William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth during the plague. Vin Diesel wrote an EDM pop song that was released on Kygo’s label, Palm Tree Records.
In case you think I’m joking, which I assume you do—after all, we’re talking about Vin Diesel, the hunk of meat you know best for grumbling “family” from behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger and being a cartoon tree that says literally ONE WORD in Marvel movies—here is proof:
(This is the cleanest artist page I’ve ever seen on Spotify. Frank Lloyd Wright was so right when he said that it’s valiant to be simple.)
The song itself is, somehow, exactly what you’d expect from a collab between Dominic Toretto and the guy who produced that Steve Winwood cover that’s in car commercials—it’s sugary and poppy and highly produced, and also features lead vocals that seem to have been recorded both underwater and while Vin was swallowing a tuna sandwich. Many of the lyrics are wildly unascertainable, and Genius has not yet transcribed them for me. (The disrespect!)
However, the most important thing about this song—aside from its sheer, stunning existence—is how it was premiered: on The Kelly Clarkson Show, to an audience full of monitors. In a short clip before the song dropped, Vin, in a racing jacket and large sunglasses, because obviously, explained why he chose to bestow this supreme honor upon Clarkson. “Because you—since you first won Idol, until today, have somehow maintained your authenticity,” he intoned in his deep, molasses-paced baritone. “I am blessed that on a year that I would normally be on a movie set—and as you know, that’s not possible—I’ve had another creative outlet. Another way to show you, or share with you, my heart.” Did this speech sound a little bit like a villain revealing his plan? Yes. Did Vin Diesel then mispronounce the title of his own song? Also yes.
But did the song land? I don’t know—does Dom Toretto love Corona? You bet your ass Kelly Clarkson’s Zoom audience ate this shit up. Most of it, at least. There were members of the digital listening party who were less supportive of Vin than others (they’re not family), and on the other end of the spectrum, there were people reacting as if they’d just heard sound for the first time. Here is a ranking of those audience members, according to how much they enjoyed Vin Diesel the Singer.
10. This Lady
Very judgmental. Vin Diesel isn’t John Cage, OK? You know right away whether you like his stuff (read: his one song that he released this morning).
9. This Lady
It’s a no for her, dog.
8. The Kids From the “Hearing Phil Collins for the First Time” Video
Why were they there? I don’t know! But they definitely liked “In the Air Tonight” more.
7. This Guy
He looks very upset. I can promise he got into it a little bit more during the hook, though.
6. These Dudes
Just happy to be there on a Friday morning. Good for them.
5. These Four
One lady got out of her chair because the vibes were so strong. This is an appropriate level of enjoyment for a Vin Diesel EDM song.
4. The Clapping Lady
She struggled a bit to find the beat but that’s good effort there. (Should be noted, however, that sometimes we do things like clapping to remedy the inescapable, crippling feeling of awkwardness. Considering the circumstances of whatever-the-fuck-this-is, this can’t be ruled out here.)
3. This Guy
He looks like LeBron James after blocking Steph Curry in the 2016 Finals. He’s freaking FEELING THIS.
Putting your hands like that is White Person for “this fuckin’ bangs.”
1. Wow OK Definitely This Guy. This Guy Wins.
This guy makes this face right after the hook comes in. He’s so happy. He’s like, “Oh shit, I didn’t know music could sound like this. I didn’t know sound could sound like this.” He’s gonna go buy all nine Fast & Furious movies. He’s gonna go buy The Pacifier on Blu-ray. His life has been changed forever—in this screengrab, you are witnessing what it looks like when a person finds God. I’m really glad for him. I don’t know if I wanna feel like Vin Diesel does, but I do know that I’d like to feel the way this person does.
A previous version of this article stated that “Feel Like I Do” is a collaboration between Vin Diesel and Kygo. It is a track released on Kygo’s label.