“When I finished writing the song I was like, ‘Why am I not playing Burr?!'”
Song Exploder just dropped on Netflix, and it’s pretty dang cool. Cooler still, the second episode features Lin-Manuel Miranda talking about “Wait For It,” one of the songs from Hamilton.
You probably know this, but Hamilton is a pretty big deal, and “Wait For It” is a pretty great song. In fact, Lin-Manuel himself says it might be the best song he’s ever written.
The song turned out so good, in fact, that it made him question why he had decided to play Alexander Hamilton instead of Aaron Burr, the character who sings it in the show.
As far as the concept of the song, Lin-Manuel talked about wanting something that was the opposite of “My Shot,” the song that Hamilton sings early on in the show.
Ultimately, it came down to the core difference between the two characters, despite their many similarities.
He also talked about the moment he became inspired to write the song, which happened as he was on the subway heading to his friend’s birthday party.
He shared a pretty funny voice memo of himself as he sort of sang the chorus of the song so he wouldn’t forget it, complete with panting because he was out of breath from walking.
Lin, along with Hamilton‘s musical director Alex Lacamoire and director Thomas Kail, talked about the way the song evolved from the demo, to the musical arrangement, to the final version that appeared on the cast album, and how it shaped their understanding of Aaron Burr as a character.
Finally, Lin talked about relating to both Hamilton and Burr at different points of the creative process.
In conclusion, songwriting is hard and people who can do it are very talented. You can check out the rest of Song Exploder on Netflix and Hamilton on Disney+.
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