“New Americana” by Halsey
New Americana is an ode to the millennial generation, of which Halsey is a part of. It is meant to be a light-hearted look at the ideologies they hold dear. For instance, the abundance of cash is held at a high premium and is perceived as the means to a happier life. Halsey also gives a shoutout to marijuana legalization and the societal acceptance of homosexuality.
She goes on to cite rapper Biggie Smalls and rock group Nirvana, two completely-contrasting musical acts, with being instrumental on the “New Americana”.
In all, this is Halsey’s way of saying her generation – and indeed she personally – has been heavily influenced by diversity
Who are the New Americanas in the song?
Speaking to MTV, Halsey explained who this group of people are. According to her, the New Americanas are the generation of kids who aren’t afraid of diversity. Halsey considers herself part of this generation.
Facts about “New Americana”
- Halsey co-wrote “New Americana” with songwriters Kalkutta and Lazz Principato. Noted American singer James Mtume also co-wrote this song.
- Norwegian record producer Lido produced the song.
- “New Americana” was officially dropped as a single on July 10, 2015. FYI: Prior to the song’s July 2015 release, Halsey had initially released it in 2014 on her SoundCloud account.
- This track samples the 1994 song “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.. And since “Juicy” itself samples the 1983 song “Juicy Fruit” by American singer James Mtume, the song’s writer (Mtume) is also credited as a writer on “New Americana”.
- Canadian filmmaker Jodeb (Jonathan Desbiens) directed the music video for “New Americana”. The video was shot in Hawaii. Halsey revealed that shooting the video was an extremely challenging experience. She actually sustained injuries during the process.
- In the lyrics, Halsey talks about being raised on the songs of Notorious B.I.G. and Nirvana. This is actually true. In an interview with Last Fm, Halsey revealed that growing up, she listened extensively to music from both Nirvana and Biggie. Her father was a Biggie fan whereas her mother was into Nirvana.
- This anthem interpolates “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It also interpolates Biggie’s “Juicy”.
On which of Halsey’s albums can “New Americana” be found?
The song was released as the second single from Halsey’s debut studio album titled Badlands.
How did “New Americana” perform on the charts?
It peaked at number 60 on the Hot 100. It didn’t perform very well in the U.K. However, it made it to number 1 in New Zealand.