Here, guest vocalist Jhene Aiko questions superficiality in relationships. It is the first collaboration between The Chainsmokers and the R&B vocalist.
The Chainsmokers explained the song's meaning in a Facebook post:
"Jhene Aiko sings about her material success and how that leads her to question the integrity of her relationships. She acknowledges the fact that her achievements are magnetic but really wants to know if the people they've pulled into her life are truly interested in her as a person or what she can do for them. It's an over sexualized story about finding success but regardless of that the fear of still being alone haunts us.
The road is a lonely place, and even being surrounded by people all the time can make that even lonelier, it's not a cry for sympathy but a statement about loneliness and finding meaning with important people. We admire Jhene for being such a strong willed artist and couldn't ask for a better collaboration."
Scott Harris, who wrote the majority of Shawn Mendes' Illuminate album including the Canadian's huge hit "Treat You Better," helped The Chainsmokers write this track. Harris also co-wrote another Memories… Do Not Open song, "The One."
The song was already fully conceived musically and lyrically when The Chainsmokers brought it to Aiko's team. She told Billboard magazine "I usually don't do dance type of records, but when I heard ('Wake Up Alone'), I felt like it was something I wanted to try."
So Aiko went into the studio and started singing along to the original melody. "I was trying to adjust to this other type of sound," she recalled. "It started off a little like 'oh, I don't know if I'm going to sound right on this,' but once I started recording it, I asked myself 'how would you sing this? How would you wanna do this? And that's what I did."
It has long been speculated that the Soundgarden song "Black Hole Sun" came from the name of a sculpture in Seattle, but according to their frontman Chris Cornell the title came from a phrase he misheard on the news. The band's name did come from a sculpture.
Carla Thomas became the first woman to achieve a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 with a song she wrote herself when "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)" reached the chart's top tier in 1961. Thomas was just 16-years-old when she penned it.