Tomorrow (September 24), the film adaptation of hit musical Dear Evan Hansen will finally hit theaters, along with a brand new song written especially for the film. That’s pretty common for Hollywood treats from Broadway shows. But what makes? Dear Evan HansenThe new tune, “The Anonymous Ones,” is special who co-wrote it (and who sings it in the film), as well as who sings it on the soundtrack.
For the film, star Amandla Stenberg teamed up with original music writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul to make “The Anonymous Ones” a real moment for her character, Alana. And in line with that, a new version of SZA’s track feels equally grand. Her take on “The Anonymous Ones” comes complete with a new video released today (September 23).
In the clip, led by superstar director Collin Tilley, SZA’s daily routine highlights the undercurrent of the song’s meaning: that everyone goes through their own battles, often silently and anonymously, and that you never really know anyone’s story. “Keep keeping secrets they think they should hide,” she sings. “What if everyone’s secret is that they have that secret side?”
It’s a message that runs through both the musical and the movie, following the fallout from the title character’s big lie and its fallout. With him thereby is Alana, whose own inner turmoil inspired her to work with Pasek and Paul on the track.
“The intent was to deepen her as a character and understand that she’s actually going through her own struggles with mental illness,” Stenberg said in a recent interview.
“She’s Trying to Tell” [Evan] you may feel alone in everything you are going through, but there are so many people – the anonymous ones – who also go through it and struggle with mental illness as well. You just have to get to know them more deeply, and then you could really connect and be vulnerable with each other, and maybe we’ll all feel less alone.”
“I’m so happy she’s connecting with it and feeling it in her heart,” Stenberg said. Check out SZA’s version of “The Anonymous Ones” and the accompanying new visual above.