Have you ever played The Sims and heard a song you recognise? Perhaps a My Chemical Romance, Katy Perry, or Hot Chip song? Maybe even Rico Nasty? That’s because they’ve all had songs appear in The Sims. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to record a song in Simlish?
I remember very specifically playing The Sims 2 for the Nintendo Gamecube and hearing a song that wormed its way into my ears. I would play it on repeat on the in-game radio and became obsessed with it. After doing a bit of digging, I found that the song was called ‘Pressure’ and was by one of my now-favourite bands, Paramore.
It’s so goofy to me though because I can’t help but laugh at the thought of getting into music through the Simlish versions of songs. It feels like getting into music by hearing an Alvin and the Chipmunks cover of a song on YouTube, which was literally just any random song pitch-shifted to sound like a chipmunk (this is such a hyperspecific and embarrassing reference for me).
But alas, I discovered Paramore through The Sims 2, and I only learned recently that Hayley Williams actually recorded this version herself and did in fact sing in Simlish. Here I was thinking that some producer simply took the vocal track and goofed it up a bit, but I was only partially right. Since then, I’ve always wondered what it was like to record one’s own song in Simlish.
So it’s pretty cool that I just so happened to get the opportunity to find out, as I got the chance to have a chat with the lovely Becca Hatch, a Kamilaroi and Samoan singer-songwriter from Sydney that had the opportunity to record her iconic single ‘Blessed’ for The Sims 4 in Australia’s first Sims Session.
Sims Sessions is an ongoing series that not only invites musicians to record their songs in Simlish, but also invites fans of The Sims to see just how it’s done. Gone are the days of simply hoping that a video gets released of Katy Perry singing ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ with no backing music in Simlish, this time it’s high quality and official.
When I asked Becca what it was like re-recording her own song in Simlish for The Sims 4, she said: “It was a really fun process. I felt super giddy the whole time, like kicking my feet and stuff, and just cracking up the whole time. It was interesting because the [Simlish] words don’t rhyme as the English words do.”
She then talked about how hard it was to shift her memory away from the English lyrics. “It’s like a whole different set of vowels,” she said. “It was really hard to get my mouth to sing it because in my mind, I’m hearing the English version and that’s how I wrote it. So I had to untrain myself from singing that.
“The song has been out for six or seven months now, I’ve been on tour for most of last year for like 40 shows, and I was playing the English version of the song for all of those shows. I had to relearn it and sing it line by line, so it was hard.”
That being said, Becca also loved the end result. “It turned out really sick, and it’s so funny because it sounds super professional as well. Like it felt wrong, but then when I listened back I was like, ‘That couldn’t be more right’.”
The way she described the Simlish version of her song almost made it sound like Eurotrash, which I’m obsessed with.
I also asked Becca if she was a fan of any Simlish songs of the past few years, as she is quite a big fan of The Sims herself. “Yeah, I had the radio on [in The Sims] and then that Ari Lennox song ‘BMO’ came on and I was like, ‘This is so familiar.’ My Sim was throwing it back, having a little moment, and then I looked it up and found it and thought it was so iconic,” she said.
Becca’s track ‘Blessed’ will be joining over 550 other tracks, including one from New Zealander BENEE, on April 18th as part of a huge music drop in The Sims 4.
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