In 2017, an artist named beabadoobee released a sweet, acoustic ballad called “Coffee.” Fast forward two years, a producer under the name Otterpop sampled the “Coffee” hook into a beat. When young Canadian artist, Powfu, sang and rapped over the beat, then released it last February, it blew up. One year later, it is blowing up for the second time.
Powfu’s iteration of “Coffee,” titled “death bed,” is gracefully melancholic. Beyond the title, this is evident through lyrics like “I wish it could be me, but I won’t make it out this bed / I hope I go to heaven so I see you once again.”
With a punk-leaning cadence and a vocal timbre similar to G-Eazy, Powfu describes his music as alternative punk lo-fi hip-hop. It is clear each of these elements influences his sound, from songs like “Her Ocean Eyes,” which is reminiscent of the punk hip-hop combination of Twenty One Pilots, to tracks like “I can’t sleep,” in which Powfu both raps and sings over a supporting lo-fi beat.
Upon its original Soundcloud release last February, “death bed” gained traction on both Soundcloud and YouTube (the YouTube video now has 27.6 million plays). TikTok soon caught up with this budding viral phenomenon.
As of the time of writing this, over 958,900 TikToks have been made with the song, from sentimental videos about relationships and family to aesthetic, artistic videos. One especially popular TikTok trend has accompanied the growth of this song – a video in which the person filming confesses their feelings for a best friend and captures their reaction.
This tipping point provoked a demand for the song to be on streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. Since its release to these platforms just two weeks ago, “death bed” has garnered over 20.8 million streams on Spotify, alone.
Today’s technological landscape has allowed Powfu, who has been releasing music consistently since 2018, to invite millions of listeners into his world. The popularity of “death bed” has awarded Powfu substantial, continued exposure for his versatile, sad-boy sound.
Listen to “death bed” below: