OutKast - "Hey ya!"

"Hey ya!" is a song released by OutKast in 2003 but it was actually written by André 3000 only, André 3000 being one half of the OutKast duo (the other one is named Big Boi). The song is taken from "his" half of the double album OutKast put out (each member contributed one of the two albums : Andre 3000’s was called The Love Below and Big Boi’s was called Speakerboxxx).

André wrote the first version of the song around 1999, and it almost made it onto their 2000 album Stankonia. At the time the song was called "Thank God for mom and dad". He started working on it again in 2002, doing lots of experimentation along the way (like the bizarre 11/4 time signature).

André himself played every instrument in the song except bass (played by Aaron Mills from the funk band Cameo), including the vocal tracks. The guitar chords were the first ones he learned. In his own words, they were inspired by "the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Smiths". As for the vocals, he did each line over and over, and by the time it was edited together, it sounded like other people were singing with him.
The girls who respond to Andre when he says "Hey Ladies..." are actually just one person. A woman working in the studio (engineer Rabeka Tuinei) was recorded saying "Yeah" and her voice was layered to sound like many.

The song was finished just in time to be released as the first single from the album. The record company was going to put out "She lives in my lap" when André called and told them "Hey ya!" was finished and should be released first.

The video was inspired by The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 : The Beatles came to America and created a frenzy. During the show, the audience was filled with screaming girls who went crazy for the group. For the Outkast video, they made it as if an American band invaded England, played a TV show there, and created the same type of frenzy.

This is not the only similarity with The Beatles. Indeed, OutKast's following single "The way you move" (by Big Boi) knocked "Hey ya!" off the top of the charts in the US, the first time a band had one song replace another of its songs since The Beatles did it in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania.

Available on the double album "Spearboxxx/The Love Below"