This song is a post-breakup ballad featuring the voice of Elley Duhé, the Alabama-born, Los Angeles based singer whose debut single "Millennium" was released in 2016. Shortly after "Happy Now" was dropped, Duhé made available her debut six-track EP, Dragon Mentality, on RCA Records.
This zippy pop ballad was co-written by Zedd with:
Swedish singer-songwriter Noonie Bao (Avicci Vs Nicky Romero's "I Could Be The One
," Clean Bandit's "Dust Clears
Australian Sarah Aaron, who is a frequent collaborator of Zedd's. They co-wrote his hit tunes "Stay
" and "The Middle
" together. Her other credits include Demi Lovato's "Lonely
," and Jessie Ware's "Alone
The Russian-German DJ produced the track himself.
Zedd's bright and bouncy synth melodies counterbalances the lyrics, which tell a bitter story of love lost.
You're a world away
Somewhere in the crowd
In a foreign place
Are you happy now?
Since their breakup, Elley Duhé and her ex have grown very far apart. It was him who ended their relationship and she wonders whether with he is happy now with what he did.
Zedd said in a press release: "'Happy Now' is the most organic sounding song I've made in a long time. The majority of what you hear was recorded using real instrumentation, a lot of pianos and a lot of guitars. Lyrically, it's a song that is both happy and sad at the same time, while musically, it's a song that rather leans towards a happier, sunnier side.'"
Initially titled "Are You Happy Now" the song originally featured Norwegian singer Sigrid, who had just broken through at the time with her own hit single "Don't Kill My Vibe
." However, Zedd eventually chose Elley Duhé as the featured vocalist. He explained when he premiered the song on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show:
"I think why I really gravitated towards her was that she had a genuine and honest approach to the song and she felt vulnerable and real."
Zedd debuted the song live on July 3, 2018 at his Zedd in the Park one day festival at LA State Historic Park, where he brought Elley Duhé on stage for a live performance.
The video, directed by Dori Oskowitz (Justin Bieber, Kesha, Jack White), features a pair of good-looking couples enjoying themselves in a modern desert home. However, there is an underlying tension due to what happened between two of the people the night before.