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"Now Or Never" is a song performed by Halsey. It serves as the lead single of her sophomore studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, on which it is featured as the fifth track on the standard and as the sixth track on the deluxe edition. It was released on April 4, 2017 through Astralwerks Records. The song peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1]

Background

During a special listening party event in London[2], Halsey played a few tracks from her upcoming album to 100 of her fans, including "Now Or Never". On April 2, 2017, Halsey confirmed via her Twitter account that the song would serve as the lead single from the album.The track was teased through a series of tweets by Halsey, leading fans to different coordinates to unveil the cover art for the album.[3] The single was announced alongside the reveal of the cover through Halsey's social media accounts a day before its official release.[4]

In a press release Halsey talked more about the song:

"On its own, the song is about two impatient young lovers. But in the context of the hopeless fountain kingdom universe, the stakes are much higher for these two star-crossed lovers."
—Halsey[5]

In an interview with iHeart Radio the singer talked about the writing process of the song:

"We’d finish the track and then be ready to go, and [Blanco would] be like, 'Hey, I heard that thing you sang. Are you okay?' It was kind of like he was hearing a cry for help in what I was singing, which was cool because it made us bond."
—Halsey[6]

During February 2018, the unedited or demo version of the song was being traded, with people thinking it was a Room 93 outtake. It was then leaked in March by the YouTube user SailorEvasive but was taken down shortly after.

The song could be found on torrent websites after the leak, but was still hard to find. Eventually, a YouTube user by the name of Paper Town re-uploaded the song in full a day before the release.[7]

The song was performed live for the first time since its release on May 4, 2017 during The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Lyrically, the song describes the story of two young lovers enduring hardships and struggles in a dystopian world. These two lovers are Luna of the Aureum House and Solis from the House of Angelus, who parallel the Shakespearean characters Romeo and Juliet.

Cross-references

  • The song references "Hold Me Down" in its chorus: "I want you to hold me down".
  • The lyric "Never pick up, never call me" is similar to "She doesn't call me on the phone anymore" from "Strangers".

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I don't wanna fight right now
Know you always right, now
Know I need you 'round with me
But nobody waitin' 'round with me
Been through the ups
Yeah the ups and the downs with me
Got a whole lot of love
But you don't wanna spread it 'round with me, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Never pick up, never call me
You know we're runnin' out of time
Never pick up when you want me
Now I gotta draw a line
Baby I done done enough talking
Need to know that you're mine
Baby we done done enough talking
Gotta be right now, right now

[Chorus]
Baby gon' love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never, hey, hey, hey
I want you to hold me down, down, down, down, down, down
Down forever, hey, hey, hey
Said you know I wanna keep you around
'Round forever, hey, hey, hey
I want you to love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never

[Verse 2]
I'm turnin' off the light right now
I'm callin' it a night now
Wishin' you were 'round with me
But you're in a different town than me
We've been through it all
But you could never spit it out for me
Tryna talk to a wall
But you could never tear it down for me, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Never pick up, never call me
You know we're runnin' out of time
Never pick up when you want me
Now I gotta draw a line
Baby I done done enough talking
Need to know that you're mine
Baby we done done enough talking
Gotta be right now, right now

[Chorus]
Baby gon' love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never, hey, hey, hey
I want you to hold me down, down, down, down, down, down
Down forever, hey, hey, hey
Said you know I wanna keep you around
'Round forever, hey, hey, hey
I want you to love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never

[Bridge]
Yeah, draw the line up
Don't take no more time up, yeah
Make your mind up
I need you to make your mind up, yeah
Draw the line up
Don't take no more time up, yeah
Baby you gotta decide something
Let me know

[Chorus]
Baby gon' love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never, hey, hey, hey
I want you to hold me down, down, down, down, down, down
Down forever, hey, hey, hey
Said you know I wanna keep you around
'Round forever, hey, hey, hey
I want you to love me now, now, now, now, now, now
Now or never


Music video

Halsey in the music video

The music video was directed by Halsey with Sing J Lee, marking the singer's directorial debut. It was shot in Mexico City. Inspired by Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, the video is filled with gun violence.[8] Halsey talked about the video's plot in a statement, saying:

"[It] is one part in the center of a long narrative that tells the story of two people in love despite the forces trying to keep them apart. On its own, the song is about two impatient young lovers, but in the context of the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom universe, the stakes are much higher for these two star-crossed lovers. "
—Halsey[9]

Behind The Scenes

Halsey_-_The_Making_Of_Now_Or_Never

Halsey - The Making Of Now Or Never

In the Behind the Scenes video for the song, Halsey revealed that the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a sort of purgatory for people who are too bad for heaven, but too good for hell. Luna and Solis are rumored to be the only two people born inside the Kingdom.

Trivia

  • There is a phone number in the music video that appears multiple times. When called, listeners can hear an instrumental version of the song. The number is 972-HFKNGDM. The number also provided callers with a special code valid for the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour pre-sale on the evening before pre-sale began.
  • "Now Or Never" was Halsey's highest-peaking solo single on the Billboard Hot 100. It would later be replaced by "Without Me".
  • "Now Or Never" was featured at Apple's WWDC17.[10]
  • "Now Or Never" has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

References

Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
June 2, 2017 • Astralwerks Records
Songs
Standard 1 The Prologue • 2 100 Letters • 3 Eyes Closed • 4 Alone • 5 Now Or Never • 6 Sorry • 7 Good Mourning • 8 Lie • 9 Walls Could Talk • 10 Bad at Love • 11 Strangers • 12 Devil In Me • 13 Hopeless
Deluxe Heaven In HidingDon't PlayAngel On Fire
Artist(s)
HalseyCashmere CatLauren JaureguiQuavo
Tour
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom World Tour
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