Halsey – “Solo” (Frank Ocean Cover)

This year, Halsey is taking a massive pop-star leap. Already in 2019, Halsey has scored a #1 single — her first that did not involve hanging out with the Chainsmokers — and she’s hosted Saturday Night Live. More recently, K-pop boy-band overlords BTS have drafted Halsey to join in on their American takeover. When you’ve suddenly found yourself hitting that new level of fame, as Halsey has, it can be hard to maintain any sense of intimacy with the fans who made you famous in the first place. So it’s cool that Halsey has figured out an artful way to reach out. She’s covered Frank Ocean.

Frank Ocean’s “Solo,” a beautifully sketched-out half-whisper of a song from 2016’s Blond, is turning out to be the sort of song that pop stars love covering. Last year, Lorde sang the song during the first date of her American tour. And now Halsey has also shared a “Solo” cover that works as both an offering to her fans and a vague teaser of some upcoming tour.

On Twitter, Halsey writes that she’d sing “Solo” to herself in the dressing room every night when she was on her last tour. And she’s also shared a spare, scratchy relatively lo-fi “Solo” cover, setting it to footage of herself on that last tour. Nobody’s ever going to be able to sing that song the way Frank Ocean did; it’s clearly too personal and specific to completely translate when somebody else sings it. But Halsey’s take on the song is genuinely pretty, and she’s resisted the temptation to oversing wildly or to pile effects all over it. It’s nice. Below, check out Halsey’s version, as well as Frank Ocean’s original.

If someone like Billie Eilish covers “Solo” next, then it’s officially a trend.