‘STAY’ is Australian Kid Laroi and Canada’s Justin Bieber’s 2nd duet, after their collaboration on Bieber’s ‘Unstable’.
Written and produced with Charlie Puth and Cashmere Cat ‘STAY’ is one of the highest performing songs of the year peaking at no.1 in 31 different countries including topping the US Billboard Hot 100 and clocking up nearly a billion Spotify streams since its July 2021 release date.
‘STAY’ continues 2021’s trend for faster tempos, clocking in at a whopping 170 bpm. The chord sequence is suitably simple to fit the fast tempo. In the Key of Bb Natural Minor, the song’s simple progression largely remains throughout and centers around the VI VII I V Chords. In this case Gb/ Ab/ Bbm/ Fm.
The single tone advancement at the top of the progression between the Gb and Ab chords helps the song’s energetic feel. The only variation in the chord sequence throughout the entirety of the song happens when the V chord is left out in the bar before the start of every chorus.
The break gives the first beat of the Chorus real impact.
The lyric for ‘STAY’ is simple and conversational. The fast meter of the lyric necessitates that the word composition be based around the language’s rhythmic ability.
To execute that, the writers have penned a lyric that is largely based around single-syllable words. This is particularly evident in the last word of every line of the Chorus, where the writers use the closed sound of ‘could’ and ‘would’ alongside the short snappiness of ‘you’ and ‘hey’ to keep the meter fast and the lyric intelligible by making a space before the start of the next Chorus line.
The choice of language is also based on the strengths of each vocalist’s delivery. The prettier sound of Bieber’s voice is accentuated not only by the different melody accompanying his vocal in the 2nd verse but also by the softer choice of more romantic language.
Laroi’s harder delivery is graced with a harder and blunter lyric that better suits the tone of his vocal.
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