The 1975’s Matty Healy has explained the core ideas behind the band’s 2019 single ‘People’ for Genius‘ ‘Verified’ series.
Healy, appearing via remote link-up and looking considerably more dishevelled than the last time he spoke to Genius, has given fans a portal into his creative process. ‘People’ was the first official single lifted from The 1975’s sprawling fourth LP, Notes On a Conditional Form. While the record came out this May, the single appeared in August 2019.
It was preceded by the band’s collaboration with youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, which pairs Thunberg’s unflinching call for rebellion with an ambient sound-bed. ‘People’ builds on these themes, but takes a vastly different musical tack – it’s The 1975’s most ferocious punk song to date.
Healy has often spoken about his hopes that the album, and the Thunberg collaboration in particular, could serve as a time capsule for future generations. He unpacks this notion further in the Genius segment.
“I like the idea of making a record now, because people can find that in the rubble in a thousand years. They’re not going to find this in the rubble,” he says in reference to the video being recorded. “[The album] talks about, ‘this is just us trying.'”
Healy describes ‘People’ as a song “about young voices of progression being drowned out by regressive ideals.” He then reflect on the song’s genesis: “We were on the tour bus and we had a studio. It was late and we were angry at that time. So it came from a place of anger.”
He proceeds to provide context and detailed analysis of the song’s complete lyrics, verse by verse. At one point, he pays a peculiar compliment to Kanye West. “I’ve actually genuinely always felt like, ‘Fucking hell I’m actually going to die. That’s crazy.’ So I wish that I maybe lived in a way that paid tribute to that idea a bit more. But I don’t think anyone does. Kanye tries to; that’s what I admire about him.” Check it all out on YouTube.
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