If you’re a Lady Gaga superfan, you’ve surely heard of Fernando Garibay. The producer and songwriter has worked quite closely with the ArtPop star, but he’s also penned some sweet jams for U2, Shakira, Sia, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears and more. In 2017, he got with trance icon Armin van Buuren to create the hit “I Need You,” featuring vocals from Olaf Blackwood. The song peaked at No. 44 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and now, the duo is back at it with a melody made for real humans looking to feel something real.
“Phone Down” is a lyric-driven pop-dance crossover that tackles the uncomfortable feelings of post-breakup loneliness. You try to go out, but you can’t connect with the world around you. Your brain is consumed by the past. Musically, it revolves around a tropical rhythm and bright melodies, capturing the feel of the club that puts our vocal protagonist through hell.
“Our process started like before, in Fernando’s studio, talking about the key points and dealings of our lives and the lives of others (our fans for instance),” van Buuren tells Billboard Dance. “We always try to convert these stories into something people can relate to, and that’s what happened with ‘Phone Down’ as well. As Fernando once put it, we try to ask ourselves the right questions, like what people are going through and how we can get the right message across.”
For Garibay, the song is about connecting us all through our own hard times with a catchy song that celebrates even our darkest moments. He’d often speak with Armada Music’s Maykel Piron and Mishca Heeger about working together, and he felt Armada’s van Buuren was exactly the right collaborator with which to spread his positivity.
“We should work on bringing great songs to great DJs,” Garibay says. “If we could leverage their huge platform to spread a message of love, compassion, [and] inclusivity through great music, I’m in. Core values as a company and artist are really important to me, and Armada and Armin share mine; I think this type of vision and mission-oriented thinking led Mischa and Maykel to invite Armin Van Buuren to my studio. I wanted to work with artists that wanted to make an impact, to change peoples lives for the better, one lyric, melody and chord at a time.”
“Phone Down” is out now on Armada Music. Check out the official lyric video below.