Interview: Social House Talks New EP, Working With Ariana Grande & More
Social House has had their hands in some of the biggest songs in the last 12 months. The duo, comprised of Mikey Foster and Charles Scootie Anderson, assisted with Ariana Grande’s smashes “thank u, next” and “7 rings.” In the meantime, they’ve been building up an equally impressive discography of their own. The Pittsburgh natives landed a hit out of the gate with debut single “Magic In The Hamptons.” Featuring Lil Yachty, it’s amassed more than 99 million Spotify streams. And that was just the start of things. The pair kept the bops coming into 2019.
They kicked off the new year with “Haunt You,” which features backing vocals from Ari. After that they got back together with their frequent collaborator and tour mate on “Boyfriend.” The painfully relatable ode to modern romance debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, notching them their first entry on the chart. It also topped Rolling Stone’s new Top 100 Songs. That led into the release of their debut EP Everything Changed… The innovative project tells the story of a breakup in reverse, and it contains no shortage of high-quality content.
Last week I had the opportunity to ask Mikey and Scootie some questions via email. We talked about what it was like putting the EP together, how they felt now that it was out and seeing one of their own songs roaring up the charts. But that’s not all they opened up about. They shared some insight into working with Ari on her chart-toppers, the “Boyfriend” video and why she decided to lend backing vocals to “Haunt You.” The “Magic In The Hamptons” stars also reflected on their time on the road and in the recording studio. Revisit “Boyfriend” and get better acquainted with Mikey and Scootie by diving into our interview below.
Congratulations on the release of Everything Changed… How does it feel to have your first EP out?
Mikey: It’s been really cool to see our names on some of these incredible pages and lists, like on the iTunes home page, Spotify New Music Friday lists, etc. The reception to our EP has been overwhelmingly positive, and we couldn’t be happier.
The project came together in two weeks, which is a really impressive turnaround time. What was it like working on it?
Scootie: It was actually really fun and relaxing. We were with two of our really good friends: Anton and Isabella in a cabin in Big Bear, California, and we literally just had a big kumbaya session and talked about how we were each feeling. It was very therapeutic to just figure out what was going on in each other’s heads and love lives to put into songs.
I’m also really intrigued by how the tracklist depicts a “breakup in reverse.” Was there a reason you decided to flip the script and work in reverse chronological order instead of telling a more traditional story?
Mikey: The EP timeline is based off of a post-relationship outlook into what went wrong in a relationship; what was both good and bad about it vs. just looking at a relationship in a more traditional way.
It’s interesting that the singles also do the same thing. You started at the end with “Haunt You” and are now at the beginning with “Tropical Rain.” Was that also intentional?
Scootie: That actually wasn’t intentional. It just happened to be the records that people gravitated towards and liked. Plus, we’re not sure “Tropical Rain” will be the next single ;)
Speaking of, why did you decide to lead the project with “Haunt You”? The track is so gorgeous and wistful. And, of course, it’s cool that Ariana is involved. How does it feel to have such a popular artist with such a distinctive voice as a backing vocalist?
Mikey: We decided to lead with “Haunt You” because that song really means a lot to the both of us in different ways. Along with the story of the relationship in reverse that we used in the EP, this song has a personal deep meaning to the both of us. And we thought people should get to know us as people first before we put out any more new music.
The song also meant a lot to Ariana when she first heard it. Considering the many things she’s been through in her life — she could easily relate to its message about love and lost. She wanted to help out with the song but wasn’t seeking any credit or glory for being part of it. She simply just enjoyed the song and wanted to help out
That leads to “Boyfriend,” which is great because it’s more of a true collab. Not only that, but it is so damn relatable. The “I’m a motherfuckin’ trainwreck” line alone just speaks to me on a ridiculously deep level. How did that one come together?
Both: We came home one day from getting our hair done and Ariana was in the living room with Tommy Brown and Steven Franks. They told us they had just come up with an amazing song idea about modern day relationships and that they wanted us to be a part of it. So we wrote our verses immediately and recorded our parts as fast as we could (Scootie actually recorded his part at the backstage of The Forum). A lot of people are going through “situationships” these days, and we think can relate to this song a lot.
The video is also really wild. Who came up with the idea and what was your favorite part about working on the shoot?
Mikey: Hannah Lux Davis and Ariana came up with the video idea. My favorite part of the video was the bow & arrow scene because Ari wielded an actual bow & arrow, and I was worried she was gonna shoot me on accident. It’s my favorite scene because it was slightly life threatening.
Now you’re turning the focus to “Tropical Rain.” This one is easily the sexiest song on the EP and an absolute bop. Do you have any plans to film a video for it?
Scootie: Maybe, we’ll find out. *winks*
Do you think you’ll release any more singles off the EP or are you already looking forward to new material?
Mikey: Stay tuned! *winks*
I also wanted to talk about the charts a bit. “boyfriend” debuted inside the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is number 1 on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Songs. What is it like having your own song performing so well versus a song like “thank u, next” or “7 rings” where you were involved but working behind the scenes?
Scootie: It was a very surreal feeling. Being that we’re brand new artists, it’s unprecedented for us to be doing some of the things that we’re doing. It’s a dream come true. We’re seeing our names on such prestigious platforms that we’ve studied and looked up to for so long. It’s kinda insane.
Speaking of, did you guys know “thank u, next” and “7 rings” would be that big when you first started working on them?
Scootie: We weren’t really thinking of those songs in that capacity when we were working on them. We were there to just help our friend through a tough time in her life. We ended up making songs that were both therapeutic and that meant a lot to both her and us. We weren’t aiming for a hit song or a number 1 song. We were just making songs that explained what we were going through at that time and what helped Ari through.
Are there any other artists you really want to collaborate with moving forward?
Mikey: Legendary rock groups are always cool. Maybe Hans Zimmer.
When you guys are working on material, how do you decide if it’s a song you want to keep or if it’s for another artist?
Scootie: I feel the two are very different. When you’re working on a song for another artist, you have to get into that artist’s head and help them to tell their story vs. when it’s a song for you, you’re telling your story. It comes from within your own head vs. writing for someone else, so you have to dig deep to understand how you feel.
Speaking of, you hit it big straight out of the gate with “Magic In The Hamptons.” What about that song made you decide to hold onto it?
Mikey: Everybody who listened to “Magic in the Hamptons” pre-release said they felt happier after listening to it. So we thought It would be cool if the rest of the world felt the same way if we released it as our song.
You’ve spent a lot of time touring this year. What is your favorite thing about playing live?
Scootie: Seeing the audience’s reactions and really connecting with them and engaging with them live. We love hearing people singing the songs that we wrote from our own experiences and how we were feeling at the time. It’s kinda crazy knowing someone else feels the same way—it’s a super connective experience.
And one last question: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Mikey: We’re on tour until December. So that’s really the only plan—enjoying being on tour for the rest of the year!