COLLECTION SOCIÉTÉ FRANÇAISE DE PHOTOGRAPHIE (COLL. SFP)
© 2020 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK / ADAGP,
In February of this year, I took the opportunity to wax a bit poetic about one of my favorite groups, OnlyOneOf, and their digital single dOra maar, You might remember that I was – and still am – completely entranced by the romanticism of the vocals, by the choreo, and by the music itself. I took the time to read through the translated lyrics and to really sit in the heavy emotions the song brings out in me. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite songs of this year if not my actual #1 fav song.
And I don’t choose favorites like that.
A very short while later, when the world was locked up in their homes and workspaces because of COVID, OOO hosted a competition for artists around the world to write their own English language lyrics for the song with a big old prize of $100,000US. Entries were accepted regardless of age, geography, or the number of folks submitting per entry (solo artists and groups were both welcome). They even allowed hopefuls to submit more than once.
As you can imagine, the contest received a lot more attention than OOO expected, and entries flooded in from around the world. I, admittedly, didn’t watch that many because I love the og version so much I didn’t want to muddy the waters. BUT, when I heard that one of my fav soloists, the writer, composer, and performer of one of the tippity top songs of 2018, Villain, was throwing his hat in the ring, I HAD to hear it.
Villain has been having a pretty rough go of it in the last few years. I don’t know all the details, but he was pretty explicit in an article for Beat in 2020 about his deteriorating relationship with Planetarium Records and his inability to put out his own music since 2018. But in an effort to keep his name out there and for the opportunity to play around with a song he quite liked – not to mention those prize dollars – Villain crafted his own perfectly perfect version of the song.
And it’s stunning.
I’m so glad that OOO and their company agreed. Villain won that prize money and we all won the opportunity to hear this version of the song. Participation trophies for everyone.
dOra Maar, Villain (OnlyOneOf Cover Contest)