If you’re wondering what the best pop song of 2020 was, and which one that should be in your Hottest 100 shortlist, look no further because it’s E^ST’s ‘I WANNA BE HERE’.

It’s Hottest 100 season again, and that means it’s time to wrap up this shit show of a year with a countdown of all the best music. Luckily, even though there’s been a global pandemic, artists and musicians kept us afloat with some of the best tunes to hit the scene, and helped us to keep our sanity.

One of those artists? E^ST. The indie-pop musician already had amassed millions of streams, supported both Panic! At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots across their Australian tours, and has even become the in-demand writer for Noah Cyrus and Nicole Miller, but she’s also absolutely crushing it on her own in the music world.

Back in July – while most of us were experiencing a mental lockdown – South African-born Australian singer-songwriter E^ST released her stunning single ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ as the final reveal prior to her debut album I’M DOING IT.

Produced by Jim Eliot, the same mastermind behind the likes of Halsey, Ellie Goulding, and Kylie Minogue, ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ highlights itself as a pop anthem, infused with a deeper message that sparked from a troubling point in E^ST’s life.

“I wrote this song at a really difficult time in my life,” E^ST began, “and it’s almost like I wrote the song that I needed to hear.”

Formed from a realisation that our feelings aren’t always cemented, E^ST notes that “this song is about realising that just because life feels impossible, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible… And that as long as you’re trying something, there’s always hope.”

With this song adding to the “story of finding yourself after the collapse of a relationship” that much of the album examines, this song also delves into the “struggles of navigating your early 20s” with the troubles of “romance, mental health, adulthood, self-esteem,” and more.

Check out ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ by E^ST:


Not only did this song stem from a moment of frustration, but it helped to guide us through this horrible year, and through times that we all felt were impossible to go through. From trying to navigate life in general, with a pandemic thrown in, to just going through the motions, ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ visits it all.

With the lyrics resonating loud and clear, it’s obvious as to why so many flocked to it to make it through 2020: “I don’t really feel that much right now / I wish I could change that up somehow / I wanna feel like I’m flying / I’ll just keep on trying everything out.

As one of the biggest pop anthems of 2020, this song showcases E^ST’s pioneering ways of combining the classic, sensational pop sounds with cutting-edge lyrics, that draw the listener in, and make you want to play her songs on repeat.

Not in just pure energetic sound, but with lyrics that can draw you in, it’s clear that E^ST’s ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ marks itself as the best of the best, capturing exactly the vibes we look for in a pop single. It has that dreamy sound to captivate us, floating lyrics to ensnare, and a message that pretty much everyone can vibe with – especially with a year like this.

So, are you about ready to vote for your favourites in the Hottest 100? Narrowing it down to the best of the best?  Don’t forget to pop in E^ST’s ‘I WANNA BE HERE’ as it’s without-a-doubt the pop anthem we’ve all been spinning on repeat.

Check out E^ST: