Released in July of 2018 “Eastside” was meant to be a summer thriller. Now, a year later, it has dominated the music world; critically acclaimed, Billboard Top 10 over 786 million streams on Spotify.
Anyone who has watched the official music video, which has garnered over 470 million views, it is clear that the song digs far deeper than the surface level words.
The song innocently begins with “When I was young, I fell in love” paying homage to the childhood love life of Benjamin Joseph Levin and Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, professionally known as Benny Blanco and Halsey (who are the artists of this song).
Afterwards, Khalid, an up-and-coming 21-year-old singer, soothes the listener into his next stanza where they are thrown onto “back of the bus” as they envision two young high school lovers flirting with each other.
Although the song is one of innocence and high school fun, it also takes a look at what becomes of us after high school. Even though adolescents think they know what they want, most of the time they end up with “dead-end jobs and got bills to pay,” as the song mentions.
This is the harsh reality of life. And as high schoolers or young adults, ignorance is bliss. Moving on, Khalid and Halsey both look back at their younger life and remember the good memories they have, inspiring the listener to think about their own good memories and what is to come.
When thinking about the layers of this masterpiece, each aspect of the song must be considered. Since the audience is a younger target group, there is a disparity between emotional and experience context.
Yet, the three artists who came together to create this song clearly understood this and took great steps to create a context in which the younger generation could understand. In doing so, they created a hit that is both nostalgic and impactful.
Furthermore, their message is amplified as they intertwine the chorus throughout certain parts of the song. By repeating these few lines over and over, the conveyed ideas solidified while making it easier for the listener to understand.
Additionally, the harmonic beauty is unparalleled. By intertwining the melodic tunes of a guitar with the naturally talented voices of Khalid and Halsey, Benny Blanco composed a masterpiece of the century. It not only conveys the intended message but also resonates all while maintaining a firm grip on its musical stature.
Over a year after its release, its popularity may have diminished in the face of newer more trendy songs but its relevance and meaning still holds.
Teenagers and young adults no matter their age or background can relate to the powerful messages of emergence and young love.