Ah, the toxic love story. We all know it, many of us have been there, and one of the best ways to get through it is with music. It’s the universal language and Fly by Midnight and Shoffy’s collaboration for a song called “Caffeine” that’s about toxic love, is just what you need to get through your own hardships.
“Caffeine,” first written by Justin Bryte and Slavo of Fly by Midnight with friend Brett Truitt, paints an interesting metaphor for this toxicity by using imagery of caffeine and its oft-hated side effects. You know the ones — it keeps you up at night, it gets you wired, etc. So many of the things you feel when you’re in so deep with someone that it’s maybe not the greatest situation. (Been there, done that, trying to not go back!) The Fly by Midnight guys leaned into that concept for the song and brought Shoffy in to feature, providing a sick blend of their voices on this track.
The indie-pop jam really ropes you in, and you’ll love it if you need a dreamy tune to soothe your soul or if you just want to sing a song about caffeine. It’ll suit you either way. What makes this song even more fun is the video, which features all three artists showing devotion to some of the most iconic women of the ‘90s — Tyra Banks, Jennifer Lopez, and Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Oh yes, and there are many references to coffee, of course. Check out our exclusive premiere of the brand-new video, and see what Justin, Slavo, and Shoffy all had to say about the new track and their go-to coffee orders ahead.
Can you share the story behind how this song came to be? Justin: We wrote “Caffeine” with our friend Brett Truitt out of Nashville.
Slavo: We’re all big coffee drinkers so it was only a matter of time before we brought a concept like that into a song of ours.
Justin: I remember being in the session thinking … damn the way caffeine can make you wired, that sort of uneasiness, it’s kind of how wanting someone’s affection feels like.
Slavo: The rhythmic drive of the song really sells being on edge over someone. Staying up all night wanting to be someone’s somebody.
Shoffy: I heard the song when it was all done minus the feature. I immediately gravitated toward the track and had those melodies stuck in my head! Cut my vocal at my home studio, working remote on it. I think our vocals really mesh well together, but at the same time, each have a unique sound.
This seems like such a perfect collab — who else is on your list of dream collaborators? Slavo: It’s our first time collaborating with another male artist so we wanted to make sure it was the right fit. We’ve been fans of Shoffy for a while so once we heard he was into the track it was a no-brainer for us.
Justin: There’s something kind of old school and nostalgic about three dudes just confessing their love for someone on a track. Once we heard Shoffy on it with us it elevated the concept even more.
Slavo: It’s interesting there’s a huge difference between artists that we love to listen to and artists that would be a great collaboration for us.
Justin: Exploring different genres and cultures is really where our heads have been at lately. K-Pop, hip-hop, country … there’s a really cool space right now for being eclectic.
Shoffy: I’m really glad that I had the chance to work with the Fly By Midnight guys – it’s been a really fun creative process. I’m also into their aesthetic – the artwork for “Caffeine,” for example, is great! As far as dream collabs, I’m super into Frank Ocean, John Mayer, Marina (Marina and the Diamonds), and Phoenix.
On the positive side of true caffeine, do you have a go-to coffee choice? Justin: A cup of coffee over at of Nick’s on Pico in LA. Old-school diner vibes.
Slavo: It used to be Starbucks on the way to the studio when we lived in NY, but it’s turned into a 16 oz. of nitro cold brew at Groundworks. It’s a nice little walk from my new place/our studio in LA.
Shoffy: To be completely honest, I’m not the biggest coffee drinker. But when I studied abroad in France for a year, I got kinda sucked into that coffee culture, drinking on cobblestone streets at the little round tables outside the restaurants. As far as LA spots, my manager took me to La Colombe, which was pretty great. At least coffee rhymes with Shoffy, so I have that going for me.
This year has obviously been unusual — how has quarantine and lockdown been for you creatively? Justin: In the beginning, it was definitely odd balancing this new kind of normal, but we’re grateful for how busy music has kept us this year.
Slavo: Being locked down really forced us to grow and adapt in a positive way looking back on it all.
Justin: In a time where we’re all disconnected from each other, Zoom sessions have connected us to writers all over the world.
Shoffy: As a music producer, working from home has been the norm for me, so it hasn’t changed things a whole lot. That being said, I did have a tour planned and was supposed to perform in Europe for the first time. I was so excited about that, so that was a huge bummer. But yeah creatively, I’m still plugging away and have a new album almost done.
What’s up next for you? Slavo: Like Justin said, we’re really exploring the idea of giving something fresh to our fans with this next project. Expanding our space in the pop world and all.
Justin: It’s about the music right now until it’s back to being about the music and the tours.
Shoffy: A couple of features here and there, and my next project!