Sigala and Becky Hill take their own trip down the “Old Town Road.”
Lil Nas X has been releasing remixes of his hit song “Old Town Road” seemingly every week. His hit song has been at the top of Billboard for a record-breaking 17 weeks this summer and rightly so. The summer jam is simultaneously a song and a meme, making it the pinnacle of millennial and Gen-Z culture. With this context, the song’s success is obvious. This time around, however, Sigala and Becky Hill have taken it upon themselves to daringly cover this A-list bop.
Becky Hill’s vocals belong to a genre on the opposite end of the Old Town Road spectrum: a blend between pop and dance beats with the edge of an angsty alternative artist. Yet, for her rendition of “Old Town Road,” she highlights her sultry, raspy vocals. Her voice is one in the likes of BeBe Rexha, Jess Glynne, or even Adele, possessing a wide vocal range and embodying near unparalleled versatility. I’m almost shocked she doesn’t have a song in collaboration with Clean Bandit given the British pop band’s tendency to seek out solo artists whose raspy voices, like Hill’s, can accentuate a dance beat. Becky Hill and Sigala’s rendition is full of fun riffs, punchy harmonies, and expert electronic keyboard. The live mixing throughout the cover makes the experience particularly immersive. Between her trills and soft glides between notes, Hill brings out the melody of the song (which is usually shouted rather than sung) and enunciates the lyrics, pronouncing the musicality that underscores the beat. Their version is retro, fun, and a good listen.Together, they play with high-fi production on a song that falls somewhere between meme and cringey joke on the iconic, history-making scale. They feature backup singers to create layered harmonies and are seen in the video dancing along to their antics the entire time. The entire cover is over-the-top and over-produced in the best way. The duo clearly had an incredibly fun time making this mix, even adding their own touch of spunk with an infusion of Ginuwine’s “Pony” amid the last chorus.
The mashup is evidently an ode to the yee-haw trend of 2019, although Lil Nas X and Ginuwine are referencing very different types of ponies and horses in their respective songs. It’s the ultimate summer sound, an iconic number one hit meets dancing in your PJs with your friends at midnight. Lil Nas X is sure to catch wind of this dancebeat-infused version of his song, and when he does, I think it’s safe to expect another remix/collaboration before the end of the summer. Given that Billy Ray Cyrus (whose remix with Lil Nas just broke the record for most weeks at #1), Dolly Parton, and BTS have already had their shot at enhancing the song with their own flavor, what’s adding one more?