Released in November 2022, PinkPantheress’s Boy’s a Liar immediately found favour on TikTok, and hit number two in the UK and Australian charts. However, that was just the start: early last month, a ‘sequel’ - Boy’s A Liar Pt 2 - landed, complete with a new verse from US rapper Ice Spice.
The song has since become a huge worldwide hit and inspired a viral mash-up with Radiohead’s Weird Fishes. So, how did it come about?
Both versions of the track were co-produced by Mura Masa (AKA Alex Crossan), who recently told Billboard (opens in new tab) that he only found out about the Pt 2 remix when he saw the video - which features both artists in various locations around New York - on TikTok.
“I texted [PinkPantheress] straight away and I was like, ‘Yeah, genius, big-brain move. This is gonna be great,’” he reports.
Crossan first became aware of PinkPantheress when he heard early tracks Pain and Break It Off, which she made in GarageBand while at university and went on to appear on her 2021 debut mixtape To Hell With It. Impressed by what he was listening to, he made efforts to get in touch with her, eventually discovering that she lived just a few minutes down the road.
A working relationship was soon born, with the duo’s first collaboration, Just For Me, also appearing on To Hell With It. This was one of many tracks that the pair wrote together around that time in Crossan’s garden studio (pictured below), Boy’s A Liar being another.
Asked to comment on how the track was born, Crossan told Billboard: “I wish it was a more remarkable story, to be honest, but it was made in a couple of hours, like most things that we do. She took the idea and went away and worked on it by herself, and restructured it, wrote some different parts. But basically, the final record is what we did in those few hours, which I love. I think that’s really important.”
On a production level, Crossan is happy to acknowledge the debt that Boy’s A Liar owes to the Jersey Club sound, but says he was clear that he didn’t want the song to slot too neatly into that genre.
“I really didn’t want to go fully into that and make a pastiche of something that I’m not locally a part of,” he explains. “But yeah, there’s bed squeaks in there, there’s the kick [drum] pattern, things like that.”
When asked specifically about the Pt 2 remix, and whose decision it was to simply drop in Ice Spice’s verse while leaving the rest of the song untouched, Crossan told Billboard: “I left that up to her. She’s a brilliant producer in her own right, and she was able to take the stems of what I did and work it around what Ice Spice did. I’m just happy to even be a remote part of what she’s doing.”
PinkPantheress recently spoke to NME about how she connected with Ice Spice, explaining that she noticed that she was following her on Instagram, so sent her a message.
“When it comes to collaborations, I’m quite picky: I always want someone who can match me well on a track,” she says. “Even though Ice Spice does drill, her flows are super unique and the beats she chooses are different. A lot of people would struggle with the beats I choose, but I knew she’d be good for it.”
Boy’s A Liar Pt 2 is currently riding high at number 2 in the UK and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 - a great result by any measure. If you want to get a better idea of how the track was put together, check out the breakdowns below.