Rina Sawayama is taking a leap of faith — and it’s thanks to her mother that she’s certain she won’t be left free-falling off the edge of a cliff. On her latest single “Catch Me in the Air,” the singer delivers a maternal ode to the cyclical, codependent nature of growing up with one parent who’s figuring it out as they go, urging: “Mama, look at me now, I’m flying.”
“I really wanted to write about this weird relationship with single parents,” Sawayama said in a statement. “You do catch each other in the air.”
Speaking with Rolling Stone UK, the singer opened up about her relationship with her mother, sharing: “Everything that she had done in the first 28 to 29 years of my life had been for me. And once she realized that I didn’t need support as much any more, she just eased off. Now, knowing how much she had to go through, I can understand and sympathize with her.”
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On “Catch Me in the Air,” Sawayama retraces the steps of becoming each other’s support system and where they stand now that they’re both on their own. “And they will never know/The fear of making a mistake/The risk you take, the pain you create,” she sings. “But mama look at us now/High above the clouds/Yeah I hope that you’re, hope that you’re proud.”
The singer first debuted “Catch Me in the Air” on her most recent tour through the U.S. and U.K. In the montage-like music video crafted under the creative direction of Chester Lockhart, footage from her concerts combines with fluorescent landscapes tapping into the track’s airy, atmospheric production.
“I wanted the whole song to sound like it was on an Irish coastline, like a Corrs video,” Sawayama explained of writing the song in between lockdowns with Oscar Scheller and Gracey. “We put in a key change to go into the chorus, at the end of the pre-chorus to make it lift and soar like a bird.”
From there, the track — which serves as the second single following “This Hell” from the singer’s forthcoming sophomore album Hold the Girl, out Sept. 2 — underwent changes from producer Clarence Clarity before making its way to Stuart Price. Sawayama explains: “We would send each other stock images of coastlines, people doing yoga on a pier, meditating in the middle of a field, hay bales, etc. to get inspired sonically.”
She adds: “This was the first song that Stuart and I worked on together, and it was the most incredible experience. I’m such a huge fan of his work with Madonna and Kylie [Minogue] so it was a dream come true.”
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