Stay Awake

Album: Playing in the Shadows (2011)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • This is the second single from British rapper/singer Example's third album, Playing in the Shadows. The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 Annie Mac's Friday show on July 1, 2011.
  • The song finds Example discussing the rights and wrongs of the hedonistic lifestyle that many of today's British youth participate in. ("If we don't kill ourselves we'll be the leaders of a messed-up generation/If we don't kill ourselves will they believe us if we tell them the reasons why"). He explained to The Independent: "It's about this generation that we've grown up in, that have been seemingly taking more drugs than ever before. And drinking more, and spending more money on partying, raving and festivals. Is it right? Does it affect our personal life, or our work? Some of the best albums have been written on drugs. I don't think enough people talk about it. It is a bit edgy, but there are kids at 14 now doing things that I wasn't. Taking pills and smoking weed and having sex. I think because of that people shouldn't be scared to sing about it, even though I'm 28. I just hate bland music, with no emotion or message."
  • The song was produced by Nero. Dan Stephens from the English dubstep duo told Digital Spy about the writing of the tune for Example: "He came down to the studio and we played him a load of stuff that is similar to what we have on our record, which was quite dark and techy, but I don't think it was quite commercial enough! In the end we just wrote a big commercial dancefloor track for him, which is what we probably thought he was looking for. It worked out really well in the end because it's definitely not a Nero track or something we'd put out, but it works really well for him."
  • Example told Digital Spy about his collaboration with the Nero duo on this song: "I went in the studio with Dan first and he just had a small eight bar loop which was just the synth lift. I rapped over that part and then we sort of structured the song and built it up to where it filters and then added the dubstep drop, the beats and the middle eight. Then Joe got involved and finished the track and we ended up having version 22!"

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