Powfu started a romantic movement on TikTok with his heartbreaking rap in ‘death bed.’ Now, the Canadian artist gives HollywoodLife an EXCLUSIVE look at his creative process and reveals how he teamed up with Blink-182 for his debut EP.
If you can’t stop playing the TikTok anthem “death bed (coffee for your head)” on loop, Powfu has a lot more where that came from. After the 21-year-old Canadian artist’s passionate, lo-fi twist to beabadoobee’s “Coffee” inspired the creation of more than 5.3 million TikTok videos (many of which involved people confessing their feelings to their best friends), Powfu proved that he can tug at heart strings just as hard in his debut EP poems of the past that dropped on May 29.
One of the songs on this six-track EP includes “ill come back to you,” featuring Sarcastic Sounds and Rxseboy, and it’s an ode to anyone’s special someone that got away. Playing on Powfu’s love of Japanese animation, the song’s bittersweet theme was even brought to life with a music video that’s essentially a short anime film. The sentimental visuals follow two high school sweethearts torn apart on two different planets — literally, not just figuratively — with only their memories of young love and a hope to one day reunite that is keeping them alive in each other’s hearts. If this all sounds like a high concept Nicholas Sparks novel, that’s because Powfu is actually a fan of the movies based on the novelist’s tear-jerker books like Dear John.
“I write about a lot of romantic stories because that’s what feels most natural to me,” Powfu (whose real name is Isaiah Faber) EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife, adding that he’d either pick The Notebook or The Vow if one of his songs could be included in the scores of Mr. Sparks’ movies. This combination of romance with soft-spoken rap is a unique trademark of Powfu’s, but his preference for more sentimental sounds didn’t stop him from dreaming to collaborate with an iconic ’90s band that’s more punk pop than bedroom pop: Blink-182.
“I was just telling my label [Columbia Records] that I wanted to work with Blink-182 really badly and then they called me a few days later saying that they were going to remix ‘death bed,'” Powfu revealed, explaining how the collab came about. He gushed, “I was super hyped for it!” His desire to work with the band isn’t exactly a surprise, though, considering that his dad Dave Faber is a part of the punk rock band Faber Drive.
In addition to having Blink-182’s vocals on his EP, the most obvious sign of Powfu’s success is the fact that “death bed” holds a No. 29 spot on Billboard’s “Hot 100” list as of the date of poems of the past’s release. It’s a remarkable feat, considering that Powfu has managed to bring lo-fi — a genre someone is more likely to discover on a YouTube deep-dive than on radio waves — into mainstream consumption. But Powfu was never trying to go viral with “death bed,” which has now racked up a whopping 374 million Spotify streams. He really is a true romantic.
“I was just making a song that I thought I would enjoy listening to,” Powfu told us. “I was just aiming for strong lyrics with a chill vibe. I had no idea it would get this big!”