Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Yet to be titledReleased: 2017
The follow-up to Charlie Puth's hit song "Attention
," this finds him apologizing to a lover for being unfaithful.
The song's chorus is from the girl's perspective, in which she searches for details about his affair.How long has this been goin' on?
You've been creepin' 'round on me
While you're callin' me "baby"
How long has this been goin' on?
Charlie admitted in an interview with Access Hollywood
that the brutally honest lyrics are about something he has experienced in life.
The track opens with a slinky bassline. Speaking with Ryan Seacrest, Puth explained:
"It was originally supposed to be in E-flat minor. With the theme of 'Attention' kinda being a 'bass' song, I didn't want it to be, like, a ripoff of 'Attention,' but lyrically, the song is like part two of 'Attention,' as far as the story goes. I'll leave that up to interpretation. In my mind, it had to start out with a bass, but not so much a bass with so much melody, just like a [makes noise], like a walking bassline."
The song's music video was shot in downtown Los Angeles by Emil Nava. It finds Puth dancing on the sidewalk and in an empty office building, as well as walking on walls and even flying. Asked by MTV News why he wanted to show some of his moves in the clip, he replied:
"Because I can't dance! I'm very self-deprecating; I've been making fun of myself since the day I was born. If I did one more video where I was making out with a girl, I was going to throw up. I was so sick of that, so I decided to do something completely different. The song, the lyrics - it's kind of part two of "Attention," where there's a somber tone to it but a happy beat. And I don't really know why I'm dancing to this song. I don't know why I'm flying in the air. I just wanted to do something random. There's really no reason. Everyone's going to come up with all these theories, like, 'Oh, he's dancing to celebrate that he's free.' No. I just wanted to dance like an idiot."
Charlie Puth produced the track himself and co-wrote it with Jacob Kasher (Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad
," Maroon 5's "Sugar
"He brought 'How Long' to me with the melodies and beat pretty much done the way you hear it on the radio," Kasher recalled to Billboard
. "Charlie explained to me his vision of the song and said, 'Do you like this? Do you want to write it?'"