Steve Aoki, Yves V, and Ryan Caraveo join together to pay tribute to Avril Lavigne’s classic pop-punk single “Complicated”. Their modern makeover interpolates the famous earworm chorus, while adding a fresh set of introspective lyrics, with a crunchy electro-pop soundscape and newly written verses, the trio revitalize Lavigne’s era-defining number.
Arriving alongside the single is a John Frost-directed music video, which navigates viewers through several fractured dream states. Peering into the minds of Aoki, Yves V and Ryan Caraveo, the video highlights how complicated the mind and self truly are, as the camera twists and turns through a series of complex dreams within dreams. Speaking on the collaboration, Steve Aoki explains:
My roots are in the punk scene, and that kind of music has always had a special place in my heart. So when Yves brought the idea to me to rework ‘Complicated’ by the ultimate pop punk queen, Avril Lavigne, I jumped on the opportunity. And the lyricism Ryan brought with his new verses only expands upon the truly classic hook.
“Complicated” marks the latest collaboration between Steve Aoki and Yves V since Yves remixed “A Lover And A Memory” off Aoki’s "Neon Future III" LP. The long-time pals often cross paths at Tomorrowland, where Yves is a resident DJ and Aoki is a frequent headliner.
I was so excited to link up with Steve Aoki on this single as our first collaboration, states Yves V. I’m a huge fan of pop music, and Avril as an artist, so to add our electronic spin alongside one of my favourite peers onto a track as classic as ‘Complicated', and bring it to audiences in 2021, felt amazing. I hope the fans enjoy it just as much as we did creating our production!”
The one-of-a-kind topline on “Complicated” is sung by Seattle-born alt-hip hop artist Ryan Caraveo. Caraveo brings his own unique interpolation to the song, referencing Lavigne's chorus, but with different lyrics alongside newly penned verses. He sings, “Why do I go and make things so complicated,” spinning the original meaning towards feelings of frustration within oneself, rather than Lavigne’s version, in which her anger is directed at an outward source.
Ryan Caraveo shares, Man, working with Steve Aoki is really a full circle moment for me. Back in 2013 I was just a kid at one of his shows - fast forward many years to a completely different life and all the sudden we're working together and covering one of the biggest songs ever from the queen herself Avril Lavigne and it's pretty surreal to be honest. I've always loved and been influenced by electronic music and cannot wait to hear this at the festival with the homies.