Miley Cyrus as Phoebe Bridgers? TikToker Faith Zapata Unpacks Viral Song

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

When you think of Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA," you probably imagine dancing around with your friends, driving with the windows down, or feeling generally pumped up and ready for whatever the night may bring. But what if — and hear me out — "Party in the USA" was a song you could cry to instead?

That's the idea behind the viral tweet-turned-TikTok video that's been exploding on FYPs everywhere. It all started when Twitter user @oomfsucks pointed out that the lyrics to Miley's 2009 hit basically seem like they were written by Phoebe Bridgers without any other context. And if you need any more convincing, Faith Zapata is here to help.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The Bay Area musician, who goes by @faithcore on TikTok and @faithzap on Instagram, decided to convert that viral tweet into a real-life cover of "Party in the USA" as if it were sung by Phoebe Bridgers herself. "I listen to Phoebe so often that her chord progressions are pretty much implanted into my brain," Faith tells Teen Vogue. "I just took the way she usually does a melody — very melancholy, nostalgic, and dreamy — and rearranged the song’s overall vibe from pop to an indie folk style."

The result is a slow, poignant take on Miley's fun lyrics, making the vibe less about a climatic arrival in L.A. and more about a slightly sad memory — and it works. "It’s wild how the style of a piece of music can shift lyrical meanings," Faith agrees, adding that the track "went from a pop song about being excited to move somewhere new to a sad indie song about the struggle of feeling like you don't fit in." The combination of Faith's chords, which she says were inspired by Phoebe's "Punisher" and "Smoke Signals," and her clear, airy voice make it seem like we're actually listening to Phoebe covering Miley. It's no surprise that the video quickly racked up more than a million views and nearly 500,000 likes — a fact that is still surreal to Faith herself. "It doesn’t feel like a real thing that’s happening to me. I don’t know if there’s anything else to say but 'thank you.'"

If you take a quick scroll through the rest of Faith's TikTok page, you'll see that the 20-year-old frequently covers Phoebe Bridgers, along with other artists including Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and 5 Seconds of Summer. "I enjoy rewriting 5SOS songs to fit the girl’s perspective," she explains. "I find it fun to imagine how the person on the receiving end of the song might respond."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

In addition to her covers, Faith has been writing songs of her own since the fourth grade, and shares original tracks on Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp, where listeners can support her directly. Her latest release, "apollo," was written from the perspective of a mortal who falls in love with the Greek god — a songwriting strategy she says was inspired by Taylor Swift's folklore. "Like most songwriters, I mostly write about my personal life, but more recently, I’ve had a lack of interesting things happening to me (thanks, COVID), so I’ve delved into the universe of writing from the perspective of someone else," she adds.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

When it comes to the future, Faith is happy to keep music as her hobby — for now. "I don’t want it to feel like an obligation, you know?" she says. "I love making music and writing but I also like doing it on my own terms." As for "Party in the USA," chances are, TikTok will be getting a full-length version soon. "I’ll be honest — initially, I posted the video as a joke," Faith admits. "But seeing all the overflowing amount of requests [for a full version] convinced me to plan on it. I’m thinking I’m going to call it 'Party in the Alps' or 'Stranger in the USA.' I’m going to start recording it as soon as I can."

Let us slide into your DMs. Sign up for the Teen Vogue daily email.

Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: 

Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue