Hope and self-reflection are a few things we learned while living in the pandemic. The meaning of hope and self-reflection are themes present throughout Ingrid Michaelson and ZAYN’s collaboration “To Begin Again.” Michaelson was inspired by Joe Biden’s US presidential election win. On the night of Biden’s US presidential win, Michaelson wrote the song within 15 minutes and with the help of Australian songwriter Sarah Aarons.
Typically, Michaelson is behind the scenes writing songs for musicals and shows, and this song was certainly no exception. Currently, she’s writing the lyrics and music for The Notebook Musical, but Michaelson is no stranger to pop music – Michaelson penned the omnipresent song “Be OK,” which was used for a several commercials, including those for Traveler’s Insurance, Mott’s Apple Juice, and Coca-Cola.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Michaelson was already requested by ZAYN’s management to collaborate with him. Choosing ZAYN for “To Begin Again” was an easy decision for her, as she has been a long-time admirer of ZAYN’s vocal prowess, and he, in turn has long admired her songwriting. The song begins with Michaelson’s angelic voice in the first verse and chorus. ZAYN’s high notes come in the second verse: “When the world was ending, we looked up at the sky.”
The most impressive about this song is that ZAYN and Michaelson have never met, nor communicated, making this a true pandemic song, done completely virtually.
As the pandemic caused mass unemployment in the music industry, artists from all over the world have come together to write songs that reflected this situation, as well as several artists such as H.E.R. writing songs about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The COVID-19 pandemic teaches us that we can self-reflect and never lose hope in the challenges we face ahead, and that maybe there’s still time “To Begin Again.”
Featured Image: Cabin 24 Records