State Champs vs. Zedd ft. Hayley Williams By Hannah Pierangelo | January 15, 2015 at 2:00 PM
“Stay the Night” Songwriters: Anton Zaslavski (Zedd), Hayley Williams, Benjamin Eli Hanna, Carah Faye Original Release Date: September 10, 2013
First thing’s first: If Hayley Williams is involved, I’m on board. I can’t deny the power and unmatched talent of her voice, especially when combined with the fervor of Paramore pop-rock. However, it’s when she’s not combined with her band that proves how versatile she truly is. Her guest spot on the famous DJ and music producer Zedd’s radio hit “Stay the Night” is a prime example (but let’s not forget her guest appearances with B.o.B. and Set Your Goals, either). With Zedd, an EDM DJ who has produced, remixed, and released songs with a handful of pop music’s best artists, Williams shines over synths and beats rather than guitar riffs and drum sequences, all without a single falter.
“Stay the Night” is a song of layers. Starting with the pure and flawless vocals from Paramore’s Hayley Williams and a soft melody on piano, the song only slowly bleeds into an EDM hit that has graced the radio and won an MTV Clubland Award. It keeps building, with every chorus becoming more and more anticipated as the sharp snare and fluid synths flood the song. The track features a bit of duality, too. Hayley Williams and the light-hearted lyrics make you want to sing along, while the fast paced rhythm instills a need to dance around the room. I say, why not do both?
State Champs masterfully take on the DJ hit and add their pop-punk flair with fully instrumental melodies. Synths turn to guitar chords, the bass beat is handled artfully by Evan Ambrosio behind the kit, and the vocals take on a gritty punk flavor with Derek Discanio at the mic. “Stay the Night” crosses over from EDM territory into a full-fledged rock song that sounds as if it belongs with the band’s original work. The vocals are the shining glory of both of these songs. Zedd is known for his radio hits that combine pulsing EDM melodies with great vocalists who are at the top of their game (Hayley Williams, Foxes, Ryan Tedder, and Ariana Grande, to name a few). But put Discanio at the front of a few seething guitar riffs and it’s not hard to see that the radio hit DJ has some serious competition. Zedd and Williams created a brilliant pop song, but as far as covers go, there is no better pop-punk vocalist for “Stay the Night.”
Don’t get me wrong–I love a good dance song. I love it even more when it combines a favorite vocalist. To be honest, though, dance music just doesn’t grace my music collection very often unless it catches my attention right away. Zedd and Hayley Williams did just that on “Stay the Night”, but it’s State Champs who have made into frequent rotation on my iPod for their impressive take on the song.