Bad Friend

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Songfacts®:

  • Born in Japan and raised in London, Rina Sawayama is a singer-songwriter and model whose music is a blend of electro-pop, house music, and metal. This song is from her eponymous debut album.
  • The song finds Sawayama grappling with feelings of guilt after falling out with a once-close friend.

    Don't ask me where I've been
    Been avoiding everything
    'Cause I'm a bad friend


    Sawayama wrote the track after finding out through Facebook that her childhood best friend had just had a baby.
  • The first verse details a trip that Sawayama and her once-close friend took to Tokyo in 2012.

    We ran through the bright Tokyo lights, nothing to lose
    Summer of 2012, burnt in my mind
    Hot, crazy, and drunk, five in a room
    Singing our hearts out to Carly, sweat in our eyes


    The pair visited the same karaoke room that Sophia Coppola shot in the Lost in Translation movie. There, they got drunk and danced to Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Sawayama told Genius it "was a wild full circle moment" as frequent Carly Rae collaborator Kyle Shearer produced "Bad Friend."
  • Longtime Sawayama collaborator Ali Kurr directed the video, which finds the Japanese star transformed into a stressed-out businessman drowning his sorrows at a bar. "The song is about the heartbreak of losing a friendship and realizing that you were the cause of the breakdown," said Sawayama. "When you hear the song, this is not the video you imagine - but that's exactly what we wanted. The music video is a reimagining of the themes in 'Bad Friend' of longing, loss, self hate and ultimately self love."

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