Happier
by Marshmello (featuring Bastille)

Album: single release only (2018)
Charted: 2 2

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Bastille's vocalist Dan Smith with Steve Mac (Clean Bandit's "Symphony," Ed Sheeran's "Shape Of You") in 2017. It finds Smith in a relationship that has run its course, and he recognizes the uncomfortable truth that love sometimes involves stepping away. He tells his romantic interest that he wants her to be happier, so he's going to leave her even though the image of his lover being with someone else is "eating me up inside."
  • Bastille saw potential in the song as a collaboration and hooked up with Marshmello to add some of his EDM beats. They were surprised with how the American producer was able to produce an upbeat song from such downbeat lyrics.

    "We had a really interesting time getting to work on it with Marshmello who managed to find some euphoria in a pretty melancholy, direct song," Smith told NME. "It's always good to step into somebody else's world for a minute and we're excited to be a part of it."
  • Other UK acts that Marshmello has collaborated with include Anne-Marie ("Friends") and James Arthur ("You Can Cry").
  • The poignant video was directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan, who also shot the clip for Marshmello's song "Flashbacks." The clip tells the heartwarming story of a bullied young girl (played by former Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove) who finds comfort in Mello, a golden retriever she received for her birthday.

    "When I heard happier for the first time I was taken aback," said Marshmello. "The amount of emotion that you could feel in the lyrics was crazy. As I listened to the song more and more it reminded me of so many things I've been through in my life. Toxic relationships, letting go of things I didn't want to and just situations where happiness came with a price. Recently I lost my dog which was really hard for me. I wanted the video to embrace the pain that we feel losing someone close to us and the cycle of life. This is what made me happier."
  • "Happier" is a prime example of Bastille's style in which they combine upbeat music with sad lyrics, a tradition that dates back to their breakthrough single "Pompeii."

    "It sort of builds to this big Marshmello drop that happens, and you're like, 'I don't know, should I be crying, or dancing?'" Dan Smith told ABC Radio.
  • Speaking to Billboard, Marshmello said that he "spent the most time on making the 'drop' the lead melody." He made about 15 different attempts before eventually landing on one he was happy with. "Everything else in the song fit perfectly," he added, "and it was my job to complement it."
  • "Happier" leapt to its highest Hot 100 chart position of #2 after Marshmello performed an in-game concert inside Epic Games' video game Fortnite on February 2, 2019.
  • Dan Smith originally wrote "Happier" for Justin Bieber. However, his team loved the tune and they persuaded him to keep it for Bastille.
  • Producer Artem "Arty" Stoliarov sued Marshmello and Bastille for plagiarism in May 2019 claiming "Happier" "deliberately copied" his 2014 remix of the OneRepublic song "I Lived."
  • So what does OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder think of the copyright case? He told the BBC: "If you listen to both of the [songs], I think anybody with a decent measure of musicality will draw their own conclusion. I'll leave it at that."
  • Steve Mac and Dan Smith shared three awards for "Happier" at the virtual ASCAP London Music Awards 2020. The single was named song of the year, top EDM song, and top streaming song.

    American performance rights organization ASCAP's London Music Awards recognize the previous year's most-performed music in the US created by UK songwriters and composers.

Comments: 3

  • Aji from IndonesiaFrom the first time i heard this, the "drop" part of this song is strongly similar with Grace Vanderwaal's "So Much More Than This".
  • Siahara Shyne Carter from United StatesIt's more About BASTILLE and Less Marshmello ;)
  • Neel from MumbaiHappier is not from this album "Other People's Heartache, Part 4"
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.