Pomp and (unprecedented) circumstance
There are certain moments in life that require celebration. Births, marriages, milestone anniversaries – they’re the events that forge our happiest memories and fill the pages of our family photo albums.
This year, those milestones will look different. And for many young people, graduation – a day that they’ve looked forward to for years, through every all-nighter and broken heart and beloved teacher and stress-filled final – will arrive with no gowns, hats or crowds cheering them on.
But if Walgreens and Bebe Rexha have anything to say about it, there will still be celebrations.
On May 16, Walgreens is helping singer and songwriter Rexha drop a new track that honors the grads of 2020. Written in just a matter of hours, Rexha adapted the music of the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” to become an anthem to students rising above a “new normal” that changed every expectation around one of the most anticipated occasions of their lives.
We caught up with Rexha, whose new album is due out later this year, during the filming of a new Walgreens ad that features her song. Shot entirely from her home while maintaining social distancing, and using footage of real people celebrating in their own unique ways, the 30-second spot is an ode to finding happiness in the toughest of times.
Walgreens News (WN): First of all – how have you been doing with everything going on? What does #quarantinelife look like for Bebe Rexha?
Bebe Rexha: I’ve been trying to find the beauty in just having this down time with my family and getting to cook meals with my brother, watch movies together, and relax. My schedule is normally so hectic with touring and events that I really cherish having this down time. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about everything going on but I try to stay positive and thankful for this time of relaxation.
WN: What inspired you to sit down and write this song?
BR: I was motivated to make this song as I thought about all the students that are missing out on their big graduation moment. Graduation is something every student looks forward to when they're in school; having their families come support them, walking across stage, having their name called and accepting a diploma. I felt like since no one is able to have that special moment right now, we should give something special back to them to help celebrate this achievement.
WN: We’re so excited to work with you to bring some celebration to everyone graduating during the pandemic. You know I have to ask this – are you a Walgreens fan?
BR: Of course! Walgreens is definitely my one stop shop for snacks and essentials! My favorite thing about my Walgreens is that I can find everything I need in one go.
WN: This is a unique time in history, and none of us can totally understand how these grads must be feeling. But we’ve all faced disappointments in our lives – have you ever missed an event that you were looking forward to? How did you cope with that disappointment?
BR: I didn’t get to go to prom when I was younger, and I remember how that felt. So it makes me really happy to help create these special moments for everyone that is now missing their prom, graduation or any big moment to celebrate something special.
WN: I think the song says it all, but do you have any other thoughts to share with the class of 2020?
BR: Just because you didn’t get to physically be at graduation this year doesn’t mean graduating is any less meaningful! Celebrate with your families, bake a cake, throw your caps in the air and dance just as hard at home!
Check out the new Walgreens ad below, featuring Bebe Rexha and her new song - then head over to photo.walgreens.com for unique photo gifts and special offers to help celebrate your own 2020 graduate. And if you're on TikTok, follow @beberexha and @Walgreensco to take part in the Walgreens #GradJump challenge!