“SUGA’s Interlude” is a Masterpiece of the Young Adult Narrative


Photo via Halsey through her Twitter, @halsey.

Photo art for the song was created by Halsey, and released alongside the art for "finally // beautiful stranger".

On Friday, December 6, Halsey released “finally // beautiful stranger” and “SUGA’s Interlude” prior to the release of her album, “Manic,” which is scheduled to come out on January 17. 


“SUGA’s Interlude” is a masterpiece of a description of the narrative that many young adults face. It has a sleek, rolling beat, courtesy of Suga  (note the title), also known as Min Yoongi, from BTS, who co-wrote the song with Halsey and Peder Losnegard, and who produced it with Lizzo and Pdogg. 


The song opens with Halsey, who is speaking English, before melting smoothly into Korean with Suga’s lyrics, both of which handle and highlight the struggles of achieving dreams. It’s atmospheric, the beginning layered with sounds that reflect the experience of being in a field of fireflies, and the lyrics turn repeat concepts into originality, creating repetition into a soul-searching tune.    


Halsey’s instagram story on December 6, concerning the production of “SUGA’s Interlude”.

The verses also subtly display the musicians’ battles within the music industry and concerning longevity within it, as Halsey touched on in an Instagram story on December 6. 


“This song was very carefully crafted by us. Every production choice by all of us was intentional to provoke a feeling. I wanted Yoongi because I am a huge fan of his solo music and I knew he would be the perfect person to paint a picture that was beautifully tragic,” she said in the post. “I am honored to have, on my album, such a song that transcends language and shows the human experience is fundamentally the same universally. Especially amongst creatives. To be both blessed and tormented.” 


She also mentioned the struggle of both the album and the music industry within the second episode of “Road to Manic,” saying “Not every day is a good day. Like, not every day is like where you’re with fans and people understand you and you’re feeling like rewarded for the work you’re doing. Its like, some days you’re fighting with people to simply give a s*** about the human thing you’ve done.” 


She’s described the album as “full of songs that change their mind, track-to-track, song-to-song”, and “finally // beautiful stranger” and “SUGA’s Interlude” differ quite a bit, as “finally // beautiful stranger” is a shift into the country genre with its acoustic guitar presentation, while “SUGA’s Interlude” remains a digitally backed pop song. 


The beginning line to “SUGA’s Interlude” is a painful verse by Halsey: “I’ve been trying all my life / To separate the time / In between the having it all / And giving it up, yeah,” before it transitions to Suga’s slow rap, which serves to build parallels between the self, as he says “I’m full of dreams, I’ve achieved all my dreams” and “Self-hatred and I live only in my heart.”


Halsey’s lyrics also hovered over the same concept of a struggle concerning her music, as she asks, “I wonder what’s in store / If I don’t love it anymore.” She has recently described Manic as being written for her, rather than fans, as she confesses she has struggled with before, in an industry that is so dependent on the reaction of others. 


“SUGA’s Interlude” is laced with elements that a young adult can relate to as the wording of their struggles fill emotional gaps like Play-Dough squished into patterns, and with words that soak in painfully deep. Many of the lyrics are subtle enough to be applied to teen situations, such as Suga’s line, “I hope my leap is not a fall” and Halsey’s “I wonder what’s in store / If I don’t love it anymore / Step between the having it all / And giving it up, yeah,” both of which emit an echo of the fear that many students have in making life-long decisions about their careers in topics that they may or may not be interested in three years later when they graduate.


One Twitter user, @tinyoongz, also pointed this out in a tweet, saying: “nothing says “teen party” like an internal conflict abt where you are in your life and what the future holds.”


Overall, “SUGA’s Interlude” presents a bipolar example of honest existence, pointing out the challenges of the self and the contradictions that make up each person, between self-hatred and acceptance, chasing dreams and feeling struck, and making life-long decisions as a young person. It may appear, within a shallow observation, like a repetitive chord and backing vocals, but it presents so much more value than that, much like the complicated experience of young adulthood. 


Lyrics, with English translations, retrieved from PopCrush.