NEW YORK, NY — Additional information has emerged about “High Hopes,” Brendon Urie’s Panic! at the Disco solo breakout hit now known as the Mayor Pete song. The Cut has learned it was written by four people in a hot tub.
Yes, the song, which has recently gone viral thanks to videos of Pete Buttigieg’s campaign staff and supporters enthusiastically performing a choreographed dance to it, was conceived by four writers with no instruments stewing in a beloved jacuzzi at a writing camp in Colorado in 2015.
“We didn’t have any instruments because we were in the hot tub,” Jonas Jeberg, a Danish writer and producer who’s also behind “I Hate This Part” by the Pussycat Dolls, told SongwriterUniverse.com about the origins of “High Hopes.” He and the other songwriters — Tayla Parx, Ilsey Juber, and a man named Cook Classics — were at a major label’s writing camp in Aspen, when they decided to go outside for a soak. Jeberg said the others told him they “always” went to that particular hot tub.
He described jumping into the tub’s maw, where they began composing a tune a cappella. “I was sitting in the hot tub, singing bass notes,” Jeberg said. Twenty minutes later, they had written the chorus of the song. The four soon realized, as Cook Classics told SongwriterUniverse.com, “Okay, this is as far as we can go in a hot tub.”
According to Jeberg, they jumped again, this time out of the churning waters, to record the song in a “portable studio,” but with instruments.
The authors initially offered “High Hopes” to artists as a rap, but Jeberg said “everybody passed on it.” Then, in 2016, they heard from Panic! at the Disco’s management that the band wanted the song. After some time with Urie and additional writers, “High Hopes” was finished.
Mayor Pete has not yet commented on the song’s hot-tub origins.