On the heels of her Emmy nomination for original song “Build It Up” from the hit series, Little Fires Everywhere, Ingrid Michaelson has tapped ex-One Direction member Zayn for a new track. Their collaborative single “To Begin Again” is a soulful ballad that sheds light on the importance of remaining hopeful in the face of uncertainty.
Directed by Marykate Schneider, the “To Begin Again” video offers a snapshot of everyday people in New York City. It reminds viewers that the past year has been hard on everyone, but we’re truly in it together.
In a statement about the track, Michaelson said she originally penned “To Begin Again” the night Joe Biden won the election and it felt like everyone around her was rejoicing:
“I wanted to create a love letter to my city. To celebrate the hope that is slowly coming back to the people of New York. And to remind people all over the world that we are stronger when we work and rejoice together. I wrote ‘To Begin Again’ the night that Biden won. There was so much joy in my neighborhood. Pots and pans being banged out of windows. Horns and whistles. Clapping. Singing! The collective sigh of relief resonated with me in such a way that I had to get it out musically. I knew the song had to be a duet. I love ZAYN’s voice, especially when he goes high and sweet and sad. It was the perfect fit. The song is a song of hope and of release. Of beginning again…”
Echoing Michaelson’s statement, Zayn said he related to the song’s sentiment: “When Ingrid sent me the song, I felt exactly the same way she did. The song is talking about the way life is right now, a nod towards maybe it will get better soon and we’ll get a chance to start again and begin again as a whole collective human race. Whether it is politically, whether it is COVID related, or anything, there’s a real sense we needed something new, something fresh.”
Listen to Michaelson and Zayn’s “To Begin Again” above.