When Port Alberni singer Lauren Spencer-Smith wrote a song about a love that got away, she had no idea what a runaway success it was going to be.
Spencer-Smith released a 45-second clip of Back to Friends on TikTok on June 30, 2021. “When I woke up the next day I had two million views,” she said. “(Producer Jon Vincent) said we need to release this song right away.”
By the end of July the clip had been viewed 6.5 million times and the finished song had been streamed more than one million times on iTunes and Spotify.
Back to Friends came out of a songwriting stint in New York City in June. “Four weeks ago I went to New York City to work with a producer (Vincent) I actually met online,” said Spencer-Smith, a former American Idol competitor. “He gathered a bunch of other writers he knew that I’d never met. They said what do you want to write about?”
She admitted the song is “about a boy” and how they ended up better off as friends.
“One of the writers said ‘you should write about how you want to go back to being friends. In two hours we wrote the entire song.”
Spencer-Smith said she has been writing “like crazy” over the past year, but this is the first original song she has released. She said the song’s popularity is still unbelievable. “The video that broke on TikTok gave me an indication that it might get me some streams. Me and the other writers are in shock every day that it’s had so many streams.”
She wouldn’t give up the name of the young man who inspired her hit song. “The boy does know,” she said. “I showed it to the boy before I released it. Most of my songs are about this boy. A lot of his songs are about me too.
“I’m definitely keeping his name a secret.”
Spencer-Smith has had a busy year: although she graduated early—finishing her classes last October—2021 was her grad year. She went to her high school prom and grad ceremonies in Nanaimo in June. She has been writing and working on new material for an EP she hopes to release later this year. Back to Friends will anchor the EP.
“I’m focusing on promotion on this song. We’re going to be releasing some merch for this song and going on tour sometime.”
She hopes to record an official video for Back to Friends in August, but isn’t sure when she will be returning to LA to record it.
Back to Friends is available to stream on iTunes and Spotify. For more reveals of Spencer-Smith’s original music, check her out on TikTok (laurenspencersmith).
“I definitely post the most teaser songs on TikTok; (it’s) the most fun for me.”