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The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Music Review: To the Critics – “Whatever”

Ava Max and Kygo’s song “Whatever” is just not “whatever”.
Ava Max and Kygo
Cover of the song: Whatever

    Since early January, singer-songwriter Ava Max and DJ Kygo, posted clips of their new song collaboration, “Whatever” on their social media accounts. Both artists teased their fans with the upcoming release on Jan.19.

   It sparked controversy among music lovers because of its similarity to Shakira’s song “Whenever, Wherever,” which was released in 2001.

   Ava Max has been notorious for remaking and sampling other artists’ songs, such as one of her popular songs “Kings and Queens” which had music similar to “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)” from Bon Jovi.

   As someone who grew up listening to music from Ava Max, Kygo and Shakira, I was very happy to hear some of my favorite childhood song writers’ talents all put into one song. Some commenters under the Youtube video of “Whatever” felt the same.

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   “As a fan of Shakira, Kygo and Ava, this is just joy overflowing,” said @michaelnamukuwa8644 in the comments of the music video.

   It’s hard to not notice the resemblance between the two songs. Ava Max’s smooth vocals mixes well with her new take on “Whenever, Wherever”, giving the song a more romantic feel despite the message the lyrics hold. It differs greatly from Shakira’s raspier vocals. 

   “Mid to late 2010s nostalgic vibes, sounds like fresh air,” said @saptieujobe9293  in the comments section.

   I can’t help but feel the same. This song brings me back to some of my childhood memories where I was along to Shakira’s top songs. Ava Max and Kygo’s modern twist not only encapsulates the nostalgic feeling of the past, but it also highlights modern pop culture songs about love and broken hearts with lyrics like “And, yeah, it sucks sometimes in love. You try your best, but it doesn’t work out.” 

   What I found most interesting is that Ava Max and Kygo flipped the story that Shakira sang about.

While Shakira’s song talks about being together with someone you love, Ava Max and Kygo turn it into a song talking about how someone was not the right person for them.

   The contrast between Shakira’s lyrics “Whenever, wherever. We’re meant to be together. I’ll be there, and you’ll be near,” was especially fun to hear in Ava Max and Kygo’s reinterpretation of the 2001 pop hit. Rather than the romantic lyrics Shakira provides, Ava Max sung “Whatever, whatever. We were never good together. I’ll be here and you stay there.”

   The opposing views and lyrics made it feel like a story, being told through two songs, about a developing relationship that later crashed down around a couple. 

  One of my favorite features of “Whatever” is the male background voice that occasionally sings “whatever, whatever” during Kygo’s DJing, moves left and right when wearing headphones. I would compare it to an 8D audio, the sound seems to flow from one earbud to the other. 

   I rarely come across music that includes that feature, which makes this song one of the more unique songs I’ve encountered recently.

   I thoroughly enjoyed this rewrite of one of the early 2000s songs that many people grew up with. Ava Max and Kygo were very good at pushing out the feeling of being dismissive and moving on from a lover by the repetitive singing of the word “whatever”.

   Overall, I would rate this song an 8/10 and can not wait to see upcoming album releases from both Ava Max and Kygo. 


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About the Contributor
Rachel Guo
Rachel Guo, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Rachel is a junior and Co-Editor-in-Chief. This is her third year on the Gazette staff.

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