You just never know when your nearly decade-old Finnish summer smash could go viral again.
That’s exactly what happened to Studio Killers, the Finnish-Danish-British animated virtual band who debuted on the scene with their fantastic self-titled record in 2013, including smashes like “Ode to the Bouncer,” “Eros and Apollo” and “All Men Are Pigs.” (Read the original MuuMuse review.)
The group – which consists of frontwoman and vocalist Cherry (more on her in just a moment), keytarist Goldie Foxx and Dyna Mink – was among the earlier pioneers of virtual pop superstardom, alongside acts like Gorillaz and J-pop Queen Hatsune Miku, which would pave a path for what is now steadily coming back into vogue with troupes like League of Legends‘ cross-cultural crew K/DA and K-pop’s aespa.
Among the catchy cuts on the Studio Killers record is one particular standout: “Jenny,” a LGBTQ-friendly synth-pop ode from group leader Cherry dedicated to her best friend Jenny about wanting something a bit…more.
“I wanna ruin our friendship, we should be lovers instead,” she confesses across pulsating beats, an infectious accordion and a summery steel drum melody.
The song rightfully sailed up the charts in Finland – but that’s not where the story ends, as it turns out.
Cut to the tail-end of 2020, and the song’s since become the soundtrack of Gen Z text and Snapchat exchanges – and even a few IRL moments – as friends of all different orientations seized the moment to lean into the lyrics and reveal their true feelings on TikTok. But are the feelings mutual? Well, results may vary.
The song’s since been used in a staggering 766,000 TikToks and counting – and that’s not including any altered twists on the audio – resulting in millions and millions of streams, as the group soars to new Spotify Viral Chart heights. (The video also has over 76 million views and counting.)
With a revitalized interest in the group, Studio Killers inked a new label deal with Atlantic Records, which just recently re-released the single.
I caught up (virtually, of course) with the group about the smash hit success of “Jenny,” and what it means for the group moving forward into 2021. Take my hand…
How did you find out that “Jenny” was going viral after years?
Studio Killers: A label from the U.S. approached us saying that we’re blowing up on TikTok. We’d heard rumours about “Jenny” getting love on the platform, but we had no idea how huge it was.
Cherry: Sparkle Punch told us something was happening, she’s a unicorn of social media. Then a label approached us.
Goldie Foxx: I was minding my own business on a bus and some school kids started playing it on their phone – as a TikTok video it turns out!
Was there a specific video that caused this TikTok moment that you can tell made the impact?
Studio Killers: Apparently it started from the anime circles, after which it started resonating in the LGBTQ+ communities on TikTok. #ruinourfriendship or #Iwannaruinourfriendship were the trending hashtags.
Cherry: Which is actually part of an earlier “Jenny” trend meme on YouTube that was happening in 2015/2016, where kids were posting their own anime characters idly dancing to the song.
Goldie Foxx: I was late to the party, but I love the videos of couples “ruining” their friendships in real time.
wait till the end hehehehe
IG: Juanes_2903 || 😳 @lucasl189 ##bromance ##ruinourfriendship ##loversinstead ##love
What do you think of people’s interpretation of the track? Why do you think this one hit so hard?
Cherry: I think the lyrics have played a big part in the success on TikTok. It’s become an anthem for people coming out from various closets or revealing their love to their friends.
Dyna Mink & Goldie Foxx: The steel drums, harmonium and Juno seem to resonate as well…
How did the popularity of the song make you feel about recording new music?
Cherry: It was a huge motivation and we’re already working on new music.
Dyna Mink & Goldie Foxx: We have been beavering away on new songs and ideas for a while now, but all this attention and signing to Atlantic has thrown a cat amongst the pigeons.
What are your future plans following this massive spike in popularity?
Studio Killers: We have been working on an animated pilot for a Studio Killer series even before this spike, as well as a game. So, we’re now pushing them out as fast as we can and hugely excited that this spike has happened to us at this moment! It’s going to be amazing!
Dyna Mink & Goldie Foxx : We’re dreaming of the live shows.
There are many virtual groups out right now, like K/DA, but you were among the first ones out there. How do you feel about the expanding virtual pop world?
Cherry: It always made sense from the audience point of view that we’d have a virtual pop world. It’s from the industry and business point of view where things get tricky ;). More virtual pop icons mean more peers pushing at those boundaries. There is always strength in numbers!
Goldie Foxx: All this talk of “virtual”…feels very real to me.
Did Jenny end up ruining the friendship?
Studio Killers: Yes, it’s all over, there’s no turning back:) Jenny and Cherry are forever.
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