Music Review—Hollywood Forever

Artist: Havanna Winter
Single: Hollywood Forever

Sixteen-year-old TikToker Havanna Winter has released her third single titled, “Hollywood Forever,” along with a music video available on YouTube.  The single is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

Havanna Winter was born in Oslo, Norway, but moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of nine.  Havanna went viral on TikTok at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  She proceeded to gain 3.1 million followers on TikTok and 1.4 million followers on Instagram.  Recently, Havanna signed with Wonderwall Records and has released three singles this year, with plans to release a full album in 2023.

“Hollywood Forever” was co-written by Havanna, Maya K, leelee, and Carlos Guevara.  Meanwhile, the music video was inspired by filmmakers Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Tim Burton, as well as films like The Lost Boys, Pulp Fiction, and Dazed and Confused.  Of her music videos, Havanna says, “I was missing some of the magical moments in old school, retro movies.  As I began to create music and visuals to accompany it, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try to sneak some of it back in!”

The single is a combination of alternative, indie, and sad-pop—a typical sound for TikTok-famous Gen Z artists.  Specifically, the vocals, backup vocals, and overall vibe of “Hollywood Forever” remind me of popular Olivia Rodrigo songs like “déjà vu” and “drivers license.” While there’s nothing wrong with the track, and I did enjoy listening, it’s very derivative.  If you’re looking for something new or different, this isn’t it.

I also found the lyrics to be generic and surface-level.  With lyrics like, “Happy birthday Mr.  President/I think there’s been an incident/Can’t help it that I’m into him/And nothing but a shirt and tie/I guess he’s just the silent type/I must have caught him by surprise,” I’m having difficulty deciphering what the song is even about.  The chorus involves Havanna calling 911, asking for a stretcher, proclaiming “pain is pleasure” and finishing by saying she’ll visit “him” in Hollywood forever.  Again, it’s unclear to me if this song is actually about anything, or if Havanna simply wanted to make a song with a “Hollywood” theme and needed words that rhymed.

The music video for the song was fun, but all over the place.  First of all—if you’re sensitive to gore, you may want to skip this one.  There are several scenes of dead bodies with blood on them and Havanna holding a bloody knife.  The music video features Havanna in various outfits, dancing with shirtless men, driving in a car with men, or killing men.  She begins the video dressed as Marilyn Monroe, then in several 1960’s inspired dresses, then finishes the video by getting put in a straight jacket while wearing 1920’s flapper dress.  Again, it’s still pretty unclear to me what this song and video were actually about.

Overall, “Hollywood Forever” was mediocre.  If you’re a fan of this genre of music or know Havanna Winter from TikTok, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.  Otherwise, I don’t think you’re missing out on much.  But I hope Havanna continues having fun expressing herself through her music.

Check out Havanna Winter on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.