Diplo Shares A Snippet Of Beyonce’s “Hold Up” Demo Voiced By Ezra Koenig

Mike Wass | April 26, 2016 4:23 pm
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Lemonade highlight “Hold Up” offers a fascinating case study of how pop songs come together in 2016. Beyonce’s summery reggae bop, which samples three tracks and boasts 15 songwriters, has sparked so much interest that two of the collaborators have explained its slightly unusual evolution. Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig came up with the idea — via a tweet about a Yeah Yeah Yeahs classic, no less — and then workshopped the song with Diplo.

Lana Del Rey producer Emile Haynie then entered the picture and brought in Father John Misty to add lyrics and a melody. “I went crazy and recorded a verse melody and refrain too that, unbelievably – when you consider how ridiculous my voice sounds on the demo – ended up making the record,” he revealed. Now you have a chance to actually hear “Hold Up” in a very early incarnation. Diplo shared the snippet on SnapChat and Mr. Koenig gave it context in a series of tweets.

“That sounds like my demo vocals filtered and placed on something different,” Ezra explained. “Not the original demo cuz it doesn’t have the sample also does’t have the whole hook.” He then wrote the snippet off as a studio detour. “This is more of an experimental alternate version that didn’t go anywhere.” Listen to the demo and wade through the songwriter’s tweets below.

A snippet of the demo:

Ezra gives the snippet context: