic, which allows ‘Selfish’ to maintain its obvious powerful message. This is not a wall-to-wall EDM remix that leaves no room to breathe. Walker and Beer’s collaboration makes for a well-crafted alternative take to- what is sure to become- a break-up classic.
‘Selfish’ is, of course, a break-up track. However, while her upcoming album Life Support will, of course, feature the heartbreak track, magazine Grazia concluded:
“this is far from a breakup album, in fact, this is set to be the soundtrack for a misunderstood generation.”
The “mental health journey” Beer discussed with Wonderland Magazine, is highlighted in Beer’s brutally truthful lyrics. Lines such as “I don’t wanna break your thread and needle/ Tryna stitch you, but I can’t, I refuse” show the resignation of someone who has grown out of a broken situation. The strong message of these lyrics and ones such as “Plus I’m not responsible/ For your self-made obstacles/ Put my heart in the hospital” emphasizes the personal growth necessary to overcome negative situations. Situations where we may feel responsible for other’s emotional well being in- which may have a negative impact on us.
Music may be Beer’s way to escape negativity but in today’s hyper-critical world dogged by social media, even sweethearts like Madison catch heat for ill-timed comments. Beer recently vehemently denied rumours of her getting plastic surgery. The singer received backlash for doing so at a time when the world was focused on the horrifying murder of George Floyd. Beer has since apologized for what could be considered a tone-deaf action but justified her reaction as that of “someone who’s struggled with [her] relationship with food”.
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Since then, Beer has continued to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement and provide ways to support the cause on her social media. Here at CUB MUSIC, we also stand with people of colour that have been victims of these acts of senseless violence and those that experience racism and oppression on a day-to-day basis.
Please sign the petition and, if possible, donate https://colorofchange.org/
Listen to the Alan Walker remix of ‘Selfish’, now: