Written By Hero Magnus
The phrase ‘feel the same’ usually brings up the classic question of unrequited love: do you feel the same way about me as I do about you? With her debut single “Feel the Same,” Jean Watts turns the phrase on its head, asking instead if her significant other feels the same frustration in their relationship as she does with lyrics like: “I don’t want to hurt you, babe / so say you feel the same… / you’re so sick of all the pain.”
With a staggering 723,000 Instagram followers, Jean Watts is best known for her pink hair and thriving presence on all forms of social media. But although she has many talents, Watts calls herself first and foremost “an artist, a songwriter, and a storyteller.” She has been playing piano since she was 10 and writing music since she turned 13 (long before she snapped any picturesque selfies!). A few years ago, the rising artist began sharing her music with an original song called “Spirit Animal,” and she followed it up with an acoustic cover of Drake’s hip hop hit “Fake Love.”
Grounded in catchy percussive work and lovely vocals, “Feel the Same” is her debut single, a sweet but strong pop confection.
“I have been working with this producer infinity and he played me the track one random session. I loved it from the first moment I heard it,” says Watts. “The recording process was a lot of fun. We always have a great time working together and it’s always easy to work with friends. Also, shout out to Mike Waters and Gia Woods who wrote on the track.”
Watts’ voice is evocative of Alessia Cara, with a bit of breathiness and a strong lower range. The song is very tight with great rhythm, especially when she settles into a steady, danceable chorus. There are some finger snaps throughout the song, along with electronic / synthesizer sounds and electric guitar: the collection of sounds is sparse and simple, allowing the vocal to shine through. The last bit of the song is absolutely the best, featuring some sweet hums from Watts’ gorgeous voice.
“…At the end of the day, it truly is a breakup song. It’s about realizing that your relationship with someone you love has changed and it’s gotten to the point where you’re starting to just hurt each other and it needs to stop,” says Watts. “The song is coming from my point of view that I can’t take it anymore and hoping that he/she agrees that we should split.”
Watts’ lyrics strike a balance between instability and strength. On the one hand, she asks for her lover to confirm that their relationship is failing when she sings, “tell me honestly / does it get to you like it does to me?”. At the same time, she hints at uncertainty with lyrics like “I tried not to feel this way”— maybe it’s all in her head. The catchy beat is deceptive, almost too danceable and fun to conceal such a cacophony of emotions.
“‘Feel The Same’ really gravitated to me because I used to be in a relationship for a couple years … I loved him but backing away from the situation and looking in, I realized how toxic it actually was,” comments Watts. “I broke it off with him, which was incredibly incredibly hard, but I most importantly wanted him to understand and agree with me. I never want to hurt anyone, but the relationship was causing too much pain on myself to not break it off.”
The music video for “Feel the Same” shows Watts in a car with wheels that spin fruitlessly, unable to move. (Not to spoil it for you, but there’s also broken glass and lots of fire). It’s a great video, combining Watts’ signature aesthetics with the symbolism of a frustrating relationship.
“Cameron Goold and Nick Dean directed the video. When they called me about the concept I just fell in love. I feel that [the] video is so beautiful and describes the song so well. It’s so relatable to how I’ve felt and how other people feel,” comments Watts. “When things get really hard, it’s like, “F*** This!” “I’m Done!”. The smile towards the end is one of my favorite parts of it, because it’s the moment of gratification of taking control of your life and letting go of all the things you bottle up. Love that feeling, that internal peace of freedom. It’s empowering, real, and badass.”
Here’s hoping we get some new music from the rising star before she sets any more cars on fire!
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