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"Hollow" is a song recorded by the American singer and songwriter Tori Kelly for the reissue of her first studio album, Unbreakable Smile (2015).[2] It was first released to digital retailers on 19 October 2015 as the album's third official single before impacting American contemporary hit radio on 3 November 2015, and as the lead single from the reissue.[3][4] Co-written by Kelly with the singer-songwriters Hayley Warner, Zac Poor, Lindsey Jackson, and Thom Macken, the song was produced by Adam Anders and Peer Åström.

"Hollow"
Tori Kelly - Hollow.png
Single by Tori Kelly
from the album Unbreakable Smile
Released19 October 2015
FormatDigital download
GenrePop[1]
Length3:30
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Tori Kelly singles chronology
"Should've Been Us"
(2015)
"Hollow"
(2015)
"I'll Find You"
(2017)
Music video
"Hollow" on YouTube

A midtempo pop song, "Hollow" has fluttering synthesizers and piano as well as drum and hand-clap percussion in its instrumentation. Lyrically, the song addresses Kelly's faith and has been described as a "love song to God".[5] It received a positive response from music critics, who praised the song's uplifting message and Kelly's strong vocals. The accompanying music video for the song was released on 5 November 2015 and it shows Kelly performing the track in an abandoned house.

Background and releaseEdit

While promoting her first album and after the moderate impact of the previous singles, "Nobody Love" and Should've Been Us", Kelly wanted to release another single. When she heard a song called "Hollow" it was not fully finished, so she went to the studio the same night and finished the song.[6] On 14 October 2015, she announced on her Twitter account that she was going to release a new song called "Hollow" the following week.[7] Two days later, she teased the song on Twitter once more, with eleven seconds of the track.[8] It was initially released as a digital download in Europe on 19 October 2015,[9] before being released in North America on 22 October 2015. An official remix featuring the American hip hop artist Big Sean was released to digital retailers on 29 October 2015.[10] Big Sean provides an additional half-sung, half-rapped verse towards the end of the song, replacing an iteration of the chorus from the solo version.[11] "Hollow" was serviced to contemporary hit radio on 3 November 2015. It was later confirmed that the song was going to be included on the reissue of Unbreakable Smile as its lead-single (and third overall).[2]

Composition and lyricsEdit

"For anyone to admit that they’re weak and that they need love and they need that space to be filled, I think that alone is such a vulnerable thing to admit that. We all kind of want to let people know that we’re strong and that we can do everything, and the reality is that we are weak sometimes."

 —Kelly about the song's message.[6]

"Hollow" was written by Kelly with the singer-songwriters Hayley Warner, Zac Poor, Lindsey Jackson and Thom Macken, with production by Adam Anders and Peer Åström.[9] It has a duration of three minutes and thirty seconds.[9] The song is a midtempo sentimental pop ballad that incorporates synthesizers, piano and drums in its instrumentation.[1] The song begins with synthesizers and piano "fluttering" in the background, emphasizing Kelly's vocals, before building to a more bombastic production style with the inclusion of the drum and hand-clap percussion.[1][12] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Alfred Publishing Company Inc., the song is written in the key of D minor, with a tempo of 126 beats per minute. Kelly's vocal range spans from the low note of F3 to the high note of a G5 belt and an A5 in head voice.[13] Lyrically, the song describes a hollow life becoming filled with love, which Kelly attributes to her faith, describing "Hollow" as her "love song to God".[5][12] Kelly described the song as "honest", "vulnerable" and "epic".[5] In the chorus she sings, "I'm fragile and you know this/ So hold me, wrap me in love/ Fill up my cup/ Empty, and only your love could fill up my cup/ Because I'm hollow."[5]

Critical receptionEdit

The song received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. Robbie Daw of Idolator called it "a big pop anthem", noting, "By the time the second chorus rolls around, it’s pretty clear that the 22 year old and all involved mean business with 'Hollow'."[1] Christina Garibaldi of MTV News praised the fact that the song "once again shows off Tori’s impressive vocals as she smoothly navigates the heavy lyrics over a slow piano". Garibaldi also praised the incorporation of drums and the intense foot-stomp "that not only elevates the music, but heightens the emotion".[12] Carolyn Menyes of Music Times was positive, noting that "Kelly's always-strong vocals are the main power behind the track, just dripping with vulnerability. As the song builds, snaps, drums and electronic instruments are added to the mix, giving 'Hollow' a filling build, which swells alongside Kelly."[14] While noting that the song "sounds like an emotional entry from her diary", Scott Shetler of AXS named it "personal and universal, which should help it connect with listeners".[15]

Music videoEdit

The official music video for "Hollow" was directed by Dano Cerny and was premiered on 5 November 2015.[16] Influenced by the song's single cover, the video shows Kelly wandering through an abandoned house.[17]

Track listingEdit

Digital download – single[3]

  1. "Hollow" – 3:30

Digital download – Remix single[10]

  1. "Hollow (featuring Big Sean)" – 3:30

Live performancesEdit

Kelly performed a gospel music-influenced rendition of the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on 2 December 2015.[18] Jeffery Austin covered the song on The Voice with Tori Kelly. In the 14th series of the X Factor in the UK, Holly Tandy performed it in the first live show with the theme being "Express Yourself".

Use in mediaEdit

  • The song was used in a commercial for the 2017 Kia Forte.

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[28] Platinum 1,000,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

List of releases, showing the region, release date, format, and record label
Country Date Format Label Ref.
Europe 19 October 2015 Digital download [29]
Oceania [3][30]
North America 22 October 2015 [31]
Europe 29 October 2015 Digital download – Big Sean remix [32]
Oceania [10][33]
United Kingdom [34]
North America 2 November 2015 [35]
United States November 3, 2015 Contemporary hit radio Capitol Records [4]
25 January 22016 Hot/Modern/AC radio [36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Daw, Robbie (22 October 2015). "Tori Kelly's "Hollow" Is A Big Pop Anthem: Listen". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Tori Kelly Reveals Sensitive Side in New Single "Hollow"". Universal Music Canada. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Hollow - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (New Zealand). Apple Inc. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Media Group. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Stutz, Colin (22 October 2015). "Tori Kelly Releases Faithful Anthem 'Hollow': Listen". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b Sorokach (30 October 2015). "Tori Kelly Reveals Her New Single 'Hollow' Came To Her In a Crazy Way'". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  7. ^ Kelly, Tori (14 October 2015). "Tori Kelly on Twitter: "next week"". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  8. ^ Kelly, Tori (16 October 2015). "Tori Kelly on Twitter: #Hollow". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Tori Kelly – Hollow (File) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  11. ^ Gracie, Bianca (3 November 2015). "Big Sean Hops On Tori Kelly's "Hollow" Remix: Listen". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Garibaldi, Christina (22 October 2015). "Tori Kelly's Single 'Hollow' Is Your New Heartbreak Song". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Tori Kelly "Hollow" Sheet Music". MusicNotes.com. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  14. ^ Menyes, Carolyn (22 October 2015). "Tori Kelly Releases Stunning Personal Ballad 'Hollow' [LISTEN]". Music Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  15. ^ Shetler, Scott (23 October 2015). "Tori Kelly releases personal new single 'Hollow'". AXS. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  16. ^ ToriKellyVEVO (5 November 2015). "Tori Kelly - Hollow (Official)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  17. ^ Gracie, Bianca (5 November 2015). "Tori Kelly's "Hollow" Video: Watch The Singer Lament In An Abandoned Home". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  18. ^ Wass, Mike (2 December 2015). "Tori Kelly Takes 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' To Church With "Hollow"". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  21. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201604 into search.
  22. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201604 into search.
  23. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Tori Kelly Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  28. ^ "American single certifications – Tori Kelly – Hollow". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 May 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  29. ^ ""Hollow - Single" von Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Germany). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
    - "Hollow - Single de Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (France). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Hollow - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  31. ^ "Hollow - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Canada). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
    - "Hollow - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  32. ^ ""Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single" von Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Germany). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
    - "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single de Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (France). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  33. ^ "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (New Zealand). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (United Kingdom). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  35. ^ "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (Canada). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
    - "Hollow (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Tori Kelly". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Hot/Modern/AC Future Releases". All Access Media Group. Archived from the original on 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.