How Brye Made a Sour Situation Extra Sweet

Photo: Ella Mastin/William Hohe

Being a victim of bullying can be spirit-crushing. Some people shut down, while others may feel the urge to escape. Upon her own experience with it, Brye Sebring did neither. Instead, Sebring wrote a song. A brilliant one. And it blew up.

On February 17, Sebring release a snippet of her song "LEMONS." With it, Tik Tok made lemonade, making it the latest song to blow up on the micro video sharing platform. "LEMONS" hit one million streams just one month after its release, now it stands at over 17 million streams with no signs of slowing down.

This is no coincidence. The song is utterly catchy, with an inherent carousel-like enchantment and a simple violin string theme that portrays the urgency of an entire orchestra. 

The minimalistic, self-produced tune begins with the line, "There’s a billion people on this planet that you could bother / But for some reason you chose me." The rest of the song takes listeners on an analogical journey, paralleling the sourness of bullying with that of lemons in the opening chorus lines, "When life gives you lemons / You don’t make lemonade / You use them to make girls cry."

"LEMONS" is not Sebring's first release. Last year, she released her debut single, "Million Songs," along with two more, and even wrote and directed a musical at her high school, for which "LEMONS" was originally written. Since the song's inception and subsequent viral success, Brye has amassed over 220 thousand followers on Tik Tok, truly turning a sour situation into sweet success.

Sebring is not only a champion against bullying but also one of body positivity and acceptance. As she told the Recording Academy, her goal is for "any listener to feel empowered." "LEMONS," and its recent Cavetown-assisted reimagining, certainly achieves that goal, and we cannot wait to see what she makes next. 

Listen