Nessa Barrett is back with a touching new song called “die first,” which she released on June 24. The song is especially meaningful as it honors one of her late friends, Cooper Noriega, who died on June 9, 2022.

“die first” is the lead single to Nessa’s debut album, Young Forever, which replaced the original lead single “dying on the inside.”

What Is the Meaning Behind ‘die first’?

“Life is so short,” Nessa said of her new single. While “die first” was initially focused on the idea of loss, the young singer’s focus soon shifted. “It quickly turned into a love song to the most important people in my life. I don’t ever want to think about not having them by my side. I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about this song; everyone has someone, or something even, that they can’t imagine life without.”

Nessa also explained how the song soon became more meaningful, after the tragic loss of her best friend.

“This song means more to me than anyone could comprehend. One of the first people I shared it with was my best friend Cooper Noriega and he said it was his favorite song from my album. I’m so happy I got to tell him that it was for him and my mom before he passed. This is being released in honor of him. I want people to know that they don’t have to struggle alone and encourage anyone to join Cooper’s discord community Coop’s Advice, which is a safe place for all of us.”

Months later, Nessa explained the importance behind the “special song” during her tell-all “Call Her Daddy” interview from October 19.

“I never publicly said that it was about Cooper because I didn’t want to think about it, but the people closest around me knew and Cooper knew,” Nessa shared, noting that she’s going to have to perform it live in the near future. “I’m going to make it a special moments because it has to be. But I can’t really imagine me performing it without choking up and bawling my eyes out. But if you’re a fan of my music and you’re a fan of me and you’re there, it’s like, what else do you expect?”

Nessa Barrett’s ‘die first’ Lyric Breakdown

The song suggests that relationships normally end one of two ways. “Someone dies or someone gets hurt,” Nessa sings. “But if one of us dies, I hope I die first.”

She continues, “Tell me what’s worse? Losing you now or later / Maybe I can break the curse and I can be in love forever, if I die.”

Nessa is struggling with a future without someone she loves dearly, and in order to avoid the pain of being left behind, she dreams of being the person who leaves. It’s especially powerful as the song is dedicated to two people that have left Nessa behind much too soon: her late mother and her late friend, Cooper.

“You’re my fire and my safety. You never mean to break me, and that’s why I’m afraid / ‘Cause someday, everybody’s leaving,” she croons. “You promise that you’ll stay, but that’s a promise you can’t make.”

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