Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on how they did write anthem for Evan Hansen musical

Home / News / Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on how they did write anthem for Evan Hansen musical

It is near impossible to envision Dear Evan Hansen, the breakout hit musical nominated for 2 Tonys, with no rousing first action closing number, “You’ll Be Seen” The tune arrives at a critical moment at the the series, when Ben Platt’s Evan finally defeats his crippling social stress — but also starts to completely buy into a lie he has crafted that underlies the show’s plot.

However there was a time a few years back when the song did not exist, and composer/lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul needed to completely reconceive the preceding act one nearer.

On the eve of the own nomination for best original score, Pasek and Paul informed Billboard about how they put together the tune that could come to signify Dear Evan Hansen so nicely that today, it has turned into a hashtag, also.

At what stage in the process of composing the series did “You’ll Be Located” come together?

Justin Paul: It arrived pretty late. It was essentially the next to last song we wrote, involving the D.C. and off Broadway productions. After D.C. was our first opportunity to find out what was working and what was not, and we felt as the ending of this initial action was not reaching its entire potential. The play did not feel high enough, it for some reason felt muddy. We had a tune in place known as “part of Me” which was similar to a vestige of an older strategy we had taken, to remark on the peculiar and somewhat upsetting nature of individuals catching to a catastrophe, particularly on social websites — the notion of “This thing is now a part of my entire life…”

Benj Pasek: And I am Part of it.

Paul: This is a somewhat cynical viewpoint on the part, pointing a finger in the weirdness of it. We left D.C. likely to write something fresh.

Pasek: We did not really have clarity; there was not the moment which exists now where Evan gives a major speech. We understood we were searching for an event that could occur where after Evan did something that he could never return. So with Steven Levenson [the publication author] we came up with this stunning moment when he drops his note cards and pulls himself up.

Paul: As songwriters, our task must be to choose the most emotionally powerful moment and create a song from this, and we were kind of glossing over this instant — it is a huge bargain when Evan provides a language for the first time in people. He virtually retreats back to himself, and he ends up touching a nerve wracking and going viral. It is an exciting, juicy instant, and yet we had done a lousy job.

Pasek: This is when he starts to think his own lie. However, by singing this tune, he is also kind of rescue himself from a similar horrible destiny. We wanted to compose something which for Evan and the neighborhood was very uplifting.

Paul: We believed we needed to write something quite dark sounding since there is so much irony occurring. However, the circumstance gives it that the irony; we do not need to place it in the song. Maybe we could get a richer experience by visiting the positive psychological location, and in the very end, do not forget there is a lie — and drape.

So a number of the tunes in the series have an extremely positive pop sensibility, which one almost reminds me of “Like a Prayer” in how it just keeps building up to the finish.

Pasek: This is much less of a conventional theater tune than I think we have written previously. We were nervous since it leans toward more of a hybridvehicle, an inspirational anthem.

Paul: Folks have achieved to us like, “We hear ‘You’ll Be Found’ and it is so inspirational,’ and we find it really interesting and ironic. I mean, we love this, but additionally come view it at the series, it isn’t precisely what you think it is! It was always supposed to play on these 2 levels.

How can the procedure usually go when you two sit down to compose?

Pasek: Bloodbath. Broken chairs, broken sofas! [laughs]

Paul: A lot of the times, we frontload the writing/conversing about what the material of this song is. We knew Evan will sing this, it must maintain his voice, in a tone which is employed for that personality. Then we will attempt to zero in on some type of something we could tether everything to — that the most encompassing idea, such as the hook at a pop tune. So “You’ll Be Found” — which encompasses everything Evan fantasies were true.

Pasek: You find a term which is employed together with the literal and also together with the metaphor. And then we tried to think about its own reprise later in the series, what would we utilize lyrically and musically? The reverse may be true — you’ll be found out.

Paul: Then we will begin to musicalize that term. If we could find a way to tuck it into a chorus, or any musical expression, when we are staring at the blank page it will help to get something. And we construct out about that; I will begin to complete some songs round the chorus, Benj will fill in certain legends, we move back and forth. This tune, since the start comes from a language and Steven had written us around this instant, [Evan’s] type of talk singing. It can be tough to say, “I want to compose some audio lines which are talk sing-y.” It is tough to discover a form to that. For this sort of tune, it can help to musicalize and lyricize at the present time.

How can hearing Ben Platt sing it impact the writing?

Paul: I mean, we wrote it for him… because of his voice.

Pasek: We had been working with him for 2 years; we certainly had him in your mind.

Paul: He also brought his own little unique flairs, and such psychological honesty for this. Now in the procedure, the cast was pretty much exactly the same all the way through, which has been such a help. You can perform the test on mind of, can I hear Ben Platt’s voice? Or I do not purchase it.

This tune is a excellent illustration of a few of the very remarkable feats of the songwriting — turning net chatter into songs.

Pasek: Quite technically, for musical theatre tunes, you are attempting to compose songs that advancement lyrically. We managed to have something which got in a person’s head faster because the lyric reproduces. And we got away with this because radically, the song grows since the visual universe is getting larger, the electronic part of it, the graphics scattered around the point, the construction voices helps it feel anthemic and musically theatrical in precisely the identical moment.

Paul: ” There was some thing we enjoyed about “Part of Me” from the piano figure, a continuous percolating item, and also we wanted to have the exact identical thing from the vamp “You’ll Probably Be Found” keeps returning to, that continuous movement, things are occurring. It is like Evan understands the seed of this idea and it only grows and develops, and from the bridge it is a wall of noise , such as the entire net is resounding with this thought. Significant unison vocals, large gospel kinda harmonies — such as, ‘Oh my gosh, the entire world has opened up and it is a new sunrise’