Tomorrow (September 24), the film adaptation of hit musical Dear Evan Hansen will finally hit theaters, and with it comes a brand-new song written specifically for the movie. That's fairly common for Hollywood treatments of Broadway shows. But what makes Dear Evan Hansen's new tune, "The Anonymous Ones," special is who co-wrote it (and who sings it in the film), as well as who sings it on the soundtrack.
For the film, star Amandla Stenberg collaborated with original music writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul to make "The Anonymous Ones" a real moment for her character, Alana. And in keeping with that, a new version of the track from SZA feels equally big. Her take on "The Anonymous Ones" comes complete with a new video that dropped today (September 23).
In the clip, helmed by superstar director Collin Tilley, SZA's daily routine illuminates the undercurrent of the song's meaning: that everyone is going through their own battles, often quietly and anonymously, and that you never quite know anyone's story. "Keep on keeping secrets that they think they have to hide," she sings. "What if everybody's secret is they have that secret side?"
It's a message that runs through both the musical and the film, which follow the fallout of the title character's big lie and its consequences. With him through that is Alana, whose own inner turmoil is what inspired her to work with Pasek and Paul on the track.
"The intention was to deepen her as a character and understand that she's actually going through her own struggles with mental illness," Stenberg said in a recent interview.
"She's trying to tell [Evan] you might feel alone in everything that you're going through, but there are so many people — the anonymous ones — who are also going through it, too, and who are also struggling with mental illness. You just have to get to know them deeper, and then you might actually connect and be vulnerable with each other, and we might all feel less alone."
"I'm so happy that she connects to it and feels it in her heart," Stenberg said. Check out SZA's version of "The Anonymous Ones" and its accompanying new visual above.